Over the past days, there have been lots of outbursts from seemingly bitter and angry NRM leaders/mobilisers. These have accused the leadership at the NRM secretariat of embezzlement and mismanagement of campaign funds.
However all these allegations are false. The changes were effected by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba. She was acting upon instruction from the NRM chairman President Yoweri Museveni.
For decades, people carrying and flashing bags of money around town and in hotels allegedly from the NRM secretariat have been part and parcel of campaigns.
Kasule Lumumba has spearheaded changes in how party funds are now distributed. Money for party activities is now transferred directly from the Secretariat to the districts cutting off middle men and women. These were the dealers who were delivering less than what was budgeted for to NRM arms that needed the funds.
Under the new arrangement, all NRM district branches have bank accounts where the district NRM chairperson, treasurer, and administrative secretary are all signatories.
Currently the party channels party funds through these bank accounts with strict guidelines on management of the funds received.
Where does this leave the middle men? “FRUSTRATED” is the short answer.
Another cause of the outbursts is the deployment. Initially in the past elections, the party would facilitate teams from Kampala to go out and pitch camp in different corners of the country with an aim of boosting and mobilizing for the party.
The team at the NRM secretariat under wise leadership of the Secretary General has this time cut down on this expense by facilitating the structures to champion the campaign locally.
Now no teams have been facilitated to move from Kampala to go and campaign for the party in Karamoja, Kasese,Soroti, or Kisoro, etc. The structures and members are guided through letters, circulars, copies of the manifestos given minimal facilitation to do this work at small units of Mobilisation.
And where does this leave the idle so called expert senior mobilisers? “FRUSTRATED” is the answer.
Finally there have been allegations that the NRM leaders attending the presidents strategic or call them scientific strategic campaigns have been cheated of their would be facilitation.
Here is the fact, leaders who attend these zonal meetings are given a simple facilitation of Uganda shillings 100,000 which is even announced in the presence of the NRM presidential candidate HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
It was agreed upon in a meeting under the chair the National chairman. All leaders are paid same rate in Luweero, Lango, West Nile, Acholi, Karamoja, Teso, Bugisu, Sebei, Bukedi, Busoga and now Ankole.
This money is aimed at facilitating transport and lunch for the delegates. Nothing extra should be expected by the leaders who attend these meetings. It is paid by the administrative secretaries of the respective districts.
Party materials and regalia are also delivered to districts leadership for onward transportation to villages. This has prevented the crowding at the Secretariat store.
These are some of the reasons that have caused various outbursts, blackmail and allegations of embezzlement of party funds on the NRM Secretariat top leadership.
The author Gerald Baganzi is an NRM cadre