Uganda: Inside Museveni's Meeting With Buganda, North MPs

President Museveni has pledged to work with newly-elected National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislators from the central region to deliver services to their electorates.

This was during a three-hour meeting with the legislators led by Mubende Municipality MP-elect Bashir Sempa, and Ms Shartsi Musherure, the Mawogola North MP-elect, last Saturday.

Sources, who attended the meeting but preferred anonymity to speak freely, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that the legislators put forward their constituency demands.

A key issue raised by the legislators was the land wrangles that are said to have played a significant role in the poor performance of NRM in Buganda.

"We explained to the President the need to start profiling the genesis of the land wrangles and evictions in this country to enable us find solutions," Mr Sempa said.

The President reportedly promised to provide a lawyer to specifically handle land wrangles and all the associated legal processes.

He also promised to discipline government officials who indulge in activities that fuel widespread land wrangles and land evictions within Buganda.

The lawmakers also reportedly appealed to the President to increase the budget allocated to districts and to extend better services to their voters such as the construction of better roads and hospitals.

"We asked the President to increase the budget allocations to the districts and to construct better roads," a source said.

The source addedthat this would build the party trust and win back its support away from the Opposition.

Ms Musherure, in a telephone interview with this newspaper, said the meeting was heavily premised on how to bolster the NRM programmes within its manifesto in Museveni's new term which starts next month after he takes oath.

"We mainly talked about how to implement the plans in the manifesto. We appreciated him for the support throughout the campaigns," Ms Musherure said.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the ongoing retreat at the National Leadership Institute at Kyankwanzi.

On Tuesday evening, President Museveni met MPs from greater northern Uganda led by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Jacob Oulanyah.

Mr Oulanyah, the leader of the Greater North Parliamentary Forum, asked the President to reconsider the ban on members' benchmarking trips abroad.

In his address to MPs-elect last week, the President vowed to fight MPs incessant foreign trips.

Sources at Kyankwanzi said Mr Oulanyah, who is also the Omoro County MP, argued that some trips are beneficial to the country, saying there is need for members, especially new MPs, to learn the best practices from the Commonwealth and other parliaments around the world.

The President promised to look into the matter.

Mr Oulanyah later held private meetings with members, details of which were not disclosed even as sources talked about underground campaign for his bid for Speaker of Parliament seat.

The President is expected to meet NRM-leaning MPs, who had initially contested as independents after they were defeated in the party primaries, on a yet to be announced date.

Race for speaker, deputy

The NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) is expected to convene before May 20 to pick a flag bearer in the race for Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is battling her deputy Jacob Oulanyah for the Speaker seat.

While 10 candidates are vying for the deputy Speaker seat, although some sources say the front-runners are Thomas Tayeebwa (Ruhinda North) and Anita Among (Bukedea Woman).

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