Major opposition political parties to receive shs35B funding from government

Political parties under the Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) have agreed that “the Government should increase their public funding from the current sh10b to sh35b” in the next financial year.

The IPOD summit, held late Monday night, agreed on extra government funding as a stepping stone to building internal capacity to strengthen the role of viable political parties in enhancing democratic governance and reduce reliance on donations.

Section 14(a) of the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005 allows for the Government to contribute funds or other public resources towards the activities of political parties and organizations with representation in Parliament.

The parties that are currently entitled to the state funding include the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Justice Forum (JEEMA). Under the auspices of the IPOD, the party chairpersons and presidents, who met behind closed doors for the second time since the IPOD was founded 10 years ago, said in a joint communique´ that a portion of the money will be shared equally to meet basic administrative costs.

“All parties get an equal share for running offices on the same strength from the headquarters up to district level, while 15% of the money will go to the IPOD secretariat and the remaining balance shared based on numerical strength,” the communique´ reads.

The 10th Parliament is composed of 459 lawmakers, of which 305 are NRM, 38 FDC, DP has 15, UPC 7 and JEEMA 1. It is not clear whether, in the proposed formula of equal distribution of resources, it will also cater for basic administrative costs of political parties that may not have the required administrative infrastructure in all the districts.

Neither the FDC president, Patrick Amuriat, nor his representatives were present, attracting criticism from Mao. FDC also missed the first IPOD summit in November last year.