UWOPA threatens to block budget over LC polls postponement
Members of Parliament under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association have threatened to block the 2017-2018 citing government’s’ decision to hold village council elections.
This comes a few days after government announced that it had run out of funds due to famine that struck most parts of the country.
Speaking in a media briefing on Friday, UWOPA Vice Chairperson Norah Bigirwa (NRM-Buliisa Woman) rallied legislators to block the government resolution on village council’s elections.
“As UWOPA we denounce the acts since these local councils are crucial in terms of security, conflict resolution and decision making at lower administrative levels and as thus this move should be shunned by all MPs,” she said.
Ms Bigirwa also said that the postponement has caused a lot of losses incurred by candidates who had started combing the ground in preparation for the elections that had been promised.
“In the last months, potential leaders across the country have been identified and in some political parties, primaries held and posters printed,” she said.
The Public Finance Management Act requires parliament to process and pass the budget by May 31.
Government announced this week that efforts to mobilise resources for local council elections remained futile after diverting the initial funds to combatting famine, but UWOPA dismissed the excuse of hunger, saying that the elections must take place before the 2017/2018 financial year budget is passed.
Louis Mbwatekamwa (NRM-Kasambya) said that government’s excuse of focusing on the fight against hunger is not satisfactory since the country already has a budget for relief under the prime minister’s office.
“These are mere excuses; in fact we should investigate the whereabouts of shs 10 billion that was government claimed to be having,” he said.
Other members including Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka and Lira Woman’s Joy Atim demanded that government fulfills its pledge of holding LC elections this year lest it loses the public trust.
The law makers say that with lots of expenditures already incurred potential candidates, it would only be fair for government to have the elections held.
The last elections were held in 2001, and all subsequent efforts have often ended on deaf ears.
The 10th Parliament in January held amendments in the Local Governments Act to reduce the number of days for both campaigns and display of the voters registers with a view to hold the elections this Month.
The Members also said that unless government shows commitments to supporting others areas like girl child education, maternal mortality rates in the country which are estimated at 16 women every day, they will withdraw their support.