Museveni gets extra cash a month before Presidential election

Posted January 5, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in News ~ 3,124 views


Yahoo News | KAMPALA (AFP) – Uganda’s parliament, dominated by ruling party loyalists, has granted the President’s office extra emergency funds one month ahead of a presidential election, opposition lawmakers said Wednesday.

Parliament approved a request from President Yoweri Museveni’s office that more than doubled the amount initially assigned to the presidency in the country’s budget, granting him an extra $40 million (?30 million).

“It was quite clear this was a political arrangement,” Hussein Kyanjo, a senior opposition lawmaker told AFP.

“They claimed their first budget projection was wrong by 120 percent. No justification was given and this happens when we are having an election. This is suspicious,” he added.

By law, Museveni’s office was only allowed to spend approximately $38 million, unless it provided reasons why the additional funds were necessary.

Museveni is hoping to extend his 25-year rule when Uganda votes on February 18, but opposition leaders have long complained that his campaigns are illegally funded by public resources.

Late last year, senior election officials said they would not be able to comply with a law that requires Uganda’s election panel to audit the accounts of political parties to determine their sources of funding.

Election commissioner Tom Buruku told journalists those audits might happen “after the election,” and regretted that some political parties “have not been so forthcoming” in submitting their financial particulars.

The ruling National Resistance Movement has never submitted a statement of accounts to the election panel since the law compelling it to do so came into effect in 2005.

Quoted Wednesday in Uganda’s independent Daily Monitor newspaper, ruling party secretary general Amama Mbabazi rejected the claim that the emergency funds would be used to boost the president’s campaign coffers.

“The NRM party has sufficient resources to conduct campaigns. We don’t intend to use public funds,” he said.

Article Source: Yahoo News | AFP

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