By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Over the years, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has echoed their commitment to fight corruption in the country and put a stop to the vice of embezzling public funds that has crippled the development of the country.
However, the party seems to have a problem stamping out the vice in its own house. There have been numerous reports from several party members saying the money that was allocated to them to be used for the campaigns did not get to them because some officials decided that there were more important things in their life to do with the money than funding members’ campaigns.
There is another case. Today, the NRM Finance and Administrative Director Hajjat Medina Naham has ordered for the immediate arrest of two top NRM officials in Dokolo District after they failed to account for more than Shs20 million meant to facilitate the campaigns of LC5 contestants.
The officials that are entering the coolers anytime soon are party chairperson Beatrice Abang and John Bosco Otoke, the party administrative secretary. It has come to our knowledge that this money was sent by the NRM Secretariat on January 20, 2021 and it was meant to facilitate last-minute campaigns for 23 LC5 councillor candidates.
Joel Okuma Opota, the LC5 councillor representing Dokolo Town Council, said that they had earlier received Shs1 million each while those aspiring for woman councillor seats had received Shs1.5 million each because they were campaigning in wider areas and many of them were representing two sub-counties to the district council.
However, Okuma said his colleagues in Kaberamaido District told him that the NRM Secretariat had sent in additional funding for their facilitation but to his bewilderment, NRM chairperson in Dokolo district Abang told him that she did not know about the said additional money and referred them to the administrative secretary, who sent them back to her.
“We called our national vice chairman for Northern Uganda, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who confirmed that the NRM Secretariat had disbursed additional funding to facilitate councillors’ campaigns,” Okuma said, as quoted by the Daily Monitor.
He added: “When we put our chairperson to task, she said some money had been deposited into the party bank accounts but without guidelines, therefore, she was traveling to Kampala to get the guidelines.”
After knowing that matters have been elevated to a higher power, Abang promised to meet the candidates on February 3, 2021 but when they went to the agreed upon meeting venue, it was locked.
Naham apologised to the leaders for what had happened and directed the RDC, Lawrence Egole, to ensure that the NRM chairperson and administrative secretary are arrested with immediate effect because they have already withdrawn the money from the bank account, as confirmed by the NRM treasurer Joy Tila.
Efforts to reach Abang and Otoke for a comment were futile.
Dokolo District police commander Alfred Baluku has confirmed that a general enquiry file no. 04/2021 has been opened at Dokolo Central Police Station, and the two alleged culprits have been summoned.