Four — time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has criticised President Museveni for going around the country dishing out money to people, saying he has turned himself into Father Christmas.
Dr Besigye said the President gives money to the wrong people, leaving those in need to roll in poverty.
“The country is wallowing in humiliating poverty but a few people are stinking rich and do not know what to do with the money. The person in charge of the country is now a giver, walks around giving those that he wants to give.
“He is like Father Christmas, he stops around giving people on the roadside, the children, yet we have 40 per cent of children who are malnourished in the country. They cannot be saved by handouts, they must be saved by equal distribution of resources and opportunities,” Dr Besigye said.
Father Christmas is a legendary figure, who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve.
He made the remarks while addressing Rubaga Division Imam Association yesterday at Masqid Bilal in Nalukolongo, Kampala.
On Monday, President Museveni named sector-specific associations that are set to get funding.
The 16 associations, according to a statement sent by State House, are boda bodas, women entrepreneurs, carpenters, salon operators, taxi operators and restaurant associations. Others are welders, market vendors, youth leaders, PWDs, produce dealers, mechanics, tailors, media operators, fishermen and the performing arts associations.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said the directorate for production and community development of Kampala Capital City Authority that should be in charge of such programmes, has not been funded to accredit organisations.
“Handouts are for political reasons. The directorate for production, community development is supposed to handle these programmes and there must be funds provided by the central government. The challenge is that fund is not given because the funds were diverted elsewhere. Now Mr Museveni handles it himself. It comes from his pocket as he moves around the city, which is wrong and absurd,” Mr Lukwago said.
But Mr Don Wanyama, the senior press secretary to President Museveni, referred to Dr Besigye and Mr Lukwago as idle people who should not direct the President on how to do his job.
“May be he does not trust us as an institution as KCCA, but there must be a structured system of handling those funds those organisations which are supposed to handle thosefunds must be properly accredited and we have a team of experts who are qualified to deal with that. They were recruited for that particular purpose. We have a whole directorate fully staffed with the tools to accredit BUT what they lack is the funds,” he added.
Currently the directorate is running with a budget of Shs3billion yet it needs about Shs50 billion to genuinely develop the capital city
Mr Don Wanyama Senior Press Secretary to H.E. President Museveni referred to Dr Besigye and Mr Lukwago as idle people who should not direct the president on how to do his job.
“Those two are idle and should find something to do. Let them wait and when they become president they do the way they want to do,”