President Yoweri Museveni has promised a special fund for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag-bearers who lost in the recent general elections to help them develop businesses.
Museveni, who was meeting NRM caucus members at Kololo Independence Grounds on Saturday, congratulated MPs who made it back to Parliament and also thanked them for supporting the party.
The President also noted that the NRM MPs who lost the election, specifically in the central region, were cheated.
He accused the Opposition of illegally registering and ferrying supporters to vote for Opposition candidates.
“All of you have made different contributions for the success of the NRM. I congratulate those who were elected this time and I am happy for them and the NRM. For those who were not elected, do not be disheartened. Be firm. We are with you and specifically, I want to initiate our political cadres into the culture of economic self-sufficiency. Do not depend on politics for livelihood. Have your livelihood independent of politics.”
“I encourage those who were not elected to agree to my idea that we set up a fund to help them develop self-sufficiency businesses in their constituencies so that you take root and you do not just go floating on top, being tossed around by opportunists. You become firm so that when you go into politics, you go to make a contribution and not to look for a livelihood,” the President said.
Museveni was responding to NRM Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa’s presentation in which she noted that the party had performed well and had over 317 MPs in the House, but that the elections were not easy as some NRM members survived with wounds, while other lost their seats.
Caucus spokesperson Margaret Muhanga confirmed Museveni’s promise of a special fund to cater for the losers.
NRM loss in Buganda
About the NRM MPs’ loss, especially in Buganda in the January 14 general elections, Museveni said besides cheating by the Opposition, there was also lack of thoroughness on the part of the NRM members.
“Like in Buganda, there was a lot of cheating. These MPs were not defeated, but they were cheated. They were cheated because of lack of thoroughness,” Museveni said.
Citing the case of Suzan Nakawuki, who was vying for the Mawokota South seat in Mpigi district under the NRM ticket, Museveni wondered how people who are not voters in the constituency were allowed to vote irregularly.
“Her opponent took 100 youth from Kampala per polling station. They were not from there. According to the Constitution, you are supposed to vote either where you originate or where you reside. But these people would bring voters who had nothing to do with that area and register them there. How could this happen?” said Museveni.
Some MPs responded to the President by blaming the Electoral Commission (EC) and security, to which the President added; “EC are corrupt, they have got their own issues… If the MP had her agents who were reliable, they should have detected this. These imported voters destabilized many MPs,” Museveni said.
He also noted that there was corruption by some security personnel, who included the Police, army, Resident District Commissioners, District Internal Security Officers and the NRM Secretariat, but he promised to get to the bottom of the matter.
Museveni also noted that the Government needs to budget more for the wealth funds so that people get capital and are able to work.
“Many people want to work, but they do not have capital. Even the youth. I have been interacting with the youth groups and I do not want to agree with the position that the youth are anti-NRM. If they are against NRM, why do we get 90% in some districts? Are the youth only the bayaaye in Kampala? Yes, they are a little bit disgruntled here and there and the little I have interacted with them, they are ready to work,”
Museveni added. He noted that when he was campaigning in some zones, the youth would say they wanted to go to Kawumu in Luwero district to see his model farm.
“I would organise the youth delegations from Acholi, Sebei, Acholi, Teso, West Nile, Bugisu and they would go to Kawumu and when they came back, they would ask why the people did not tell us, we would have done this. The youth are ready to change,” Museveni noted.