New Vision (Kampala)

3 August 2012

Uganda: Corruption Worse in Opposition Than in Govt - Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the Member of Parliament for Kampala Central Muhammed Nsereko is free to join the opposition if he so wishes.

Museveni said the NRM fought for freedom and that is why nobody has died because of opposing government.

"The NRM government fought for freedom that is why nobody has died from opposing government and that is why there is peace in the whole country. So many FDCs have crossed to NRM including Onzima from Maracha, Rebbeca Otengo of Lango, Agnes Akiror of Ngora and Caroline Okao of Aleptong," he said adding that, "If Nsereko wants to change sides he is free to do so but he will be disciplined. There are some members of parliament who lost their seats because of that although it happened towards the end of the Kisanja. People can change sides but they must follow the law, lose their seat in parliament and go for by-elections. When we were fighting the bush war some people would run away but we would recruit more."

Muuseveni was reacting to questions from radio journalist Thembo Mathias of Messiah Radio and Masereka Bernard of Guide Radio in Kasese during a prerecorded interview at State House in Entebbe, in which they wondered why an NRM member can come to the district to campaign for an opposition candidate. MP Nsereko has claimed he would travel to Kasese, an NRM stronghold to de campaign his party candidate.

On the issue of Obusinga, Museveni said it was the NRM government that championed the return of Kingdoms to Uganda, adding that the issue in Kasese was delayed because there were local differences among the people of Kasese.

"I heard Besigye telling lies that he is the one who returned Obusiga. Besigye was a student here in the 70s when we were fighting Idi Amin, why didn't he bring the Obusiga that time or restore the Kabaka of Buganda or the other kings?. Kingdoms in Uganda were bought by NRM, nobody else. Besigye was a junior member in NRM. He joined in 1982 and he left to form FDC. He was not there when NRM started and he left," he said.

On the issue of corruption, the Museveni said while there may be some corruption among NRM members, the problem is widely spread and is worse in the FDC.

"There is a lot of corruption in FDC as well. Bihande is or should be out of parliament by now and we should be having another by election in Busongora East. Stealing small money meant for the constituency, what would happen if he is a minister," he said. The Anti-Corruption Court recently convicted Bukonzo East MP Yokasi Bihande Bwambale of embezzlement of the CDF worth shs20m.

"We have provided institutions like the police and IGG etc institutions that follow up those who steal Money. The IGGs office was not there before it was started by the NRM government," he said.

Museveni said there is no way an opposition Member of Parliament working for the people because there is nothing they can do.

"All the big projects are done by government whether there is an opposition or not. MPs can help with smaller things which the National Planning System may not address quickly including following up on issues like compensation, monitoring programmes etc but former MP Winnie Kiiza has never raised them because she is not in NRM. Adding that members of parliament are supposed to follow up projects and remind government on various issues.

"Kiiza has never invited me to Kasese instead she invites Besigye. Besigye has no control of the money of Uganda, so what value is she to Kasese. But Muhindo will be a member of this family and we shall be able to assist her and she will be able to seek our advise," he said.

He emphasised various projects in the district including the rehabilitation of Hima Cement, improved road infrastructure, the upcoming Kasese Central market worth 12bn shillings and the upgrading of Kasese Airfiled that is due to be implemented. He also said government was considering implementing a cotton stabilisation fund to control cotton prices and that the Drug monitoring unit of State House is going around the country to address drug thefts.

He urged the people to elect NRM flag bearer Rehema Muhindo a former district councillor

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