A two-month long investigation has revealed that an aspirant standing on the ruling party NRM ticket in the newly created Rukiga district, is using road funds to fund her campaign trail.
Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi, wife to a Kabale businessman, Andrew Muhwezi, is running for Woman MP Rukiga district against Maureen Kyarisiima, Charity Ainebyoona Tumubweine, Alice Basobokwe Atukunda Abigail Victoria,Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi and Pamella Kyomugisha Kihumuro.
The Electoral Commission in June suspended district woman Member of Parliament and district chairperson elections due to lack of funds for facilitation.
Money rules Rukiga
As we learnt, in March 2017, abnormal money started circulating in Rukiga county of Kabale district before Rukiga district was officially unveiled.
Rukiga District which was curved out of Kabale District, started operations on 1st July.
The people we talked to confessed that their colleagues were splashing money between Shs10,000 and Shs20,000 to anyone who promised to vote Kamusiime in the upcoming poll.
“They were giving Shs20,000 to anyone who cared to listen. This is unheard of in Kigezi region in both local and Presidential elections. For someone to distribute money like that indiscriminately?” said a voter who asked not to be named.
After a series of interactions with the electorate, we discovered the source of the money was Kamusiime, the Woman MP aspirant.
Kamusiime is a wife to a self-proclaimed businessman, Andrew Muhwezi (his businesses are not well known). At first, we thought that was normal for a supportive husband and successful entrepreneur to finance his wife’s political bid.
As such, Kamusiime would storm next week’s NRM nominations with a bang ahead of August 15 elections.
Kahinda enters the picture
Then on April 29, 2017, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Kahinda Otafiire, stormed Kabale claiming to distribute relief food to the people of Rukiga district.
Along with the food, Otafiire had a message for constituents: “Vote Kamusiime for Woman MP. These are my friends. I know them well. She will deliver. She is someone government has chosen for that position.”
The message was clear. How could a simple businessman like Muhwezi be friends with a war historical and minister?
When asked on the matter, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, denied the claims that government had already chosen certain individuals to take up positions in the district.
The Premier stated that the electorate would chose in an open election who takes what position.
Why then was Otafiire blindfolding the voters?
This suspicious behaviour stemmed off the sizzling investigation in which we uncovered a bogus payment that could lead the nation to lose billions of shillings, on one hand, and investors’ confidence, on the other.
The money in question [from which Kamusiime got funds to run her campaign] is over Shs46bn claimed by sons of Peter Aimat Lokeris, the current Minister of State for Minerals.
Andrew Muhwezi is a signatory to the company owned by the minister’s sons. Part of the money was set aside by Uganda National Roads Authority [UNRA] to construct the Moroto – Nakapiriripirit road.
The road that serves as a link between the two districts in Karamoja sub region, was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in November 2013.
The 93.3 kilometre road is being constructed by China Road and Bridge Construction Corporation which cost government Shs284 billion was expected to be ready at the beginning of 2016 but alas…
Next, we open the Nakapiriripirit-Moroto [Na-mo] secret files and expose how road funds for a Karamoja project ended up financing Kigezi election campaigns.