Besigye Bemoans Tax Payer’s Money Wasted On UNAA

Former four-time Presidential candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye has scornfully bashed the annual Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) Convention, approved which he said has been infiltrated by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) at the detriment of the Ugandan Tax Payer.

Besigye on Thursday unveiled the details of his month long trip to the United States and England, pilule which included among others his attendance and presentation at the UNAA Convention in Boston Massachusetts.

The annual convention brings together all Ugandans living in the Americas to relive and celebrate Ugandan cultures and traditions. It also includes forums in which participants get to deliberate on the topical issues affecting their home countries.

While addressing press at his home in Kasangati, this Besigye expressed disdain that the UNAA organization had long been infiltrated by the NRM “using money, influence peddling, coercion,” leading to its splitting into two.

“As we were attending the convention in Boston, another UNAA convention was taking place in California; this was attended by the Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, the Leader of Opposition Winnie Kizza and FDC mouthpiece Semujju Nganda.”

Besigye says he was shocked to find that nearly 90% of the people in attendance at the Boston convention were not Ugandans in diaspora but government officials who travelled from Kampala.

These included among others the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah, who sent the Parliament in recess to attend the convention.

“As is entered the room, there in front sat the Speaker, her deputy and dozens of MPs. Even staff members of Parliament like Chris Obore and State House officials like Moses Byaruhanga were also in attendance.


“When I raised my concern about this, one MP stood up and clarified that it was not 70 MPs in attendance but only 23!.”

“The NRM has destroyed this wonderful institution that was designed to help our people living and working abroad. Even in the room, the speaker and her delegation from Ugandan were sitting on one side while the Ugandans in diaspora were on the other side. For once I thought I had sleepwalked into a Parliamentary Committee.”

Besigye expressed concern that government is blowing a lot of tax payers’ money on such a convention which he likened to the KCCA Carnival.

“We are still named a highly indebted poor country after 30 years of the NRM reign and we still spend money on scores of MPs to attend a convention that is not meant for them,” he said.

“This is not about the NRM; it is about our government’s priorities. I was truly horrified. People in Teso are dying of hunger; surely that money should not have been spent that way.

The speaker of Parliament Hon Kadaga when accosted with these concerns, she reportedly defended the trip stressing that the money was properly budgeted for.

“The speaker simply told the room that the money was not diverted from other votes; it was money budgeted for that matter,” said Besigye.

“She said ‘every year we budget for this convention allocating it $50,000. If you people don’t want it we can stop sending it.'”

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