The ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Sunday, donated Shs 380 million to the Coronavirus National task force in support of the government’s efforts to mitigate the socio-economic impact caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda received the money from NRM national vice chairman, Al-HajjMoses Kigongo who was in the company of the party’s secretary-general Justine Kasule Lumumba.
While the donation could have been well-intentioned, and probably make political capital out of it, the NRM leaders were instead mocked by many Ugandans on social media. Many questioned the source of the money.
Political activist, Godber Tumushabe expressed gratitude towards NRM donation and questioned if Rugunda had misread the donation in millions not billions.
“But we want more of our cash. Remember they spend billions at the Namboole and Kololo fete in good times. Now we are in hard times and only Shs380m. Or Ruhakana read the figure wrongly.”
Some likened the NRM donation to a scenario where one moves money from their shirt pocket and put it in a wallet, an insinuation that the party had donated public funds.
“Tale of using the left hand to receive from the right hand of the same man or rather, giving by the right hand and take it back later by the left one. Tubalaba ssebo [we are watching,” a one Silva Kaz posted.
A one Munywanisa tweeted questioning the authenticity of the amount donated stating, “It must have been Shs 400 million but the Shs 20 million facilitated the day’s “Cheque presentation allowances.”
The same sentiments were shared by Rogers Mutaka who wrote, “Perhaps it was Shs400m and Shs20m went into operations expense, printing dummy cheque press, teas and coffees, fuel, decorations, etc.. .Maybe…”
Another Twitter user by names Tinda wrote, “Noted with thanks Ruhakana, but which business does NRM operate to come up with such money? Hope from Parliament member contributions & not from the national treasury?”
Others felt that Shs 380 million was too small a donation coming from a party that has been in charge of the country for 34 years. Nyenje Huzaifah wrote, “Kwezo sente zemulina nemuwaayo obwo bwokka! Lwaki temuwezezza at least akawuumbi.” (Of all the money you have, how can you donate only that? Why didn’t you at least top it up to make Shs 1 billion).
For Evaris Asiimwe, the media ought to mention in the news reports that the donation was by the taxpayer through the NRM.
Richard Mikisa described the donation as a case of NRM giving back a tiny portion of what rightly belongs to the people of Uganda.
“You don’t get to chest thump and self-congratulate for giving handouts to a vulnerable population that you created and impoverished,” Mikisa stated.