A group of NRM leaders in Teso sub-region have asked President Museveni for more positions in government in the forthcoming term.
On Saturday, the group led by Kapelebyong County NRM flag bearer in Amuria district, Anthony Esenu presented to the President what they termed as a memorandum containing issues they want to be addressed.
“While we appreciate the current ministerial slots you have given to our sons and daughters, we request that you give Teso region more cabinet positions and strategic ministries like the premiership(Prime Minister), finance, education, agriculture, health, works, trade and industry including two or more appointments as permanent secretaries as a recognition of our commitment to the NRM,” Esenu told Museveni during a campaign meeting for NRM leaders from Katakwi, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Kapelebyong and Amuria held at Soroti University grounds.
The ruling party leaders told the President that whereas they already have other sons of the soil in government including Musa Ecweru(State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness), Peter Ogwang(State Minister for ICT and National Guidance) and Dr.Kenneth Omona(Principal Private Secretary) they need more influential positions in the ruling government .
“There is a correlation between these appointments and your ability to deliver the NRM manifesto of ensuring equitable growth, increasing household income wealth and job creation,”Esenu told the President.
The NRM leaders also reminded the President of the pledge to compensate the locals who lost their cattle, property and lives during the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency and cattle rustling by Karamajong.
The group said despite a directive given by the President in 2011 and a court consent judgment in November 2014 plus a verification exercise by government in 2015, the compensation has never been effected.
Museveni was also asked to consider the expansion of 139 valley dams in the area, expansion and tarmacking of the Katine- Tiriri-Achuna- Amuria-Kapelebyong-Achoa- Katakwi road as well as a ferry from Kumi to Agule among other infrastructural projects in the region.
“We request for allocation of at least shs120 billion to the Ministry of Teso Affairs towards improvement of livelihoods and development of groups and economic activities in the region,” Esenu told the President.
In response, the President said now that the country is stable and the taxes collected have gone up, nothing is hard for government.
“If you send me leaders who can help me budget well without corruption, there is nothing we can’t do. Send me people who will distribute well the money. The money we get in taxes has increased and that’s how we have been able to do many projects like roads,”Museveni told the leaders.
“The list( of things) you have given me is talking about one word and that is budgeting properly. Let us sit down with the Members of Parliament you send us and we budget. For me, I have cooked the food but can’t serve it alone because the Constitution doesn’t allow me. However, even if the constitution allowed me, I don’t want to serve alone for fear of making mistakes.”
He noted that if they send good MPs, planning for money and working on their demands will be an easy task since the money to do it is available.
“I have noted all points you have made but there is nothing we can’t do if we budget properly. The money we spent on Soroti Moroto road which was shs600 billion is more than one for compensation. All of those things are doable.”
Commenting specifically on the compensation, Museveni said claimants in Teso, Lango and Acholi will share shs150 billion.
He however asked the leaders to teach the people to work not only for their stomachs but also for their pockets.