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Minister Kasaija Orders EC to Cut Election Budget

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The Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija has said the government does not have all the money Electoral Commission (EC) requested to finance the 2021 general elections.

EC presented a budget of sh700b for 2020/2021, but Kasaija has asked the electoral body to slash the money.
Kasaija told MPs while appearing before the parliamentary committee on Legal Affairs on Tuesday that his ministry is already facing a revenue shortfall.

The EC, on the other hand, says funds available (sh140b) can only take them to the nomination exercise.
Kasaija told MPs that his ministry is going to sit with EC officials for a review.

MPS Reject Proposal

Lawmakers, however, accused the minister of intimidating the EC chairperson, forcing him to accept the proposal to review the budget of the electoral body.

Hon. Jovah Kamateka (NRM, Mitooma district) questioned the proposal to cut the budget of the EC and yet the budget process is ongoing.
“How can we talk of budget cuts when we are in the budget process|? Let us just appropriate funds for elections,” she said.
Opposition Chief Whip, Hon. Ssemujju Nganda warned that failure to appropriate adequate funds for elections will expose the EC to the challenges they faced in the last election where materials were delivered late.

“Budget cuts will push the EC against the wall forcing them to organise any kind of elections not free and fair elections,” he said.
Hon. Robinah Rwakoojo (NRM, Gomba West ) said that there is no justification for failure to fund all electoral activities because the Ministry has known about the budget for five years.

“Every aspect of the election road map is important. This budget should not be cut. If the Minister of Finance also wants to come back to Parliament as an MP, please make the process smooth for all,” she said.

The Committee chairperson, Hon Oboth Oboth directed the minister to present the final figures agreed with the EC on Friday, 31 January 2020 for further scrutiny.

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