The Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) has asked the government to lift the ban on the activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) to enable the parties to build their structures.
Early this year, President Museveni directed the immediate suspension of the activities of the DGF which was the largest pool of donor funding to non-governmental organisations in Uganda over what he termed as financing of subversive activities.
Museveni said that unlike prior grant arrangements projects where there was transparency and representations from government, the government had no say or oversight in DGF and how the facility was being administered in the country.
Following the suspension, several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the country halted or downscaled activities and a number temporarily stopped staff from working while others introduced a shift model for employees to reduce costs.
Speaking to the media at the IPOD secretariat in Ntinda on Tuesday, members of the IPOD council appealed to President Museveni to lift the suspension on DGF, saying its closure crippled political party activities.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general, Richard Todwong, said DGF was funding the development of policy documents including capacity building activities in political parties.
“We wish to strongly appeal to the government of Uganda to lift the suspension of the activities of the Democratic Governance Facility,” said Todwong.
Frank Rusa, the IPOD executive secretary said that they have been able to continue with a few administrative activities using other sources of funding noting that their activities have been greatly affected.
“We would be very grateful to the government of Uganda if they heed to the call of our dear leaders here which joins the voices of many other Ugandans to reconsider lifting the suspension on DGF because in a big way it will alleviate some of these challenges,” he said.
Harold Kaija, the deputy secretary general of the Forum for Democratic Change said political parties are crippled because of lack of funding to implement their programs previously funded by DGF.
“The moment the government stopped the facility is when parties started crumbling, so we are asking Mr. Museveni who actually has the last say on this to rethink and consider lifting the ban,” he said.
Meanwhile, IPOD has formally started the process of inviting the largest opposition party in parliament – the National Unity Platform (NUP) into its fold. The action will also see an invitation extended to the People’s Progressive Party, as they are new entrants.