KAMPALA. President Museveni has told off National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters who are threatening to leave the party after questioning his motives of pampering Opposition-dominated areas with money and neglecting the ruling party strongholds.
The President, in a missive titled ‘Confusion Surrounding Youth Programmes’ said Opposition people are also Ugandans with a right to benefit from government projects.
The NRM leaders in Kampala and other areas around the country have been holding press conferences, criticising the President for dishing out money to groups in Opposition-dominated areas such as Kampala, Rukungiri and Wakiso districts.
Mr Salim Uhuru, the NRM chairperson for Kampala Central, recently led a group of supporters, threatening to quit the NRM for abandoning them in favour of Opposition supporter groups in Kampala and Wakiso, an allegation Mr Museveni has denied.
The NRM leaders want the President to give them money to distribute to ruling party-leaning savings groups. President Museveni said he is helping the poor in Kampala and Wakiso on grounds that he has a religious obligation to save neighbours out of poverty.
“As a matter of faith, I cannot live comfortably in the neighbourhood of poor people without doing something about them. That brings me to Kampala. I have lived on this earth for 74 years now. Thirty-two (32) of those have been in the Kampala-Entebbe area. I, therefore, drive daily past the furniture makers of Najjanankumbi, the food sellers of Zana, the food sellers of Bwebajja,” the President said.
He said he used the same idea of helping his neighbours out of poverty in 1966 when he transformed residents of Kiruhuura District from a nomadic to a settled community.
“Therefore, my NRM colleagues, please, understand that I help the Kampala groups under the same logic I started with the Kiruhuura residents because they were my neighbours. If you do not start with the neighbour, whom will you help?” Mr Museveni states in his letter.
He flatly rejected NRM leaders’ proposal to be given money to distribute to savings groups.
“It must be handled by a civil servant. It is wrong for the political people to be involved in finance or administration. Ours is policy, plans and supervision. Finance and administration is for the civil servants,” he said.