President Yoweri Museveni has defended his decision to give ruling party NRM Members of Parliament Shs5m each to buy suits and hold parties.
During a party caucus meeting at State House Entebbe recently, Museveni offered NRM and NRM leaning independent MPs Shs5m each [totalling to Shs1.7bn] to cater for their swearing in ceremonies.
They would use the money to also ferry supporters from the countryside and hold parties after the three-day ceremony.
“Those saying that I gave my people Shs5m…I must try to rescue my people,” Museveni said while addressing Parliament on Thursday.
The president, however, said such an action was not a reason for one to be corrupt.
“When I gave the MPs that money, it was because I know the pressures they are having,” he said.
“That is not corruption. That is helping them to cope with problems of the society,” he quickly pointed out after murmurs broke out in the audience.
He urged the MPs to always swear in cheaply, it would be better for their welfare.
“If you could swear in more cheaply, your welfare would be catered for. I’m worried about these big parties. If you could go home and cut your banana bunches and eat…”
Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze made a reference to the lavish Kololo ceremovies that president usually holds.
Museveni in response said he always fundraises the money for such parties.
“This time I didn’t see my cows. Nambooze is always missing the point, Kololo is a national celebration.”
Museveni said even opposition political parties get money from government.
He promised to go with figures the next time he returns to parliament.
“But money, money, money will cause…that is a subject for another day.”