President Yoweri Museveni has advised politicians against joining elective leadership as a scheme for wealth accumulation.
“Politics is working for the people, to help them get out of poverty and solve their problems. It should not be about you the contestant escaping from poverty yourself,” he said.
The president, who made the remarks while visiting Mbarara and Sembabule districts, where he met NRM parliamentary aspirants and other officials from the two districts plus Isingiro, Kiruhura and Kazo – said that people were quitting jobs to join parliament because of high pay.
“Now, people want to leave their jobs and go to Parliament to earn high salaries. And yet this should not be the motivation to seek parliamentary seats, it should be about serving their people,” he said.
The opportunities that come with being a legislator in Uganda have seen contenders launch into what one would describe as a do-whatever-it-takes-to-win mode. And this has engendered violence and all sorts of primitive behavior during election periods.
The president urged those contesting on the NRM ticket, where he is chairman, to take time and study the NRM ideology.
“It is important for those seeking leadership positions in the NRM to appreciate our ideology,” he said, adding: “People are fighting hard to go to Parliament because MPs unilaterally increased their salaries. They earn more than our scientists and other critical professionals. I tried to discourage them but they insisted.”
Meanwhile, the president reiterated that penalties will be meted out to those who orchestrated violence during primaries.
“For those who were violent in the party primaries, including those who masterminded it, we shall arrest and prosecute them,” he said. “I have spoken to families of those whose loved ones were killed in these incidents, we shall see how to support them.”
In districts where there is contention, verification of results is under way. In Kiruhura, for example, we have verified results from 151 villages and we are left with 60 other villages. We shall make our independent conclusions.— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) September 11, 2020
He also cautioned top officials in the NRM against using their influence to help their relatives win elections.
“However, I will table in the party CEC the issue of high-ranking party officials backing their relatives to fight other NRM contenders,” he said. “That's not leadership. You should not get involved in supporting your relative and disadvantaging other contenders.”