The Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, has asked the government to increase funding to the National Consultative Forum to help build the capacity of all political parties in the country.
Making a statement on the shrinking civic space in the country, Mathias Mpuuga re-echoed the need to amend the Electoral Commissions Act to redefine the role of both police and army in an election.
In a democratic government, Mpuuga said Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are a channel through which citizens are mobilised to participate in influencing policy decisions, management of public resources and contribute to national development.
On the contrary, Mpuuga said that it has been observed that the state is increasingly clamping down on CSOs operations in Uganda.
“The state has been highly repressive towards organised efforts of dissent. Opposition political parties are not accorded a conducive environment within which to operate as per the dictates of a free and democratic leadership enshrined under Article 29(1 of the Constitution of Uganda,”.
He said the National Consultative Forum for Political Parties and Organisations is yet to influence reforms geared at addressing the government’s repressive approach towards political parties in Uganda.
For instance, the Mpuuga explained that the forum has not weighed in or made known its position on the current indiscriminate attacks on opposition political parties and on the agitation of President Museveni to curtail issuance of bail.
“This is mainly attributed to the lukewarm support from the Electoral Commission which has hindered the actualisation of the forum’s mandate as stipulated under Section 20(4) of the Political Parties and Organisations Act,” he explained.
He suggested increased funding of the National Consultative Forum to empower it to fast-track its statutory mandate under the Political Parties and Organisations Act.
This, he said the enhanced funding would improve the operations of the forum to build the capacities of all political parties in Uganda.