By Joshua Walakira

In mid-February (to be exact 15th-20th), NRM CEC members converged for their strategic retreat at Chobe Safari Lodge.  And as part of communication from the chair, the all-powerful NRM party national chairman YK Museveni shared his frustrations about cadres who are too fearful to engage the angry population to explain his government policies and achievements. “I have been championing the East African Federation which is going to be achieved but I’m ashamed that my country Uganda is going to be taking there people who are very poor. Ugandans are economically among the poorest in East Africa and it’s something that intrigues me,” Museveni told the meeting.


He admitted two major failures which he said the likes of Bobi Wine are riding on to demonize him in the population. These are corruption and poverty remaining very high. “I have been everywhere on my countrywide tours. I have sensitized people but the problem when I leave there is nobody continuing to intensify that message of wealth creation to get our people from poverty.” Museveni said he was confident the rest of his achievements are visible and Ugandans know them but the failure to eradicate poverty and corruption has continued to erode his gains elsewhere.

Museveni articulated his solution and that is recruiting three wealth creation ambassadors at every village. The same structure, he explained, would be replicated at Parish, Sub County and district levels. These would make use all available public platforms, including radio, Barazas and other public meetings to explain to the populace the workability of his wealth creation and anti-corruption approaches.

Museveni enjoys a recent photo moment with some NRM youth leaders



In the same meeting, Museveni stressed the relevancy of his Kyambogo office as NRM national chairman. He accordingly introduced his Political Assistant Milly Doka Babalanda and told the CEC retreat she is the one who would spearhead the creation of that parallel countrywide structure to popularize his wealth creation and anti-corruption messages including sensitizing people on how they can participate in the Edith Nakalema-led efforts to stamp out corruption. “He told us his office as National Chairman is the one that would oversee the creation of those wealth creation ambassadors’ structures and supervise their work. It’s something we all listened to but never sought much clarification about later when responding to the communication from the chair,” says a CEC member.

After the CEC retreat in February, the Kyambogo Office, which Babalanda heads in her capacity as Political Assistant, embarked on the assignment with enthusiasm and as of now (barely three months later), these structures of wealth creation ambassadors are everywhere in the country. State House sources say Museveni has since been impressively shocked on being presented with a full database of the wealth creation ambassadors covering a total of 65,200 villages. This covers the whole country with exception of the very volatile Kampala which the Kyambogo is yet to engage.

Remarkably, the Chairman’s office has been able to accumulate this database {comprising of two youths leaders (male & female) and one elder with deepened ideological understanding of NRM} without any facilitation money being released by the President.

This frugality is unheard of in NRM whose bosses Museveni recently complained about saying they like using such simple assignments to milk billions of shillings from him. Earlier this week, the President met some officials and bitterly said he had for long been disappointed to see even senior cadres pretending to be determined to propagate his vision of wealth creation always using that as cover to make money.

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“They come with wonderful proposals which in the end recommend release of billions of shillings for implementation. The idea is always is extort money from me without being mindful of the money that has already been allocated in the different government programs to create wealth for our people,” Museveni said showing his frustration about his officials’ money-mindedness. Sources close to him say it’s this money-mindedness that makes Museveni to lose confidence in formal structures and institutions and prefers to work via ad hoc arrangements sometimes. This is exactly what he did in 2016 campaigns using his Mbuya office (then manned by Molly Kamukama) to coordinate all his campaign logistics. There are credible fears this is likely to be the case for 2021 with much-targeted Babalanda taking center stage.

Museveni chats with SG Lumumba at the Chobe meeting at Gen Nalweyiso closely follows



While creating the wealth creation ambassadors’ structures, volunteers from the Kyambogo office avoided NRM Chairpersons in order not to antagonize the Party Secretariat at Plot 10 Kyaddondo road in Kampala. This caution was exercised because in the past the Secretary General was uncomfortable and blasted the Kyambogo office for using Party structures to do work that hadn’t been sanctioned by Kyaddondo.

So this time round, the Babalanda-led Kyambogo teams looked for credible influencers in each of the 65,200 villages (not necessarily NRM chairpersons), something that many NRM chairpersons are now up in arms against. Whereas it’s possible some of them are out to fight Lumumba’s proxy wars, it wouldn’t be surprising if her renowned adversaries like Tanga Odoi gladly used the ongoing storm to demonize her further.

At the start of the recruitment exercise, the Kyambogo office wrote to DG ISO Gen Frank Kaka notifying him of the countrywide activities who cleared them. Copies were sent to SG Lumumba and other party officials keeping them in the know. Kyaddondo kept quiet until a few days ago when complaints by the NRM chairpersons intensified prompting Lumumba to write what has since become a controversial letter.


The one page letter was circulated last night on social media by Kenneth Omona and it denounces the establishment of the wealth creation ambassadors’ structures. Saying the party for which she is SG and custodian of all official decisions hasn’t sanctioned such recruitment of 3 cadres per village, Lumumba insists her office will only be working with the 30 member committees NRM is presumed to have per village.

Ironically, the SG doesn’t dispute the fact that the recruitment of 3 cadres per village is an activity sanctioned and being implemented by the office of her boss YK Museveni in his capacity as NRM party chairman. She nevertheless denounces the exercise arguing it’s not anywhere captured in the 7 resolutions that were discussed and passed during the CEC retreat at Chobe. Anonymously speaking to Mulengera News, one CEC member clarified on this saying: “The SG is right on this because the Babalanda assignment derived from communication from the chair and not from the CEC resolutions. The H.E. only used his communication to notify CEC that he was going to create his volunteers to popularize the wealth creation gospel.” The CEC member adds the matter could only have been captured in CEC resolutions if members had in their reactions sought more clarification from the party national chairman which they didn’t. Neither did any of them raise discussion on the same throughout the CEC retreat.

In appealing to Lumumba while denouncing the Kyambogo office’s wealth creation ambassadors, the NRM party chairpersons rightly fear that Museveni (renowned for his guerilla tactics) might become comfortable with Babalanda’s work and assign all the 2021 campaign-related financial logistics to the Kyambogo office just like he did under Molly Kamukama when the office still operated in Mbuya.

That will spell doom because it will simply leave the conventional NRM party structures starved of cash yet 2021 is the season many have schemed to extort money from the President under the guise of mobilizing and coordinating for his reelection.

“There is growing thinking that fear for the Bobi Wine political wave will cause the President to open the taps and spend like never before and its desire to control such campaign funding that is causing NRM chairpersons to increasingly ally with Kyaddondo to gang up on Babalanda and her other volunteers manning the Kyambogo office,” said a knowledgeable insider adding that feuding will naturally intensify as rival factions emerge targeting the Museveni 2021-related campaign groceries.



SG Lumumba joined by other CEC members to receive Museveni at the party retreat

Participating in a social media debate on the very influential PRO-M7 whatsapp forum (manned by David Kabanda), a one Habib Seruwagi challenged the Secretary General to prove Museveni didn’t announce the 3 wealth creation ambassadors per village in his Chobe submission by producing the full video/audio record of proceedings of the retreat’s 3rd day. (For comments, email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).




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