Cecilia Ogwal, the Member of Parliament for the Dokolo District Women’s Constituency put President Yoweri Museveni to shame on Thursday during the State of the Nation Address delivered at Serena Conference Centre in Kampala.
While the President was going on and on with achievements made by his government and efforts to curb corruption, Ogwal aka Iron Lady put it to him that he was part of the problem.
Also the Opposition Chief Whip, Ogwal pointed out that Museveni’s brown envelope donations to his supporters was worsening problems back in the different constituencies.
She was angered by his statement urging electorates not to expect hand outs from Members of Parliament.
She openly accused the President of ushering in a bad culture of carrying around sacks of money to give to people as donations everywhere he goes.
In his defence, the President said he carries envelopes because it has become part of the culture to appreciate people like dancers on functions.
“My sister Ogwal says I am the one bringing a bad culture by giving out envelopes, but I am president and you are not,” he was loud and clear.
“We shall have to sit down and discuss the issue of envelopes, our democracy is growing.”
Museveni said he had also tried to discourage the practice of donating to individuals but people line up before him expecting envelopes whenever he, for example, visits his ranch in Kisozi.
The president says he owns all the money in the country and has been seen handing over sacks of money to people on functions.
In his critical analysis, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Wafula Oguttu, says the President Museveni is going to have at his person over Shs 1,147bn to spend in the 2015 budget.
“In his direct control is the money for State House, 330bn shillings up from 249bn shillings, classified expenditure of 660bn shillings, (doubled from 330 in the FY 2014/15), 77bn shillings for the President’s Office and money for his personal gifts of 80.4bn shillings.”
“From the money available to him in the budget, the President’s expenditure will be on average, over 3bn shillings per day,” Oguttu writes.
Oguttu said Museveni has over 10 different Presidential fleets of vehicles to himself, wife and children and as he moves around the country, the President has pocket money/ donations of over 80bn shillings for dishing out in brown envelopes to supporters for votes.
“It is a question of misplaced priorities for government for government to allocate 660bn for classified expenditure, yet the agricultural sector which is the No.1 core sector in the National Development Plan for economic transformation is allocated a mere 482bn shillings (about 2% of the National Budget), yet 25.5 million Ugandans directly depend on this sector.”
“It is also saddening to note that the President has 80.4bn shillings for gifts; the Tourism industry, which brings in about 3 trillion per year is allocated a only 79bn shillings.”
He added: “What level of greed is this? Is this the state of the nation you are proud to tell Ugandans about?”