By Faruk Kirunda
Reference is made to trending attacks and counter attacks in NRM circulating mostly on social media. These attacks are intended to divert the party from the objective of winning the 2021 elections yet NRM is the clear favourite. People, instead of concentrating on mobilisation, are busy spearheading rumours and accusations against each other.
Politics of intrigue is cropping up again and a wrong time. I wonder why money seems to make some people go mad yet they have seen money and more of it. Money should always be discussed in terms of the value it brings to an exercise. For example at this time of campaigns, value should attract money. Those who are working (mobilising) know that money is only a booster and not the motive or motivation.
Quarreling about money so openly suggests that the people spreading misinformation are up to something and do not wish the party well. They are fighting personal wars to the detriment of the party. It shouldn’t be about money because it makes the ordinary voter angry, thinking that there is a cash bonanza and they have been left out.
If there are queries on expenditure of any funds allocated for a particular purpose, the concerned officials are given time to explain but at a set time when accountability will be required of everyone. If anyone has vital information pinning anybody on the misuse of even a coin, that information should be filed in the right forum. A starting point is to first investigate at personal level before making public pronouncements which cannot be rectified through rumourmongering. It should also be known that party planners can reallocate funds at any time in case of urgent emerging needs. It does not mean that money has been stolen.
Peddlers of malicious information are bringing shame on themselves as fake cadres who cannot do anything unless when paid. Attacking individuals is wrong; attacking the Secretary General is misleading because there is no single individual who can divert large sums of money without setting off sirens in the party’s accountability system. Greedy and selfish individuals attack the S.G to intimidate her to favour them yet some of them are self-seekers who are doing little or nothing for the party in terms of mobilisation. It is a shame that even senior leaders are involved; they are demanding for facilitation yet they know very well that the party has no source of income. NRM depends on donations and the fundraising prowess of the party National Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni.
Everybody is aware that the world was hit by Covid-19 and nobody or any organisation was spared. Fundraising was not possible under the circumstances which means that resources available are not enough to cater for extras. In addition, it seems that the complainants were caught unawares when NRM channeled funds through NRM district chairpersons and administrative secretaries who then dispatch money for activities directly on the phones of mobilisers. A clique which was used to diverting money for mobilisers under the guise of delivering it in paper bags suddenly found itself left out.
Their displeasure is understandable but accountability is sought through formal structures, not on the streets or in corridors.
Worse, the rumourmongers are not mobilising for the party or its Presidential candidate and I suspect they are doing it deliberately expecting to be induced to campaign for the president. How selfish and ungrateful, after the man has been there for them in every way possible. Many flagbearers are incumbents who already earn big from their regular jobs, but they want to be given more money which would have been given to voluntary mobilisers who do not hold regular jobs. Now fat cats are ganging up to blackmail other officials at the expense of the entire party.
What have they been using with the salaries and fat allowances? Many operations of the party have ground to a halt; the only work being done is that of self-driven groups (nyekundire, kyeyagalire) like Team Thorough, Team 7, Presidential Vote Protectors (PVPs) under Office of the National Chairman and panelists in different media. These are the mobilisers doing great work and who deserve every coin from the mobilisation purse. I thank these groups for the great team spirit and patriotism.
High rankers who are doing nothing and holding the party at ransom should be marked out and due action taken when the elections are done because they don’t deserve their positions. Absurdly, these are the same fellows that will be lobbying vigorously to be reappointed yet their poor performance during campaigns is a sign that they are also lazy and greedy when appointed to positions. People who cannot even go on radio for thirty minutes to speak for a party whose good deeds they see and enjoy, what can they do?
This confusion and uncaring attitude could benefit the opposition if it were not for the great cadres in the groups I have pointed out and others that I will point out in the near future.
Using my networks, I have established that opposition camps are proving more serious in their game. NRM is only ahead because of established structures but in terms of zeal, commitment and sacrifice I must say that on this I recognise some opposition players for trying their best. I have established that in NUP much of the campaign effort is locally funded by supporters of Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine); they print his posters and t-shirts and other branding materials without getting anything from their leader. What drives them that NRM members don’t have? Their support is genuine, practical and daring; they are not parasites.
If they were the majority, NRM would have little chance. Intriguers are making NRM look weak and corrupt out of false alarms and this gives opposition the opportunity to make the masses feel that there is no hope yet I know that opposition bigwigs are more corrupt and mean. Public image matters a lot to win the confidence of the ordinary voter.
The NRM people making noise about money should instead use the same forums they use to gossip and malign others to declare their contributions to the party so that they go on record as stakeholders with bragging rights. Personally, I have used my meager resources to print posters and t-shirts for President Museveni and I am only saying this just to show a practical example. NRM has several millions of members and if everybody did something, we would be unstoppable.
That said, if I hear anybody raising unfounded allegations against the party National Chairman and President, I will take exceptional measures to expose them by name because they will have run mad and come close to poking the mighty party in the eye to kill its vision.
The author is a Presidential Assistant in Charge of Media Management