President Yoweri Museveni supporters from the diaspora are accusing of the ruling party of conning them over Shs200m.
The team comprising of about 50 staunch supporters with the best interests of the party at heart, travelled from all over the world to campaign for Museveni ahead of February 18 elections.
The NRM diaspora chapter team entered the country in December 2015 and even celebrated the Christmas festivities with their families.
On December 16, 2015, the team met Abbey Walusimbi, the Chairman NRM Diaspora League Kampala office.
He told them to make a budget that would aid them canvass votes for the president.
“We made a budget of Shs300m. It was then handed over to the NRM secretariat and party chairman for approval,” a top official from the NRM diaspora chapter narrated.
Walusimbi later told them the party had no money and had not released funds yet.
“He told us to use our own money. After the party had released funds, he would refund our money,” the official explained.
The team was given a responsibility of branding rally venues, putting up the president’s posters, mobilizing people, facilitating boda boda motorcyclists and skaters as well as hiring vehicles and public address systems.
They have been travelling with the president everywhere he goes since December 2015.
“We used our money to brand the vehicles, hire all the things needed at rallies.”
What went wrong?
Apparently, their budget was given to Dr Hassan Galiwango, the administrator of the secretariat who would work hand in hand with ICT state minister, Thembo Nyombi, a senior NRM mobiliser.
Museveni directed Nyombi to coordinate the team and see that its facilitated to do the assigned work.
By the end of January, the team had not received any payment.
A survey came out indicating that Museveni had spent Shs27 billion on his 2016 campaigns in two months.
In the 16 districts reviewed, Museveni spent Shs4.8b in November and Shs22.2b in December, 2015.
Basing on this information, the team contacted Walusimbi wondering where the party was getting money to spend on campaigns yet he told them there were not funds.
“Walusimbi started dodging us. We contacted him on Sunday and he claimed his kid was sick and was going abroad the next day.”
Walusimbi has a family in California in the United States.
While he claimed to be leaving on Monday, the NRM cadre was actually at Entebbe airport on Sunday boarding.
“We suspect that he could have been given the money but sneaked out of the country with it.”
They then turned attention to minister Nyombi who has been coordinating them together with Walusimbi.
On Tuesday this week, Nyombi met the team at Kati Kati restaurant in Lugogo.
“He told us point blank that there was no money. He didn’t give a sensible explanation.”
The disgruntled team is now divided into three groups; one in eastern, another in western and another in central.
While they remain stranded, Walusimbi has even reportedly switched off all his phones and is now unreachable.