President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is also the chairman of the National Resistance Movement, has requested that the National Unity Platform (NUP) be removed from the list of people who are expected to benefit from IPOD money because it refused to join the political party coalition.
The NUP has announced that they will not join IPOD since the platform has been mostly used to legitimize the NRM, which they claim has no concern for democracy.
“The dictatorship uses it (IPOD) for political gain, rather than the stated goal of improving Uganda’s multiparty democracy,” says the report. You would agree that the democratic space in Uganda has shrunk throughout the last ten years of IPOD’s existence, with each consecutive year getting worse.
Museveni, speaking at State House Entebbe to the IPOD Council of Secretaries General of member political parties, asked all Ugandan political parties to work together to resolve the country’s problems.
Despite political differences, Museveni, who is also the current chairwoman of the IPOD, believes that political parties should take the lead in promoting peace and stability in the country.
“Because the notion is that, despite your disagreements, you should fight for stability by discussing some shared positions in a forum, and the only forum that exists is this one (IPOD),” he explained.
He pointed out that, while IPOD brings together all of the political parties represented in parliament, some do not wish to work with others and hence should not be eligible for government support.
“It should even be written into the legislation that people who do not wish to participate in the forum should not split the money,” Museveni said.
NUP receives more financing than UPC, DP, and JEEMA, according to IPOD Council Chairperson Richard Todwong, yet they refuse to work with other political parties.
“Their work runs counter to the country’s attitude of discussion and unity,” he said.
At the IPOD summit in May 2019, President Museveni committed to increasing public funding to political parties from Shs10 billion to Shs35 billion, as well as reviewing the modalities of allocating the funding to a more equitable formula that takes into account the parties’ day-to-day activities, administrative expenses, and the need for funding.
Richard Todwong, the Chairperson of the IPOD Council, thanked the president for ensuring that more funds is made available as promised.
“Indeed, parliament passed the shs35 billion in a supplementary budget for political party finance under the IPOD arrangement,” Tadwong added.
Despite the fact that the Ministry of Finance released Shs23 billion out of Shs35 billion in the January-March quarter, he claimed that the Electoral Commission had again allocated these funds to the seven political parties in Parliament based on their numerical strength, contrary to the March 2021 IPOD summit resolution.
President Museveni has maintained his earlier position that 15 percent of the total amount should be shared equally among member parties for administrative expenses, another 15 percent should be allocated to the IPOD secretariat for joint activities for member parties, and the remaining 70 percent should be allocated based on the numerical strength of member parties’ parliamentary representation.
He also pledged to meet with the IPOD Secretaries General Council every four months.
“I thank all of the parties that are present, as well as those who are not present but believe in political concord.” “I’m pleased that some of us have been able to drive Uganda toward a more feasible manner of doing things with the generation of independence,” Museveni said.