President Yoweri Museveni has flagged off 68,000 bicycles to aid the mobilization activities by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in villages across the country.
Museveni said that the bicycles were procured from contributions by party members and added that they are also making arrangements to procure motorcycles for the NRM sub-county chairpersons and later on vehicles for the NRM district chairpersons.
He said that with these in place, mobilization for the party should be easy since leaders at the village level will just cycle or walk to houses and talk to people. The yellow bicycles were flagged off from the NRM party headquarters in Kampala.
The development comes after the delayed procurement and distribution of bicycles and motorcycles for all Local Council I and Local Council III chairpersons respectively. Although the government program aimed at easing transport and conduct of business, was envisaged to start in 2019, Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi said that the funds were budgeted for in this financial year 2020/2021.
Earlier on, the President observed a need for better funding of party activities saying that as the leadership of the NRM, they have not agreed to the idea of members paying subscription fees.
“For us, we have never agreed that membership should be tied to a subscription,” Museveni said, before adding that the NRM party is meant for the ordinary people who may not have money. He however said that there are some working members of the party who make contributions every month including him who contributes 20 percent of his monthly salary.
“That’s about 700,000 Shillings. You will later be told how many other NRM leaders contribute monthly. But they are not many, it’s mainly the Members of Parliament. At one time we were talking of the district chairpersons but I don’t think it has been implemented,” Museveni added.
He tasked the NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba to come up with a report on the number of members making monthly contributions from their salaries to support the party activities on top of the government contribution for all political parties.
Besides the individual contributions, Museveni said that the party’s other source of income has been fundraising, citing a drive which raised USD 1.9 million which was used to pay off an Indian who owned the building that houses the party headquarters on Plot 10 Kyaddondo road.
He said that during his address of the party’s National Conference and the National Executive Committee (NEC), he will announce fresh plans for the party headquarters as well as the other party properties which they intend to develop.