Clashes over money and T-shirts marred the NRM district consultative meeting for party delegates in Jinja on November 21.
After agreeing on the main proposal to amend the NRM constitution and give the chairman power to appoint the secretary general, members turned on each other over money.
“This is our day. I will also count this [money] as my benefit from NRM,” said one member who signed for the money meant for PWDs.
He tried to sneak out through the back door, only to be grabbed. The Observer understands that delegates were given between Shs 100,000 and Shs 200,000 as transport refund, depending on position in the party.
The meeting was attended by the Jinja NRM chairman, Moses Balyeku and his executive. Police officers who were deployed at the venue just looked on, themselves angry that they had been given neither food nor water.
“Since noon we are here and now it is 9pm. Do they think we are not human beings? Let them fight,” one of the policeman grumbled.
But the Jinja District Police Commander, Apollo Kateeba, who deployed the officers, said they were not deployed to eat.
“Because if they are complaining, who was supposed to give them food? Food for our officers is always at the station,” Kateeba told The Observer on Saturday.
By 1:30pm, when party members started arriving, police had taken over the venue, manning all entrances to the hall, allowing in only those who carried invitation letters.
War of words
Meanwhile, the war of words between the government Chief Whip, Justine Lumumba and Thomas Kategere, a national executive committee member of NRM from Kamuli, shows no signs of abating.
On November 20, two days after the duo had clashed bitterly at a party meeting in Kamuli (see, NRM bosses fight over Amama job), they met at Igar petrol station in Jinja and had another exchange.
Kategere told Lumumba that he would do anything to foil the planned amendment of the NRM constitution to allow the party chairman appoint the secretary general.
“She told me that if I am not careful I will leave my wife a widow and my kids, orphans but I told her I am ready to die. After all, when God gave me children I didn’t sign any contract with Him on how long I would stay with them,” Kategere told The Observer at the weekend.
Efforts to get a comment from Lumumba proved futile as she did not pick our phone calls. But an NRM supporter from Busoga, who requested for anonymity, told us that Kategere and Lumumba are clashing over money.
“Kategere went to Amama Mbabazi’s camp because he realised he would get big sums of money in allowances for being their camp spokesman. Lumumba will also continue defending the interests of her boss [Museveni] because it is where she gets a daily bread,” he said.
Source : The Observer