President Yoweri Museveni's sack of money sparks Uganda row

Image source, NTV
Image caption, President Museveni was wearing his trademark floppy, wide-brimmed hat

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has publicly handed a sack containing about $100,000 (£66,000) in cash to a youth group, raising questions about how the money will be spent.

The donation was broadcast on national television, with many social media comments condemning it.

"There should have been a system to make sure the youth spend the money properly," said analyst Peter Magelah.

A minister said giving the money in public would ensure transparency.

Mr Museveni pledged to help the group during the 2011 election campaign.

There were loud cheers as President Museveni held the white sack containing 250 million shillings aloft, before he handed it to a representative of the Busoga Youth Forum.

At the same meeting, he handed over a minibus, a truck and 15 motorcycles, reports Uganda's NTV.

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala says Ugandans are used to seeing the president hand out money at public events.

But what has shocked many Ugandans is the amount and the image of their president holding a sack of money.

Many Ugandan Twitter users have been commenting using #sackofmoney.

Peter Magelah, a researcher at the think-tank Acode told the BBC: "This is just politicking by the president to gain popularity.

"Do we know how they money will be spent? There's no system of accountability to make sure we get it back if these youth mismanage it. It's a loss for the country."

But Minister for the Presidency Frank Tumwebaze defended the donation.

"Quite a few times people have requested the president for money and have stolen it. Giving it in broad day light means that the youth can see who has their money," he said.

"The president is not taking the money to Las Vegas, he's supporting income-generating schemes."

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