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Saleh paid me to defect - FDC man

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Feb 14, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    The opposition FDC party yesterday accused Gen. Salim Saleh of offering a billion shillings to one of its senior officials to induce him to defect to the ruling National Resistance Movement party.

    The allegations levelled against Gen. Saleh follow last month’s claims by FDC’s Francis Atugonza, who is mayor of Hoima Municipality, that he’s been offered Shs1.5 billion by President Museveni’s son-in-law, Odrek Rwabwogo, to defect to NRM.

    The new allegations were made by Mubarak Kirunda, the chairman LC3 Jinja Central Division, FDC vice chairman for Busoga region, and head of the Inter-Party Cooperation campaign taskforce in Jinja.

    Mr Kirunda told Daily Monitor last evening that Gen. Saleh had asked him to quit his party in exchange for a financial reward.

    “The truth is that I met Gen. Saleh as a leader and a brother to His Excellency. He asked me to support his brother, President Museveni,” Mr Kirunda said. “Those people wanted to give me money on condition that I support Museveni but I cannot leave my party because of Shs1 billion.”

    Mr Kirunda added: “I was supposed to go to meet President Museveni [today] but after consulting my party leaders in Kampala, they have advised me not to go. Shs1 billion is nothing and I am not worth that kind of money. Gen. Saleh is a big man and I will give him the letter from my party stopping me from meeting President Museveni.”

    Gen. Saleh, who has been campaigning for the NRM in Busoga region, was unavailable for comment by press time last night.
    But NRM spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Gen. Saleh was campaigning for the party as part of the volunteer groups. He dismissed the bribery allegations as baseless.

    “These are allegations which are false but we are used to them and not bothered,” he said. The allegations come amid reports detailed in at least three opinion polls, showing that the ruling party is leading in bribery of voters and will raise fresh questions about the ruling party’s conduct and whether it violates electoral laws.

    This newspaper has learnt that after getting the news of Mr Kirunda’s impending defection, FDC campaign bureau chief Wandera Ogalo held a crisis meeting at the party headquarters in Kampala where they quizzed Mr Kirunda for receiving cash from the NRM.

    In a February 13 letter to Mr Kirunda, Mr Ogalo said: “We have come to learn that the NRM has asked you to meet President Museveni who is sending a helicopter to pick you at Kimaka Airstrip [today]. We also have reports that you have been offered Shs1 billion by NRM cadres to shift your support from us to NRM.

    “We shall seek damages in excess of Shs1 billion. File a criminal case with the police for obtaining money (nomination fees) by false pretences. You have no defence to this case and the maximum penalty is seven years in jail.”

    Sources close to Mr Kirunda told Daily Monitor yesterday that Gen. Saleh met him in Jinja on Thursday together with Mr John Karuhanga where the FDC man was promised Shs1.5 million per month for 10 years in rent for his house being used as FDC offices in Jinja and Shs50,000 every day for his pick-up car which is currently used by the FDC.