The Director, Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG) has expressed worry at how the government is handling the issue of election funds.
In tweet posted on Wednesday, Sarah Bireete wondered how the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija would ask Electoral Commission to cut its budget because there is no money yet they have already allocated money for wonderful swearing-in.
“Good Morning Uganda-a Country where Govt has asked Uganda Electoral Commission to cut down its budget for elections because they don’t have money BUT has more for @PoliceUg & ARMY to TORTURE CITIZENS; and STATE HOUSE for VOTE BUYING in the name of preparing for colourful swearing-in, etc. Which Way?” read the tweet.
Her reactions follow the Tuesday’s plea by Kasaija, before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee arguing that the country’s coffers cannot afford to facilitate 100 per cent the EC’s budget for the coming General Elections 2021
Currently, EC is in a budget deficit of Shs518 billions but due to revenues shortfall, the country suffered they are to cut their budget.
The budget cut came as a surprise since last week, director budget Kenneth Mugambe and state minister for finance David Bahati told the same committee that they will finance the Shs518bn by a loan.
However, on Tuesday the position changed when Kasaija said,
“Because of the financial constraints within the treasury, we urge EC to go back and see where they can reduce the cost.”
Nevertheless, the legislators together with the officials from EC objected his plea saying that it will affect the credibility of elections.
One of the EC officials who preferred anonymity told this website that last week the Office of the President asked for additional Shs61.77 billion to fund the 2021 swearing-in ceremony for the President-elect but the ministry didn’t ask them to cut it.
“Swearing in is a product of what we ask money for but the ministry has insisted asking us to cut off, this is unserious,” she said.
Hassan Kyeswa, a resident of Nansana said, “Now they are going to tell us that they need to borrow money from foreign states to fund these upcoming elections? What about the funds that have been given to artiste that changed to NRM which were used to even buy 4WD new Land cruisers they now drive around? It’s a mess.”
Stephen Kalyango said, “But do the budgets of State House and Office of President keep increasing including supplementary budget each financial year without complaints but EC’s is once in five years but they want to cut it?”
Allan Byamugisha said, “Let me hope that they won’t push for the analogue system of lining up instead of secret ballot.”
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