If you are a service provider whose payment has been pending for a while you have reason to hope that EC big man Sam Rwakojo will be paying in the not so distant future. A total of Shs200bn has been made available for the EC to finance 2021 elections-related preparatory activities.

The money is what the Finance Ministry is allocating the EC for the FY2019/20. The revelation was made by the Finance Ministry’s Director Budgeting Kenneth Mugambe while speaking to reporters who gathered for the launch of the FY2019/20 budget month during which a range of public engagements have been scheduled to deepen transparency, public interest and participation into budgeting matters.

Responding to a reporter’s question regarding how much a burden election financing continues to be to the national treasury, Mugambe said expensive as it is this is a constitutional requirement which government can’t run away from since the Constitution requires elections every 5 years.

He explained that FY2019/20 will be the 3rd year when the Finance Ministry has been prioritizing funding the EC to enable it adequately prepare for the 2021 general elections. He said since the FY2017/18, the Ministry has ensured EC’s appropriated monies are released 100% as approved by Parliament without fail. He said Ugandans must be proud that capacity continues to be built to have an EC whose electoral processes are sustainably 100% funded by the GoU using the tax payers’ money.

He said spreading the funding of the EC road map activities over a period of three years is a good strategy because it enables government spread the financial burden over the years as opposed to having to find the money at once. “Over Shs200bn is going to the EC in the FY2019/20 to enable them prepare for the 2021 general elections. The remainder of the money they will get in the next financial year,” said Mugambe who was part of the large group of technocrats the Finance State Minister in charge of General Duties Gabriel Ajedra came with to witness the launching of the budget month. Originally it was a budget week started on the eve of the FY2018/19 (which is ending soon) but was expanded to become a full budget week because of the feedback and lessons got during last year’s event.

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