NRM to spend Sh60 billion on party flagbearers

✳ SH40million each – MPs (353)
✳ SH50m Woman MPs (156)
✳ SH80m SIGs (4)
✳ SH80m Other SIGs (16)
✳ SH60m City Mayors (10)
✳ SH50m LC 5 (146)
✳ SH3m Refund NF (529)

The ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM is scheduled to spend close to Shillings 60 billion to bolster support for its candidates across the country. An internal memo issued by the NRM secretary-general, Justine Kasule Lumumba indicates that the money is meant to facilitate their candidates to procure campaign materials.

“This contribution from the party is strictly meant to facilitate procurement of campaign logistics and materials to support your respective campaign efforts, including procurement of posters, transport, airtime, water and refreshments for task forces and campaign agents,” the memo reads in part. According to the memo, each constituency candidate is entitled to the facilitation of Shillings 40 million.

Records from the Electoral Commission show that there are 353 constituencies. Save for a few constituencies like Mawogola North where the party did not field a candidate due to disagreements over the winner of the primaries, the party has candidates in the remaining constituencies nationwide.

This means that the party will spend Shillings 14.12 billion to facilitate its candidates. The party has allocated Shillings 50 million to each woman parliamentary candidate. There are 146 districts and 10 cities which also have a woman MP.

This means the party will spend Shillings 7.8 billion on its women parliamentary candidates nationwide. According to the memo, the party national Special Interest Group parliamentary candidates will pocket Shillings 80 million. There are four of candidates in this category who will receive Shillings 320 million altogether.

The rest of the 16 Special Interest Group parliamentary candidates who represent the country’s four regions will bag Shillings 60 million each. This translates to Shillings 840 million for the 16 NRM party candidates. The memo also notes that the party will reimburse the Shillings 3 million nomination fees paid by each candidate to the Electoral Commission.

This will cost the party Shillings 1.587 billion for the 529 candidates. For the 10 city mayoral candidates, the memo said each will receive Shillings 60 million which translates to Shillings 600 million. On the other hand, each of the 146 candidates for the LC V chairperson’s seat will receive Shillings 50 million. This translates to Shillings 7.3 billion. For each of the candidates for the directly elected councillor to the district or city, the party has earmarked Shillings 1 million.

According to Electoral Commission figures, there are 2,184 sub-counties in the country. This means that NRM will spend Shillings 2.184 billion on this category of candidates. For the woman councillors at the division and city levels, the party will pay Shillings 1.5 million for each candidate. For the 2,184 sub-counties, the party will part with Shillings 3.276 billion. For the 41 municipal or city division chairpersons, the party will pay each candidate Shillings 20 million which translates to Shillings 820 million.

The memo also notes that each councillor at the division will receive Shillings 500,000, which brings it to Shillings 2.184 billion. For the 2,184 sub-county chairperson candidate, the party will pay each Shillings 1 million meaning that they will spend Shillings 2.184 billion. For councillors at the sub-county level, Shillings 100,000 has been aside for each of the candidates.

Ordinarily, each parish is represented by two councillors at the sub-county level. According to the Electoral Commission figures, there are currently 10,595 parishes. This brings to Shillings 2.119billion, the money the party intends to spend on sub county councilors.

The decision by the party to dish out money to candidates reignites the old debate on the source of its funding.  NRM has been routinely under criticism from the opposition for using state resources for partisan work. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip in parliament who is also defending his position as the Kira Municipality Member of Parliament says there is a benefit of being an NRM candidate.

“Standing on an opposition ticket is war but for NRM, there is a lot of benefits. So I actually get surprised when the NRM only gets 12 unopposed MPs,” Ssemujju said.

But speaking to URN, Roger Mulindwa, the spokesperson of the NRM secretariat said that they have known and verifiable sources of incomes.

“We have five sources of money, one, every month our Members of Parliament contribute to the party, two, we charge nomination fees during our party primaries, three, we do fundraising, four, we get money from the government as a party based on numerical strength in parliament, and five we get money from well-wishers,” Mulindwa said.

He, however, didn’t want to be drawn in the debate of how much each MP pays as a monthly contribution to the party.


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