National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairpersons in Mityana district have disparaged and expressed disappointment over President Yoweri Museveni's offer of bicycles.
A total of 612 bicycles were sent to Mityana for distribution to 612 village chairpersons in the district. The district party chairperson Kintu John handed them over to parliamentary NRM flag bearers who will, in turn, deliver them to sub-county NRM chairpersons for handover to the direct beneficiaries.
However, a section of local leaders contends that it is unfair for the secretariat to distribute bicycles to village chairpersons yet they carry the greatest burden to mobilize and keep the NRM party in power.
Onesm Bbaale, the NRM chairperson for Katiko B ward in Mityana municipality, says that if Museveni is certain that he has maintained the top chair due to the power of the votes cast by NRM supporters, then the LC 1 chairpersons should be receiving much more than a bicycle given the time the party has remained in leadership. Bbaale said even the Shs 10,000 monthly allowance given to LC chairpersons is not enough for the kind of work that they do.
He thinks that instead of government continuing to award medals to soldiers who fought in the bush war which ended decades ago, Museveni should be considering the LC 1 chairpersons upon which his strength to enjoy leading Uganda is currently based on.
Wilson Mujwiga the party chairperson for Bujumbula village also in Mityana municipality says that whereas the village chairpersons are benefiting and receiving "outdated" bicycles, the villagers who are the direct voters "don’t benefit in any way" for supporting Museveni and his NRM party.
Mujwiga wants Museveni to focus on the people who cast their votes for him to retain him in power than looking at the leaders at higher levels.
To Lawrence Kubugu the village chairperson for Busundo A village also in Mityana municipality, many elderly chairpersons do not have the energy to ride on bicycles. He believes that given the trust they command among the villagers; they should be given motorcycles rather than bicycles.
He also expressed discomfort over party mobilizers who opt to steal the endowments sent to village party mobilizers and the voters. Meanwhile, Kintu said he heard the chairperson's pleas and promised to deliver their message to the secretariat. He, however, warned the beneficiaries against selling the bicycles or changing their colour from yellow to avoid being subjected to legal process.
ICT Minister and the district Woman MP Judith Nabakooba who has also secured the party ticket to defend her seat in parliament said that government is aware that what the LC1 chairpersons are getting is not enough, but urged them to utilize the opportunity of operation wealth creation to benefit from NRM.
Yesterday, Museveni flagged off the distribution of motorcycles to parish chairpersons of the ruling NRM party across the country to help in the mobilisation ahead of next year's general elections.