Leaders accuse NRM officials of extortion in bicycle distribution

Some of the 'Yellow bicycles' that were distributed to different NRM local leaders on August 16, 2020. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • 20,000: The amount of money the beneficiaries were told to clear before receiving their bicycles.

National Resistance Movement (NRM) party officials are on the spot over alleged extortion during the bicycle distribution exercise.

Bududa District received 1,600 bicycles from the NRM Secretariat to enable the party grassroots chairpersons mobilise for President Museveni and other party flag bearers in the 2021 General Election.

The district comprises 1,441 villages and 159 parishes.

However, some of the beneficiaries told Daily Monitor at the weekend that they were asked to pay money yet the bicycles are free.

Mr Clement Watyekele, the Namaitsu Parish NRM chairperson in Bududa Sub-county, said he gathered 30 NRM village chairpersons to receive their bicycles only to realise that district officials wanted money before they could hand over the bicycles.

“The officials asked each of the beneficiaries to pay Shs20,000, something we outrightly rejected,” he said.

He added that the officials later chased them away saying only those who pay would receive the bicycles.

Mr Derrick Lukoye, one of the chairpersons, said he paid Shs20,000 before getting his bicycle, adding that those who did not have money, did not get bicycles.
“I had to first pay before I got the bicycle. Those people are very corrupt,” he said.

Mr Clement Makhoso, the Bududa Sub-county councillor, said he received complaints from chairpersons about the alleged extortion.

“About 50 beneficiaries in my sub-county alone missed out on the bicycles but I have raised the issue to the Resident District Commissioner for intervention,” he said.
Mr Yonasan Bululu, the Bududa District vice-chairperson, also promised to follow up on the matter with the NRM Secretariat.

The Bududa District NRM chairperson, Mr Stephen Wakyaya, said the extortion only happened in Bududa Sub-county.

“We have cautioned the area NRM chairperson, Ibrahim Wabuyobo, who also denied the complaints of extortion,” he said.