The police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has started investigating the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party officials over an alleged theft of money meant to facilitate its candidates who stood for the just concluded special interest group’s elections.
Sources in police said NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba wrote to the Force and called for an investigation against the party district secretaries who allegedly pocketed the money that was supposed to facilitate its flag bearers in the youth, the elderly and People with Disabilities (PWDs) positions.
Mr Emmanuel Dombo, the director for communication in the party, told journalists at the weekend that they had provided Shs5,000 as facilitation to every party flag bearer who participated in the special interest groups (SIGs) elections held at village level.
The detectives have been sent to different districts with more focus on Buganda and Busoga sub-regions. They will interrogate NRM officials suspected to have embezzled the money.
The spokesperson of the CID, Mr Charles Twiine, could neither confirm nor deny the commencement of the investigations at the NRM headquarters.
“It is true NRM wrote to us about the issue. However, I haven’t been briefed by the detectives about their course of action,” Mr Twiine said yesterday.
It is alleged that the money that was sent to leaders in Buganda Sub-region wasn’t delivered to the beneficiaries.
The NRM won the youth, elderly and PWDs elections at the village level by 79 per cent followed by the independents while National Unity Platform led by presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine came third.
Some NRM beneficiaries, especially those that lost to the Opposition, later complained to the NRM Secretary General, who also instituted an investigation that showed mismatch in the amount released from the headquarters and the actual amount delivered.
The NRM losers attributed their loss to lack of funds to mobilise their supporters.
Police sources said they are investigating whether there was connivance between the NRM officers at the district level and senior officers at the party headquarters.
Yesterday, Mr Dombo confirmed that they have written to the police for an investigation.
“We got complaints from our flag bearers that they didn’t receive the funds. We wrote to the police to help us with the investigations. Some of the officials are now refunding the money through Resident District Commissioners and the NRM leaders,” he said.
Mr Dombo said Buganda Sub-region was the most affected followed by Busoga Sub-region.
However, he declined to state the amount of money that they suspect to have been stolen. Mr Dombo further said the returned funds will be handed over to the party headquarters.
NRM bags Shs4b from nomination
The ruling NRM party recently bagged Shs4 billion from nomination forms for various party posts, including that of party chairperson and presidential candidate for the 2021 General Election.
Data obtained from the party headquarters indicated that at least 2,051 aspirants picked the nomination forms. A total of 1,112 directly elected MPs had picked the forms with each aspirant forking out Shs2m, translating into more than Shs2.4b. Another 584 aspirants picked the forms for District Woman MP seats, handing in Shs1.1b.
Those who showed interest in running for district chairpersons were 312, with each aspirant surrendering Shs1m, raising Shs321m.
The Special Interest Groups saw 46 aspirants pick nomination forms hence paying Shs92m.