Ever since the National Unity Platform (NUP) kicked off the nomination exercise for flag bearers last month, there have been allegations of bribery and corruption in the party electoral process.
On several occasions, the NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has accused President Yoweri Museveni of breeding corruption in Uganda little did he know that at one time, the vice will become the order of the day among his circles.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Bobi Wine admitted that there are some people within the NUP rank who had put the party flag on the market.
“We have had complaints and reports of extortion and I want to reassert this that the National Unity Platform flag is not for sale. We condemn corruption, we detest corruption, we fight corruption in the struggle just like the same way we are going to fight corruption when we take power,” Kyagulanyi said.
According to NUP insiders, flag bearers are not chosen through an internal election like most political parties are doing but the party leadership leans more on family ties, money and friendship to handpick flag bearers.
The party insiders also revealed that friends and family of Bobi Wine or his powerful elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu or those with money bags can easily get or buy NUP’s much-coveted flag.
They further say money easily attracts support from the party’s top men for any bid for the NUP flag. In Lubaga South constituency where Aloysius Mukasa is competing for the NUP parliamentary flag with Lubega Mukaaku – the more moneyed Mukasa seems to curry lots of favour with the top party leadership.
“He has brought money to boost the party and our principal knows about it… So, when it comes to NUP issues, they will always favor him. There are many such guys who have money, which is creating confusion in NUP. As we talk now, NUP needs money and these are the guys who have it but the party has no capacity to scrutinize and investigate its source,” one party official told the Observer newspaper during an interview.
In a phone interview with the local newspaper, Fred Nyanzi, NUP’s secretary for mobilization, denied that he accepts money from aspirants in exchange for the party flag.
“It’s not true that anyone who speaks to me gets the card, that’s very wrong. As one of the elders in the party and with a lot of experience, I have got a duty of harmonizing aspirants before they go in that mayhem of elections,” Nyanzi said.
He challenged the media to bring any evidence to show he is supporting Mukasa to get the NUP ticket in Lubaga South.
“Have you ever heard me say this is my candidate? Those are typical rumors which we can’t base on. The problem with journalists is that you are looking for problems all the time; try to see the positive things too… My objective is to reduce friction from within so that we get the election without conflicts,” Nyanzi said.
Last week, information this website received indicated that Bobi Wine had moved to trim the wings of the entire NUP Kampala Central Vetting Committee, nullified all their past decisions and declared all positions vacant.
“Among people seen as targeted by Bobi is his brother Nyanzi, JM Sebuufu, Ssemugooma, Panadol, Kyazike, Kalibbala and Bwambale,” said a source who preferred anonymity.
He did that against time as the Electoral Commission’s nomination window draws near. However, Bobi Wine advisers have told him to put his feet down and stop the growing impunity, bribery and corruption.
Reports indicate that to stand for MP on NUP ticket in urban centres where Bobi Wine is seen as popular, the aspirant parts with sh100 million. District chairmen and Mayors pay Sh50 million and sh25 million respectively. Councillors part with Sh10 million and sh5 million.
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