FDC, EC Lock Horns over Delayed Political Party Funds
As the country inches towards the 2021 polls, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has arraigned the Electoral Commission (EC) for delaying to release funds towards party activities.
The money in question constitutes the Shs 10 Billion that political parties under the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) receive each year according to a 2020/21 Budget Framework Paper.
Speaking on Monday at Najjanankumbi, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda the Party Spokesperson, told the press that in spite of their pleas three months into the new Financial Year, (FY) nothing has come by.
“We don’t know whether Justice Byabakama wants to release this money after elections and what will it be for? We are now in another financial year, we have done one quarter and we don’t see this money, yet parliament approved this it,” he complained.
Semujju said EC’s adamancy has crippled the operations of the FDC especially considering that they have multiple activities to conduct such as Party Primaries and the Presidential Flag bearer race among many others.
Hitherto, he retorted that they still think that the Government has deliberately refused to release these funds so as to weaken them as they head into the 2021 General Elections.
“Maybe Museveni told them ‘don’t give them this money so we can go to a contest with people who have no guns, no police, no money to make NRM and Museveni’s work easy’,” Semujju pointed out.
However, when this question was paused to the EC Spokesperson Paul Bukenya, he acknowledged the delay, saying it has posed cross cutting challenges to the five political parties under IPOD.
“These first 3 months of July, August and September, no money towards that vote has been received by the Electoral Commission. And we have informed all political parties with representatives in Parliament,” he disclosed.
Bukenya, however, bashed FDC for attempting to cast EC in bad light when it was duly notified about this issue in time.
“I wouldn’t see why a registered Party would raise that matter with that kind of intrigue trying to suggest that the EC is not doing what it is supposed to do,” he bemoaned.
On the other hand, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED) Spokesperson Jim Mugunga tossed the ball back to EC.
“I am hearing you loud and clear, but I think ask for clarity. Ask them whether they actually made an explicit request for political party funding starting this quota,” Mugunga paused.