“The spirit of sacrifice has been killed,” the disappointed NRM chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, yesterday told the Central Executive Committee meeting at State House Entebbe.
“Any little assignment for the Party must be followed by “facilitation” (meaning money). Where does this money come from? Even a Government, let alone a Party, cannot pay 15 million people. Who was paying us when we were fighting with guns?” Museveni sounded frustrated.
“The question is being asked: “nfunyemu ki nze ngomuntu?” “What have I benefitted as an individual?” “What have I gained as a person by working for the Party for a long time?” the president quoted what NRM members usually say while “amassing wealth for their personal gains”.
Museveni said they [NRM members] even say, “after all, even the opposition members are enjoying peace, their children are going to UPE schools, etc. etc.”
He said those were the benefits that everybody was getting including those who don’t support the Party [NRM].
“The mistake here is that if you do not support a capable Party, those benefits and improvements may not be there for everybody ─ yourself included. Will that be good for you?”
Quoting Book of Mathew Chap: 13:13-15: “Though seeing they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand”, Museveni said if opposition members do not see the benefits or do not appreciate the improvements, that is a weakness on their part.
He said while there is no immediate and direct personal monetary benefit, indirectly there are alot of benefits ─ health, discipline etc.
“Even the money I save, I do not squander money on alcohol, I have the health to work for my benefit as an individual and for the society as a whole.”
“Many people in my clan came to appreciate my unswerving commitment to discipline and they showered me with cattle gifts, only that I do not accept them,” the president praised himself for being “incorruptible”.
“Why should I sacrifice while others are enjoying?” cynicism, Museveni continued, comes from leaders who have come into positions with a careerist mentality, to be in leadership so as to gain individually, that have triggered this confusion among the people.
“The leaders should be examples. If you, as a leader, look for personal benefits, everybody looks for personal benefits. In other words, a bad habit multiplies itself. If the leaders are selfish, then everybody becomes selfish. If the leaders are patriotic, everybody will be patriotic.”
Messy primaries due to selfishness
Museveni was clear; he said the mess in the concluded NRM primaries was triggered by selfishness.
“The leaders should not involve themselves in taking sides among our followers. You have not heard me campaigning for anybody in our structures ─ either quietly or publically. Anybody that NRM members send, I will work with them,” the president gave himself a second self-praise for being “neutral”.
“If you see the tensions and the bad blood generated by the recent primaries, you notice that the main problem is that, apart from selfishness, some of the NRM Members do not say the truth.”
“If you stuck to the truth, things would be simplified and easily corrected. There are two hundred voters in this village, why do you say they are 300? That is where the problem starts from. That is what has helped me all this time. Sticking to the truth!” Museveni insisted.
As for the misbehaving in the Primaries, Museveni said the problem was not using the law.
“It is illegal to inflate voters; if caught you will go to jail for a period not exceeding 5 years. It is criminal to assault another person, causing actual bodily harm; if you do so, you will go to jail for 5 years. It is criminal to be sectarian, if you do so, you will go to jail for a period not more than 5 years. It is criminal to malign somebody. The sanction for this is imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.”
Army and police beating people
Museveni said soldiers and policemen have no right to beat up people not even shouting or barking at them.
“I have heard of incidents of Army or Police beating wanainchi. This is not acceptable to the NRM.”
He warned the commanders not to tolerate this.
“Even okubogolera (barking) at wanainchi is not acceptable.”