Ministry Of Finance Says No Funds For LC1 and LC 2 Elections
The Ministry of Finance has said government does not have money to organize elections for administrative units in the local governments.
According to a letter dated 8th August, 2016, by Permanent Secretary, Secretary to Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi to the Electoral Commission, there are no funds in the 2016/2017 financial year to cater for the Local Council 1 and 2 elections.
The last LC 1 and LC 2 elections were held in 2001.
The letter, which was presented by EC officials, led by deputy chairperson, Joseph Biribonwa, before Parliament’s Public Service and Local Government committee on Thursday 22nd September 2016, stated that the Ugx 33.148 billion which had been requested by EC for the elections was not available this financial year.
“I wish to reiterate that the budget for 2016/2017 is constrained and we are not in position to provide additional resources required. You are advised to rationalize this expenditure within the resources appropriated under your vote’s budget for 2016/2017,” Muhakanizi wrote in the letter addressed to EC Secretary, Sam Rwakojo.
Biribonwa told the MPs that Ugx 3.341 billion which the Commission had also requested to operationalize the newly created districts of Omoro, Rubanda, Kagadi and Kakumiro and fill vacant positions would also not be provided.
He said the Commission has for years requested for the funds however there has not been a positive response, hence postponing the elections.
In the 9th Parliament, the Local Government Amendment Bill 2014 was passed, to provide for voters to line up during elections for the LC 1 and LC 2 leaders at village and parish levels respectively.
Last month, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah directed the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire to set a date for the elections however the deadline has since expired.
The committee had summoned State Minister of Finance, David Bahati to give an update on the elections; however he made a brief entry and later moved out.
Shadow Minister of Local Government, Betty Nambooze, who is also Mukono Municipality MP, lamented over delays in conducting the elections, noting that the lower administrative unit system is broken down due to the absence of the LCs.
Nambooze suggested that the EC consults with the NRM party, to establish how they conducted their LC I and 2 elections last year.