Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity Platform has lashed out at the Electoral Commission for suspending the women council and committee elections over lack of funds.
According to NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi, the suspension of the women council and committee elections may be a well-orchestrated plan by the ruling NRM to prevent the NUP party from winning these positions as the party has been mobilizing intensely.
Ssenyonyi says that it is appalling that money is not available for the elections yet they were planned for, set on the calendar, and are not an unexpected emergency that just fell and wasn’t part of the national plans.
NUP Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya added that the cancellation has affected the party as they have already invested a lot of resources to identify candidates all over the country.
Rubongoya added that if money can be found to give members of parliament to a tune of 24 billion in the recent scandal in which 40 million was paid to a large number of MPs even from the opposition. He said that this shows that there is money that can be used to fund these elections and pay civil servants well if there is political will.
In February, the Electoral Commission issued a roadmap detailing the various activities to be conducted under the program for elections of women councils and committees from the village to the national level.
However, speaking at a consultative meeting in Gogonyo county, Pallisa district, the Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said that the Ministry of Finance informed the Commission that there are no funds for conducting the activities.
According to the roadmap, the nominations of candidates was scheduled for this week.
Byabakama says that the commission will issue a new program for the activities when the funds are availed.
By the time of cancellation, the Electoral Commission had finalized the compilation of the village women registers and was conducting the display of the registers in each village/cell across the country.
On June 10, the Electoral Commission started to compile registers at the village level for women to participate in the women’s council elections. The four-year term of office of the current councils expires in August 2022.