The Electoral Commission is seeking a supplementary budget of Ug.Shs. 20bn to conduct the much delayed women council elections . Because of the political vacuum, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has since directed the Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi, to draft a statutory instrument tp extend the time of office of the Women Councils.
This , after Kafuuzi asked parliament to pass a supplementary budget of Ug.Shs20 billion to enable the EC organize the Women Councils and Committees polls which expired on , 23 August 2022.
The Deputy AG further requested for the release of Ug.Shs15.68 billion provided in the budget, to facilitate the Women Council elections.
“This will enable the Electoral Commission to settle outstanding obligations and also fulfill the statutory requirement of organising and conducting elections for new office bearers for Women Councils from village to national level,” Kafuuzi said.
He said that in the 2022/2023 financial year, the Electoral Commission presented a funding requirement for the Women Council elections of Shs35.68 billion, of which Ug.Shs15.68 billion was appropriated leaving a balance of Ug.Shs20 billion.
“The Electoral Commission had planned the election activities to commence in June 2022 to avert a vacuum that could arise when the term of the current Women Council office bearers expired in August this year,” Kafuuzi noted. He explained that the Electoral Commission embarked on preparatory activities for the conduct of the elections with hopes that additional resources would be provided by the finance ministry.
“On release of details of that approved budget estimates for Financial Year 2022/2023, the Commission realised that the approved budget levels were not sufficient. The Commission thus indefinitely suspended the activities geared towards the Women Council elections,” the Deputy Attorney General noted.
Kafuuzi said the commission received non-wage funding of Shs12 billion for the first quarter, of which Shs3.613 billion catered for MP by-elections in the counties of Soroti East, Gogonyo, Bukimbiri and Busongora. It also catered for Local Government by-elections in 26 districts.
“The Commission is constrained to pay outstanding obligations yet service providers and ad hoc staff that were engaged during the concluded activities are agitating for their pay,” Kafuzi stated .
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