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Follow up your money, opposition tell donors

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 26th May 2017 09:02 AM

Kiiza said that often times the money is misused and diverted for other purposes instead of the intended purpose.

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The Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza

Kiiza said that often times the money is misused and diverted for other purposes instead of the intended purpose.

The Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, has asked the Austrian government to follow up their financial donations to the country to find out if they are used for the intended purpose.

“Thank you for your support in terms of human rights and governance and we continue to pray that you help us to follow the money. Ensure your government follows it up and ensure it meets the target,” she said.

She was addressing members of the Austrian parliament who had paid a visit to her office in parliament. The legislators who are also members of the subcommittee for development cooperation, which is part of the foreign affairs committee in Austria, were led by Petra Bayr, a legislator from the social democratic party.

Kiiza said that often times the money is misused and diverted for other purposes instead of the intended purpose.

She asked the legislators to advise their government to follow up the money to ensure that it’s rightly used to preserve the country’s laws, democracy and governance.

Austria’s priority areas of intervention in Uganda are water and sanitation and governance. In governance, its support goes to the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) in form of sector budget support as well as Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). It supports both government and civil society.

Kizza asked the Austrian legislators to assist the opposition in prevailing over the much anticipated push for constitutional amendment to eliminate the age limit to allow President Yoweri Museveni contest for another term of office.

“Constitutionally he is supposed to prepare for his exit because he has hit the age limit as per the constitution. But like he did in 2005, he is trying to work hard again to also change the constitution to remove the age limit, yet it’s the only safety valve we are remaining with,” she told them.

She blamed the president’s over stay in power for causing the increasing violation of human rights and electoral malpractices.

Kiiza lauded the Austrian government for the support it has given to parliament and the people of Uganda, stating that it has enabled them set up a shadow cabinet and carry out their oversight function.

 She presented to them reports on some of the field trips they have made to perform their oversight role in Uganda, alternative policy statement for 2015/2016 and the opposition’s response to the state of the nation address 2015.

“I am very impressed by how well structured opposition is in Uganda. It wouldn’t be that easy in Austria because there are very many different approaches and political wings. We very seldom have a structured opposition in the parliament,” Bayr said while receiving the reports.

Dr. Christoph Vavrik who is also a legislator in the Austrian parliament and a member of the Austrian People’s party, said that unlike in Uganda where the constitution mandates that a leader of opposition is appointed in parliament, in their country, there is no such law.

The legislators also marveled at the freedom the opposition enjoys in the country to an extent that they can openly and with strong words critic the president or his speech.

“I am impressed with the strong words you use to critic the president. Doesn’t it invite sanctions against you and can you distribute this with no consequence?” Dr. Johannes Huebner of the Austrian Freedom party asked. He was referring to the opposition’s response to the state of the nation address.

In response Kiiza said that theirs was official and the president wouldn’t want to be seen to tamper with it but if its criticism from members of the public, they end up tortured or locked up in prisons.

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