Government through the Ministry of Finance has revealed that there is no money to fund elections for the newly created districts in the country.
The shocking news was told to the Parliamentary Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs by the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury (PSST), Keith Muhakanizi.
Muhakanizi was appearing before the committee with the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija and officials from the Electoral Commission led by the Vice Chairperson, Aisha Lubega.
The 9th Parliament in 2016 created 5 new districts that became effective on July 1, 2017 namely, Rukiga, Pakwach, Namisindwa, Butebo and Kyotera.
These are supposed to have elections for district elected leaders (District Woman MP and LC5 Chairperson, within 60 days after operationalization.
Parliament also prescribed 6 Municipalities as constituencies, namely; Nebbi Municipality, Ibanda, Sheema, Apac, Njeru and Kotido whose elections for Members of Parliament is also due.
The EC boss told the committee that a total of Shs12billion is needed to successfully conduct the pending elections which also include by-elections for Women Member of Parliament for Iganga and Kaabong districts.
“The Electoral Commission requested for funding for these activities during the 2017/2018 budget cycle and these funds were not provided for,” Lubega said.
He added that a number of communications have been made to the Ministry of Finance reminding them of the issues and that the ministry promised to look into it.
Muhakanizi however, told the committee that Government does not have the Shs12 billion requested to conduct elections adding that he advised Government against creation of new districts in vain.
“From the level of cabinet to Parliament, our advice was rejected; we need now to go back to the table in less than a month after approving the budget, without considered any issue that was supposed to be a priority and we are now under immense pressure,” Muhakanizi said.
Minister Matia Kasaija requested the committee to allow them more time to look for funds for the elections as well as money that would help run the new districts.