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Byanyima Defends Sebaggala

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd January 2001 03:00 AM

MP Winnie Byanyima, the wife of Presidential candidate Col. Kizza Besigye, yesterday defended former Kampala Mayor Alhajji Nasser Sebaggala over his conviction and imprisonment in the US for bank fraud.

MP Winnie Byanyima, the wife of Presidential candidate Col. Kizza Besigye, yesterday defended former Kampala Mayor Alhajji Nasser Sebaggala over his conviction and imprisonment in the US for bank fraud.

MP Winnie Byanyima, the wife of Presidential candidate Col. Kizza Besigye, yesterday defended former Kampala Mayor Alhajji Nasser Sebaggala over his conviction and imprisonment in the US for bank fraud. Nathan Etengu and Charles Opolot report that Byanyima said the offence had nothing to do with Uganda since the money stolen did not belong to any Ugandan. "Did Sebaggala steal money from anyone in Uganda? Did he cheat the Government?" Byanyima asked. Sebaggala recently joined forces with Besigye after failing to be nominated for presidential candidature for lack of requisite academic qualifications. President Museveni recently criticised Winnie and Besigye for the merger, saying Sebaggala "is a former convict." Byanyima, who was introduced by her husband during a campaign rally in Mbale, read the names of alleged beneficiaries of the State House scholarship scheme, which she said were from western Uganda. Defending Sebaggala, Byanyima said it was instead people like Major General Salim Saleh who should be prosecuted and jailed for attempting to acquire the Uganda Commercial Bank illegally. She said Salim Saleh should have also been prosecuted for the junk helicopter scandal in which he admitted receiving a bribe. "When I raised the matter with President Museveni, he instead defended his brother, saying Salim Saleh be pardoned because of his contribution as a freedom fighter," Byanyima said. She said the people who brand Sebaggala a fraudster were themselves political tricksters. Byanyima said Museveni was a political trickster who lures people to work with him only to abandon them. She said many Democratic Party members joined Museveni only to be abandoned later. "Museveni made an agreement with the DP but just after one year, he started claiming that people like Andrew Kayiira wanted to kill him," Byanyima said. She said that even the Banyankole were not benefiting from Museveni's government, the reason the electorate in western region want a change. Besigye, who toured south Mbale, accused Museveni of copying his plans to improve the living conditions of civil servants. He said when he announced plans to improve teachers' salary, Museveni also "jumped onto the same programme. If he had such plans, why has he waited up to this time," Besigye asked amid chants from supporters. Besigye was accompanied by his national task force campaign chairman, Sam Njuba, DP Secretary general Damianao Lubega, the youth MP for the east, Geoffrey Ekanya, and Sebaggala, who excited the rally. Besigye said if elected, he will allocate 20% of the national budget towards the agricultural modernisation. He said he will also negotiate with dissidents. He said he will improve the UPE programme. "I will ensure that the money currently benefiting favoured students under State House sponsored schemes and that being wasted to maintain our soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo is used in programmes that benefit Ugandans," Besigye said He attacked Major General Elly Tumwine over his (Tumwine's) warning over the army. He said Tumwine has been undeployed for the last 10 years and could be seeking favours. He said he will dissolve the Special Revenue Protection Services since its architect, Museveni, was himself a chief smuggler. He alleged that Museveni's company, Danze, defrauded government of sh6b in taxes. Ends

Byanyima Defends Sebaggala

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