Nankabirwa: We Used Market Fund to Implement NRM Manifesto

Ruth Nankabirwa, the former Micro-finance state minister has defended the manner in which 10 billion shillings meant for market vendors was disbursed saying she was implementing the NRM manifesto.

While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament led by its lead counsel Akora Maxwell, the Maruzi County MP, Nankabirwa said that she issued directives that the money be given to only NRM supporters.

The State Minister for Fisheries, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa
Ruth Nankabirwa said she gave directives that the money be given to NRM supporters

The money was meant to benefit over 1,527,000 vendors in 400 markets countrywide. The Auditor General’s report indicates that Nankabirwa sidelined members of the joint steering committee led by worker’s MP Sam Lyomoki instead of guiding them as directed by President Yoweri Museveni to oversee the disbursement of the revolving fund.

An internal memo issued by Nankabirwa shows that in a meeting held on 1st December 2010, it was agreed that the programme has both an economic motive and political impact.

This was meant to generate a critical mass of supporters for the ruling National Resistance Movement political programme as well as empower market vendors. Nankabirwa told the committee that it would be asking too much of her to explain and verify who the final beneficiaries of the fund were.

Gonzaga Ssewungu, the Kalungu East MP tasked Nankabirwa to explain why only NRM supporters were targeted to benefit to which she replied that every economic move ends up with a political impact.


Nankabirwa explained that market vendors were clustered in groups of 30-60,000 vendors in 400 markets country wide.

Markets were classified into six categories on the basis of numbers of vendors in each market. They included 100 vendors’ categories as small businesses and for each to receive Sh10,000.

Five million shillings for another 100 vendors categorized as medium businesses for each to get 50,000 shs and the last group of large scale businesses of 100 vendors for each to get 100,000 shs.

The December 1st meeting agreed that the properly identified leaders for each group in the market will acquire membership in the SACCO through which the funds are delivered.

wondered why Nankabirwa used government money to support NRM supporters and not Ugandans in general.
Alice Alaso wondered why Nankabirwa used government money to support NRM supporters and not Ugandans in general.

Where necessary, the meeting recommended the use of existing systems on the ground. The Gombolola Internal Security Officers and Resident District Commissioners could be used to get more information on the groups and their leaders.

Alice Alaso, the Serere District Woman MP wondered why Nankabirwa used government money to support NRM supporters and not Ugandans in general.

Nankabirwa became defenseless when Winnie Twine, the Assistant Presidential Advisor on markets who was also a member of the Joint steering committee cited the Minister’s malpractices.

Twine claimed that President gave a directive that the money that came shortly before the 2011 election shouldn’t be disbursed. She however said Nankabirwa brought a complete new list of beneficiaries who were not vendors.

Winnie Twine Assistant Presidential Advisor on markets accused faulted Nankabirwa
Winnie Twine Assistant Presidential Advisor on markets cited Nankabirwa’s malpractices 

Nankabirwa was then pinned for writing a brief  to President Museveni on the 27th May 2011 stating that the funds had been disbursed to vendors according to the Micro Finance guidelines which was not true.

This was after the Micro-finance Support centre sought for guidance on how to disburse the money; but the ministry didn’t respond. Nankabirwa was also pinned for giving out 170 million shs to women  groups in Jinja that were not on the list of actual beneficiaries, including buying seven milk coolers for her constituents in Nakaseke district.

She responded that some of the groups that were not on the list were putting her under pressure to get part of the money and they would indirectly benefit the vendors.

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8 thoughts on “Nankabirwa: We Used Market Fund to Implement NRM Manifesto

  1. What?? I suppose we all knew this all along but for her to admit it so candidly and not put up any resistance speaks volumes. Its almost like saying “I did it, so what? Sue me!”. The arrogance is staggering. There is no apology, simply a statement of the avowed intention, even though these were public funds, as if it was NRM’s right to use the money.

    Only in Uganda.

    One wonders, for obvious reasons, whether she was a rogue and acted alone or whether she was simply the conduit for a superior power(s) within NRM.

    What I and I assume others would like to know is what is NRM going to do about it. Public funds have been used by NRM for a political purpose and apart from potential embezzlement charges, will NRM repay the money, as it should, given it has been caught “with its hand in the cookie jar”? I wonder whether she will have the courage and strength of conviction to understand and admit that what she did was wrong and step down as MP forthwith for such a grave breach of public trust. Her continued stay will not only leave a bad taste in the mouth but will taint NRM and potentially the august house that is parliament.

    I sincerely hope the story does not change course with party members blaming each other to divert public attention from the core issue. Just pay up and then look for who you want to blame amongst yourselves. That is the least the public deserves.

  2. Those are your leaders with total luck of direction and oversight.Sincerely, how’s shs. 10,000 to fit into I hear an “economic move” when it can’t fetch 2kgs of sugar? And why would a person of her reasoning still be a cabinet minister if it wasn’t in a banana republic like ours where everything else doesn’t matter as long as one is trying “Kwegula ewa muzeeyi.”

  3. So UPC,FDC ,DP,CP and JEEMA funded NRM campaigns………. this is abuse of the highest order

  4. Step down you bastards. Why should these people continue to hold public offices when they have clearly exhibited their total failure to protect public funds. Nankabirwa you have been in parliament for more than 10 years but what do you have to show as your achievements for Kiboga other than draging the district into divisions. The people of kiboga deserve better, please kiboga wake up this one is still a nakawunde despite the so many years in parliament.

  5. Words are almost not there to describe what is going on in the gov’t of our beloved president M7. whom can this old man trust with anything for this ctry? Even the women this gentleman fought hard for, they are disappointing him. And now when he tries to bring in young men/ women, they are the same ple saying they can not salute their grand children. What do they want the president to do? Mr. president, the passengers in the bus, are tired of the bus conductor’s behavior, throw them out at the next stage, thus for a smooth drive.

  6. Had the big man not been encouraging such poor fiscal expenditure a minister such as Nankabirwa would not be feeling very confident before PAC. She is aware of protection comes whatever from the big man. However, the most painful part of this tale is the fact she arrogantly said the money should only be given to NRM supporters knowing very well that it was tax payers money and tax payers include non NRM supporters too.

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