Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Retired Maj. Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu has called on Ugandans in the diaspora to fund the campaigns of opposition political parties in the 2020/2021 general elections. He says the opposition have a common goal of taking over power.
Muntu, a presidential candidate standing on the ticket for Alliance for National Transformation-ANT made the appeal during a virtual meeting with ANT chapters in the diaspora on Saturday evening.
He noted that only Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, Democratic Party-DP, Uganda People’s Congress-UPC currently get funding from the government because they are represented in Parliament. However, these funds are inadequate.
In September, the government released 15 billion Shillings to the Electoral Commission for funding political parties. NRM got the lion’s share – some 13 billion, followed by FDC, DP, UPC and JEEMA.
Muntu noted that FDC, the largest opposition political party in Parliament receives about 1.2 billion Shillings a year which is 100 million Shillings a month while DP receives about 400 million shillings a year which is about about 33 million shillings every month.
He added that though some MPs have since joined ANT and National Unity Platform-NUP, government has not released any funding to the two political parties.
As a result, all political parties are struggling financially and yet they are competing against National Resistance Movement -NRM to take over power.
He therefore says that the Ugandans in the diaspora need to fund ANT or other opposition political parties so that their presidential candidates can smoothly traverse the 146 districts within 60 days.
“If 1,000 people in the diaspora contributed 20 US Dollars each, this would result in 20,000 US Dollars (about 74 million shillings) and it would have an impact on our funding and activities,” Muntu said.
On Friday, Muntu made the same appeal to the public in Uganda.
He noted that if the public wants ANT in power, then they should fund the party.
“If we can get 1.5 million people raising shillings 5,000 each, that is about 7 billion shillings,” Muntu said while introducing his 47 campaign team members.
The team headed by Alice Alaso will coordinate his campaigns from ANT head offices in Kampala and then work with the sub regions and districts.
Some of the team members include Arua municipality MP, Kassiano Wadri, Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga and Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru.
Muntu also assured people in the diaspora that his government would reverse the appointment of “politicians who lose elections to diplomatic missions” and instead target career diplomats, train them in order for them to be better negotiators.
“We have been getting raw deals because we have some politicians and diplomats who do not have good negotiation skills,” Muntu noted.
He added that his government would also liaise with diplomatic missions abroad to ensure safety and well-being of Ugandans in the diaspora.
People in the diaspora also need reassurance that their capital investments will not be affected by government policies, something Muntu says has made many opt for only personal investments such as building rentals.
He was responding to questions raised by ANT chapter leaders in the diaspora.
Some of the ANT chapter leaders in the United States of America, Canada, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom attended the virtual meeting.
William Nyamuntale, the secretary for finance in the USA chapter asked Muntu on his plans for the diaspora community while other chapter leaders asked how ANT will protect Muntu’s votes.
Muntu says the team is working tirelessly to win.
He told his supporters that even if he loses the 2021 elections, he will continue “struggling until we eventually take power, democratize and establish governance systems in Uganda.”