The Secretary General of opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Harold Kaija has asked the people of Rukungiri district to maintain their support for FDC in the forthcoming Woman MP by-elections, despite the gifts distributed by President Yoweri Museveni.
Kaija told the media on Monday at Najjanankumbi that the Shs 193 million workshop commissioned in Rukungiri on Sunday by President Museveni along with the financial handouts made to several groups are only aimed at rallying support for the NRM incumbent, Winnie Matsiko in the elections.
President Museveni visited Rukungiri Municipality yesterday where he gave out items valued at about Shs 5 billion to over 100 groups. The items included trucks, mini buses, motorcycles, sewing machines, tents, chairs, garage equipment and motor vehicle spare parts.
But Kaija says that Museveni’s actions are tantamount to an illegality since this would be engaging in early campaigns.
According to the electoral commission road map, campaigns of the aspirants in the by-election will be cleared from May 4 while polling will be on May 31.
Kaija told the media that Museveni is trying to buy favors from the people of Rukungiri so as to vote for the NRM candidate well knowing that the area is an FDC strong hold.
He reminded the people of Rukungiri which is also home to opposition strongman, Dr Kizza Besigye that all the donations made by Museveni are not his personal resources but their own taxes.
“Everyday when you wake up and pay taxes, our money goes to the consolidated fund and it is now the money Museveni is giving in donations; this is like one giving you what belongs to you and you clap,” Kaija said.
“Museveni is giving you what belongs to you,” Kaija emphasized.
He added, “Museveni is now investing in Rukungiri trying to reduce pressure from the people, but he should know that this is our stronghold and we are not scared at all”.
While addressing the beneficiaries and residents of Rukungiri, Museveni said that the donations were funded by his personal resources not money from the treasury.
Kaija’s comments were similar to those of former Presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye who described the donations as electoral bribes.
“Apart from this being election bribery, a policy of handouts is wrong and can’t cause meaningful development. It is only intended to rent support of few (leaders) beneficiaries and raise expectation in others. It’s the ‘NRM revolution’,” Besigye said in a tweet on Monday.
But the Senior President Press Secretary, Don Wanyama says Museveni as President has a duty to Ugandans and this isn’t the first time he has supported such groups.
“Of course that’s an outrageous claim. The President has a duty to help citizens, and its not the first time he’s done this. He’s made similar support to youth groups and several SACCOs across the country,” Wanyama told SoftPower News.
“There’s nothing unique about the support made in Rukungiri,” he added.
So far, a total of six candidates have expressed interests to run for the seat that fell vacant after the NRM candidate, Matsiko lost a petition to FDC’s Betty Muzanira.
Recently, the FDC President, Patrick Amuriat said that the party is prepared to camp in Rukungiri and to replicate what was done in Jinja East where FDC’s Paul Mwiru recently won the NRM candidate.
Currently, both the Mayor and Member of Parliament for Rukungiri Municipality are part of the FDC.
FDC Label Museveni Donations to Rukungiri ‘Election Bribery’, State House Responds was first posted on April 16, 2018 at 9:56 pm.
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