Museveni to fund opposition, avoid foreign influence


President Yoweri Museveni says he supports the idea of government funding opposition political parties in order to avoid resorting to foreign funders.

Museveni was on Saturday meeting with opposition leaders under Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) at State House, Entebbe.

President Museveni told the opposition members led by Democratic Party secretary general, Mathias Nsubuga, that foreign funders always have their ill-driven motives.

“Political funding for Parties by government is what I support because they could resort to foreign governments for funding which isn’t good.”

In 2015, government unexpectedly released Shs10 billion to the Electoral Commission (EC) for distribution to political parties represented in Parliament.

It is an established fact that democratic politics cannot function without substantial financial resources to fulfil satisfactorily their legitimate roles and success often depends on access to adequate funds, writes Augustine Ruzindana, a former IGG and former MP.

Ruzindana said reasons for public funding of political parties are generally to create a level playing field for political competition and to reduce potential sources of corrupt influences.

In 2010, the Political Parties and Organisations Act 2005 (PPOA) was amended to insert Section 14(a) to provide for the use of government funds or other public resources to political parties or organisations represented in Parliament (b) in respect of elections funding shall be on equal basis and (c) normal day to day activities shall be based on the numerical strength of each party in Parliament.

Speaking yesterday, Museveni urged the opposition leaders to shun sectarianism of tribe and religion in order to be strong.

Museveni said he had pursued dialogue with Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader, Joseph Kony, going up to South Sudan to meet him.

On electoral reforms, Museveni said he needed time to study the proposals but said the government would fund political parties.

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