Cash handouts from President Museveni are softening the opposition’s defiance against his ruling NRM government and eroding the loyalty of individual members to their parties, sources have told us.
According to insiders, President Museveni is in the habit of quietly reaching out to several opposition politicians in dire financial stress. This time round, he has been in the opposition FDC’s backyard.
Some FDC MPs and party leaders at Najjanankumbi, the party’s head office, have reportedly received cash. One FDC MP reportedly asked the president last year for Shs 140m to complete his house in a Kampala suburb while some MPs on top of cash have received heads of cattle from the head of state.
Interviewed for a comment yesterday, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, the opposition chief whip, said President Museveni’s cash gifts to opposition politicians have been discussed in the shadow cabinet many times.
“We want people who are opposition to be opposition but many of them appear to be both [opposition and NRM] which has affected us in assigning them to committees. We have people who appear to be opposition yet they are more NRM than the NRM MPs,” Ssemujju said.
Anita Among, the Bukedea Woman MP and former FDC deputy treasurer, is said to be the go-between. Among, the deputy chair of the opposition-led committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in parliament, has been very instrumental in softening hardline opposition politicians.
In the past, she delivered Kasese MPs to Museveni on December 28, 2016 at his Kisozi ranch in Gomba district. Museveni had tried and failed to get all the nine FDC MPs from Kasese to discuss a peaceful resolution of the November 2016 Kasese clashes, in which up to 100 people died, including palace guards, leading to the arrest of the Omusinga (king) of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere.