Parliament Direct EC To Cut LC Election Budget Top story

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In short
While appearing before the Public Service and Local Government Committee today, EC chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu revealed that Shillings 124 million is for regional workshops for EC staff; Shillings 577 million for demarcation of boundaries; Shillings 1.5 billion for publicity and voter education and Shillings 457 million is for training of trainers workshops.

Parliament has directed Electoral Commission-EC to trim the budget for lower local council elections. Recently, EC requested the Finance Ministry for Shillings 37.5 billion to conduct LC 1 and LC 2 elections, as well as the women committees and council elections.
 
 
The Commission proposed to spend Shillings 27.6 billion on the on LC elections and the remaining Shillings 9.8 billion on the women council elections. However, the Finance Ministry turned down the request, saying there was no money.

As a result, Parliament tasked EC to present a detailed breakdown of the budget. 


While appearing before the Public Service and Local Government Committee today, EC chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu revealed that Shillings 124 million is for regional workshops for EC staff; Shillings 577 million for demarcation of boundaries; Shillings 1.5 billion for publicity and voter education and Shillings 457 million is for training of trainer's workshops.


 
According to Kiggundu, the Commission is ready to conduct the polls once the money is availed.
 

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However, the breakdown of the budget estimates didn't escape criticism from the legislators. They wondered why the Commission didn't devise means to trim the budget given the fact that there is no money.


MPs, Flavia Byekwaso, Sam Bibesho, Raphael Magyezi and Johnson Muyanja wondered why there were unnecessary items like workshops yet the officials attended training before the 2016 elections.

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Other MPs including Sylvia Akello and Roland Mugume suggested that the government consults with the NRM party on how they conducted their LC 1 and LC 2 elections last year at a cost of two billion shillings. 

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At one point, Gender Minister, Janat Mukwaya suggested that the EC diverts about Shillings 700 million, allocated for by-elections that arise during this financial year.

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However EC Secretary, Sam Rwakojo protested, explaining that the funds are a constitutional requirement, yet the Shillings 43 billion allocated to the Commission is meager.
 
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The committee directed the Ministries of Local Government, Gender and EC to hold consultations to come up with a final budget for the elections. Both the LC I and LC II polls were last held in 2001. 

 

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.