Democratic Party rejects election money

The Democratic Party has vowed not take the money allocated by the Electoral Commission to facilitate the party’s election activities.
The Party Spokesperson Mr.Kenneth Paul Kakande says the money is too little to make a significant impact in their activities ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Yesterday, six years after parliament passed the law on political party financing, the commission released 10bn shillings to facilitate party activities.
The allocation depends on the individual party’s numerical strength in parliament with the NRM taking about 90% of the funding which is about Shs7.9bn and the rest of the parties share Shs2.1bn.However, speaking at the weekly DP press briefing, Kakande threatened to donate to Sanyu Babies home its share of Shs 464 million saying it was just another move by NRM to pick large sums of money from government coffers.
He said they believed that the process of funding the different parties with varying sums of money was unfair and they intended to protest it.

“We believe that the Shs 400 million given to us is just a formality and will have no impact on what we need to do as a party. President Museveni is already moving around with a bullion van of public money for his campaigns and dishing it out to whoever raises a hand instead of investing in sectors like Agriculture, health and education. The state is bribing voters and President Museveni is the lead briber,” Mr Kakande said.

“We shall sit as a National Executive Committee and decide on what to do with the money-either give it to Sanyu babies’ home or donate it to a worthy cause. As for now, we have not yet received any money from the Electoral commission and if Kiggundu banked money on our account, we are not yet aware of it,” he added.

Mr Kakande said that as DP they believed in building democratic institutions other than throwing around money and providing funds to parties when elections are around the corner. He emphasized that Political Parties should be funded throughout the year.

Mr Kakande’s comments come in the wake of an announcement by the EC Chairperson Badru Kiggundu yesterday that only six political parties are eligible to receive a share of this money with NRM taking the lion’s share of Shs 8.2 billion of the 10 billion.

Section 14A of the amended Political Parties and Organisations Act of 2005 mandates government to fund political parties. Under this section, registered political parties and organisations shall be funded by government. The architects of the law however insisted on numerical strength in parliament in determining how the money is distributed to each political party.

While some political parties like FDC say that the EC wrote to them asking for their account details and hope to receive their share of the money soon, others like Conservative Party, Uganda peoples Congress and Jeema say they are yet to receive any funds from EC.

Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the commission’s deputy publicist Paul Bukenya said the issue of how the money is shared between political parties is a legal matter guided by the law and the procedure is that once the parties submit the account details on which they want their money, it is disbursed.

Story by Dianah Wanyana