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Opposition “rubbish” sh500m
Publish Date: Jun 10, 2010
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By Joyce Namutebi

POLITICAL Party leaders have described the sh500m budget allocation to political organisation activities as “a mockery.”

In separate interviews yesterday, they said the Government had no will to fund political parties and organisations and was better off keeping its money.

The sh500m allocation was announced by Syda Bbumba, the finance minister, in her budget speech to Parliament yesterday.

The minister, however, didn’t explain how the money would be distributed and which political activities would be funded.

Henry Mayega, the vice chairman of the Uganda People’s Congress in charge of the central region, said, “It is nothing. Museveni (the President) had better keep his money.”

Mayega argued the money was a mockery to his party, “which has ruled the country twice.”

Kizza Besigye, the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change, asked, “What is sh500m for all political organisations?” He said the NRM was not interested in funding political parties, adding that the Government had even stopped donors from giving money to political parties.

Besigye, said the principle of funding political organisations was a good one if done equitably and added that they had recommended a flat figure for registered political parties and an additional amount depending on the number of votes a party got in an election, which the NRM refused preferring it be based on the number of members of Parliament.

Jaberi Bidandi-Ssali, the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) leader, said the money was only for political parties in Parliament. His party has no representative in the House.

Michael Mabikke, the president of the Social Democratic Party, inquired about the criteria that would be used to distribute the money, while Abed Bwanika, the leader of the Peoples Development Party, said the sh500m “was a joke.”

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