Ugandan opposition MPs block 2016 elections’ policing funds

Nyakairima

REQUEST DENIED: Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Uganda’s minister of Internal Affairs

With only nine months remaining for Uganda to hold general elections, the Uganda Police Force is seeking a 204 billion shillings allocation for policing the polls, a request that has been rejected by the Ugandan parliament.

The country’s Internal Affairs Minister, General Aronda Nyakairima led a police delegation before the Defence and Internal Affairs Parliamentary Committee to table the request which would enable police start preparations for the elections.

Also on the delegation was Deputy Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola, Permanent Secretary Internal Affairs Steven Kagoda, and other police officers.

The 204 billion Shillings requested for is more than half the total budget for the Electoral Commission for the financial year 2015/2016; the Electoral Commission that is mandated to organize elections has a budget of 376 billion Shillings.

Bufumbira East MP, Eddie Kwizera said that the money for policing 2016 general elections is not supposed to be allocated under the police since the Electoral Commission has a budget for policing of elections.

Kyadondo East MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that police has a budget that is enhanced every financial year for crime and other related operations.

“You are now competing with the Electoral Commission in taking a budget for the general elections as if you are going to field candidates or facilitate the process”, said Ssemujju.

Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto said that the request is outrageous since the Electoral Commission is also allocated large sums of money for electioneering and that the police request does not deserve support.

“The requested money is half the total budget of the force which is 400 billion Shillings. Police is always allocated enough money to police the country, why are they now demanding for a separate budget for the elections,” Otto questioned.

But General Aronda Nyakairima, explained the police needs serious support towards the matter since there is need to ensure that the people are secured all through the election period.