3 NRM cadre leaders remanded for collecting money from members to meet Museveni
The Grade I Magistrate’s Court in Lira City in northern Uganda has remanded to prison three leaders of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Cadres Association accused of collecting money from people purportedly to facilitate a meeting with President Museveni.
The association’s executive coordinator Bazil Odyek, 54; the association’s secretary Vicky Atim, 30, and the treasurer Nelson Ocen, 56, allegedly collected more than Shs4.4 million from their members. The said money was to facilitate the contributors to meet the head of state, who doubles as the NRM national chairman.
However, after a tip off by concerned citizens, they were arrested by the police on Monday before they appeared in court on Friday and charged with theft.
The accused pleaded not guilty of the charges preferred against them and were remanded to Lira Central Prisons until January 12 when the case will come up for hearing.
Prosecution states that between the month of June and November 2021, the accused persons collected Shs4, 4, 51, 000 from people in the name of taking them to meet President Museveni. They were to meet at State House for “a presidential handshake.”
The state prosecutor Julius Peter Ogwang told court that each of the victims paid Shs160,000 for transport to State House and additional Shs 60,00 for NRM yellow collar T-shirts.
“They were told that during their meeting with the President, he would reward each of them with 40 iron sheets and Shs5 million to support them for the great work they did in the presidential elections after they canvassed for support for the NRM party candidates in the Lango Sub-region,” Mr Ogwang said.
However, upon their arrival in Kampala, the victims were left stranded because there was reportedly no arrangement by the NRM party for them to meet their chairman (Mr Museveni).
Atim, however, pleaded to court to grant her bail since she is a breastfeeding mother.
“I am six months pregnant and a breastfeeding mother. Ever since I was arrested on Monday, my baby has been crying with no one to take care of her. I’m also battling with kidney problems from both sides and have not been able to treat myself,” she said.
However, the state prosecutor objected to her bail application on grounds that one of her sureties was not substantial.