Luweero NRM councillors up in arms over election money

Some of  the NRM district councillors that stormed the party offices in Luweero Town Council demanding Shs30 million. PHOTO /DAN WANDERA

What you need to know:

Each councillor standing on the NRM party ticket was meant to receive Shs1m

A  section of councillors in the National Resistance Movement (NRM)  party in Luweero District on Monday stormed the district party offices in Luweero Town Council demanding Shs30 million.
Each councillor standing on the NRM party ticket was meant to receive Shs1m.

The councillors claim the NRM secretariat wired the money to the district party account on January 20, the date on which the elections for the district chairpersons and councillors were  conducted. 
However, the party officials never informed the councillors about the facilitation until January 23 when they learnt from their counterparts from Nakaseke and Nakasongola.

“We are surprised that Luweero District NRM executive committee members that withdrew the money from the party account to have it disbursed to the recipients have kept quiet despite our reminder to the concerned officials. We contacted the district party treasurer, Mr Abraham Byandala, who confirmed that he signed a cheque after he was approached by the executive members who have been handling the party activities.

“We are shocked that our party is sinking because of corruption. We have resolved to engage the top party officials to clarify on the missing funds,” Mr Herbert Kigo, a district councillor representing Kalagala Sub-county, told Daily Monitor in an interview .
Ms Aisha Kayaga, a female councillor representing Butuntumula Sub-county, said most of the district NRM councillors suffered defeat at the hands of the Opposition candidates because they could not afford money to facilitate the polling agents.

“We have diligently served our party but some greedy officials who have no party spirit are grabbing even the little facilitation sent to us. We got confirmation from the district party treasurer that he actually released the money that was wired to the district NRM party account although he was not involved in the expenditure exercise due to sickness,” she said.

Mr Shafiq Ntege, the  NRM district administrative secretary, told Daily Monitor  that the money was supposed to facilitate councillors in ensuring that they have polling agents.
“I received a message a day later on how the money was supposed to be disbursed to each of the councillors.
 Unfortunately, the concerned party officials who reportedly withdrew the money from the party account are yet to interact with me on what happened. It is unfortunate that my attempt to try and talk to the concerned officials to meet the councillors has not yielded fruit,” Mr Ntege said.
 “The councillors are mature and need an explanation on what happened to the money. I also believe that the standoff will be resolved,” he added.
Of the 36 council slots in the district council, NRM only won three, while others were taken by National Unity Platform (NUP).

The district chairperson seat was also won by Mr Erastus Kibirango (NUP), the first Opposition chairperson to head the district in three decades.
Ms Zenah Nasur, the acting district NRM chairperson, acknowledged that some money was released to facilitate the mobilisation activities. 

“This money was channelled to the party mobilisation activities. It is also true that we have already submitted the accountability for the money. It is not true that I have a hand in any missing money as the acting party chairperson,” Ms Zenah said.