Finance Ministry, EC Disagree on LC Election Funding

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In short
During an interface between the Public Service and Local Government committee of parliament and the EC, Finance, Local Government and Gender ministries today, the Commissions Director of Operations, Leonard Mulekwa said the budget will cover the voter display exercise, setting up of a tribunal to hear complaints and nominations of candidates, among others.

A fresh rift has emerged between the Ministry of Finance and the Electoral Commission, over organization and funding  of lower local council elections
 
The Electoral Commission has submitted a budget of 15.9 billion Shillings to facilitate the electoral process for Local Council One (LCI), Local Council Two (LCII) and women councils scheduled for January 2017. However Finance Minister Matia Kasaija insists that government has set a ceiling of 10 billion Shillings to conduct the elections.

During an interface between the Public Service and Local Government committee of parliament and the EC, Finance, Local Government and Gender ministries today,   the Commissions Director of Operations, Leonard Mulekwa said the budget will cover the voter  display exercise, setting up of a tribunal to hear complaints and nominations of candidates, among others.

Mulekwa said that LC elections will cost 10.7 billion, 3.3 billion Shillings will be spent on election of women councils and 1.9 billion Shillings arising from amendments to the Local Government Act.

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However, Minister Kasaija protested this, stating that cabinet agreed last week that government will provide only 10 billion Shillings for the elections.
 
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The committee is currently scrutinizing the Local Government Amendment Bill, which, if passed, will reduce the number of days for display of the voter register from 21 to two days and campaigns for candidates from seven days to one day.
 
However, legislators, including Shadow Minister for Local Government, Roland Kaginda and Amolatar Woman MP, Doreen Amule expressed disappointment over the variations in budgets, blaming government for failure to harmonize its position.
 
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Committee chairman, Raphael Magyezi directed the ministries to harmonize the budget and return to the committee on Thursday.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.