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MPs query unequal distribution of funds to political parties

Asuman Basalirwa has raised concern over the unfair sharing of the Political Parties Fund. He says that it’s unfair that JEEMA received 41 million out of 15 billion allocated.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has asked the government to explain the modalities used to distribute the 15 billion Shillings given to political parties with representation in Parliament.

The Electoral Commission received 15 billion Shillings last week to cover facilitation for quarter one and  quarter two activities by the political parties. However, up to 12 billion Shillings went to the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) received 1.5 billion Shillings, the Democratic Party (DP) received 650 million Shillings, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) 350 million Shillings while Justice Forum (JEEMA) received 41 million Shillings.

But Asuman Basalirwa, the sole representative of the Justice Forum in Parliament says that distribution of the money should not be based on the numerical strength of the party. Basalirwa argues that the law says that the money should be distributed equally.

According to section 14 b of the Political Parties and Organizations Act, in respect of elections, the government finances political organizations and parties on an equal basis. However, in respect of the normal day-to-day activities, section 14 b of the Act indicates that funding shall be based on the numerical strength of each political party or organization in Parliament.

Basalirwa says that the government needs to answer to this kind of unfairness where the money has not been given equally irrespective of numerical strength since this is not funds for a normal day to day operation but for elections. He says that the government directed the Electoral commission to distribute the money basing on numerical strength.

State Minister for Finance David Bahati however maintained that they had acted basing on the numerical strength which is in the law. He says the government was working on getting the money that the political parties are supposed to share equally.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga tasked the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice to come and explain to MPs the meaning of the two sections of the law and ensure that the money is distributed according to the law.

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