President Yoweri Museveni, who doubles as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party National Chairman, has called upon all political parties in Uganda to work together and resolve the issues affecting the country.
Museveni, who is also the current chairperson of The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD), says despite the political differences political parties should take the lead in the promotion of peace and stability in the country.
“Because the idea is although you have differences, please, work for stability by sharing some common positions in a forum and the only forum is this one (IPOD),” Museveni said.
The President who was meeting the IPOD Council of Secretaries General of member political parties at State House, Entebbe, noted that although IPOD brings together all political parties represented in Parliament, some do not want to cooperate with others and therefore, these should not qualify for Government funding under the IPOD arrangement.
“It should even be put in the law that those who don’t want to be part of the forum, should not share that money, ” Museveni stressed.
According to the IPOD Council Chairperson, Hon. Richard Todwong, National Unity Platform (NUP) is getting more funding than UPC, DP and JEEMA and yet they don’t want to cooperate with other political parties.
“Their work is contrary to the spirit of dialogue and unity for the country,” he noted.
At the May 2019 IPOD summit, President Museveni committed to increase public funding to political parties from Shs10 billion to Shs35 billion and to review the modalities of allocation of the said funding to a more equitable formular that takes into account the day-to-day activities of the parties, their administrative expenses and the need to finance joint activities under IPOD.
Hon. Todwong thanked the President for ensuring that more funding is made available in accordance with the promise.
“Indeed, the 35 billion shillings was passed by parliament in a supplementary budget for funding of political parties under the IPOD arrangement,” Tadwong said.
He, however, that in the January-March quarter, Shs23 billion was released by the Ministry of Finance out of Shs 35 billion, which the Electoral Commission (EC) again allocated to the seven political parties in Parliament in accordance with their numerical strength contrary to the resolution of the March 2021 IPOD summit.
According to the allocation, NRM got Shs17 billion (74%), NUP got Shs3.1 billion (13.5%), FDC got Shs1.7 billion (7.4%), DP and UPC each got Shs485 million (2.1%).
JEEMA and PPP each got Shs53 million (0.2%).
President Museveni maintained his earlier position that 15% of the total amount should be shared equally among member parties for administrative expenses, another 15% to be allocated to the IPOD secretariat for joint activities for the member parties and 70% be allocated based on numerical strength of parliamentary representation of member parties.
The president also agreed to meet the IPOD Council of Secretaries General every four months.
“I thank the parties which are here and the ones which are not here but subscribe to the belief of harmony among political parties. I’m happy that with the generation of independence, some of us have been able to push Uganda towards a more viable way of doing things,” Museveni noted.
IPOD brings together all political parties represented in Parliament with a cardinal objective of promoting meaningful interparty dialogue in pursuit of peaceful coexistence and pursuit of national development goals.
In attendance at the summit were NRM Secretary General, Hon. Richard Todwong, Mr. Gerald Siranda of Democratic Party (DP), Mr. Mohammad Kateregga (JEEMA) and Mr. Ebil Fred of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).