11 June 2018

Uganda: NRM's Self-Entitlement Will Ruin Uganda, Says Minister Ecweru

Photo: Stephen Otage/Daily Monitor
Muslim faithful conduct prayers for Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother at the Gadaffi Mosque in Old Kampala.

Relief and Disaster Preparedness state minister, Mr Musa Ecweru says the feeling of self-entitlement by some members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) risks plunging Uganda into chaos as the population grows desperate.

"There are many of us in NRM when you do a small thing, you think you should be treated as a special person. There are many of us in NRM who have accumulated unnecessary wealth because we think we are entitled," Mr Ecweru said while eulogising the slain Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga at Parliament on Sunday. "Abiriga has done what he has done but he remained humble... We as NRM need to humble ourselves."

Abiriga was killed by armed men in Kawanda, Wakiso District on Friday.

The self-entitlement, Mr Ecweru said, has seen a number of high ranking government officials plunder national resources with the primitive desire to accumulate wealth.

"We as NRM need to humble ourselves. If we keep this sense of entitlement we will ruin the country. And in putting Abiriga to rest, we need to emulate him. People can say anything, but he was what he was because he believed in what he believed in," he said.

Abiriga, who in the last two years defined himself as the symbol of NRM, Mr Mr Ecweru said, died a humble man who despite his immense contribution to the party did not take advantage to plunder national resources.

In April, similar sentiments were echoed by Mr Richard Todwong, the deputy NRM secretary general, who warned that the party was being ruined by greed, corruption and impunity.

"Corruption, nepotism and greed are things that are making Ugandans more disgusted at the leadership of our party in government," Todwong said provoking debate in which some party members openly said it was high time NRM fought greed and impunity.

In his tribute, Buhweju MP, Francis Mwijukye asked government to stop the "political comedy" wondering why security forces had let criminals, who they referred to as cowards and idiots, kill Ugandans.

"If we are going to continue being killed by 'idiots' and 'cowards', then we are not serious [people]. This political comedy must stop," he said amid laughter from MPs.

President Museveni one Saturday told mourners at the Abiriga's home in Kawanda that the people who had killed Abiriga were cowards and idiots.

Such statements, Mr Mwijukye said, were an indication of an unserious government, which instead of decisively dealing with the killers, had resorted to merely insulting them.

Unexplained killings continue to characterise Uganda with security agencies making it a routine to arrest tens of people before they are freed by courts over the State's failure to provide evidence pinning them.

Many of the killings have been linked to ADF, a rebel outfit in Kasese regions, even as government has not provided any evidence in the regard.

Security agencies recently announced the arrest of more than 90 people in relations to the murder of Susan Magara, which has made some Ugandans wonder how such a large number of people would plan a murder without being detected by the plethora of security agencies.

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