The Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue-IPOD has appealed to the government to lift the suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility-DGF, a consortium of donor for good governance programs in Uganda.
President Yoweri Museveni wrote to the Ministry of Finance in February last year to halt the facility and accused the Permanent Secretary of irregularly and unilaterally authorizing a foreign mission in Uganda to operate the 100 million pound sterling fund.
Museveni said that unlike prior grant arrangements like the Democratic Governance and Accountability project in which 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.
Addressing journalists at the IPOD secretariat in Ntinda on Tuesday, members of the IPOD Council appealed to the government to lift the suspension on DGF, saying its suspension has crippled political party activities. The IPOD council comprises Secretary Generals of political parties with representation in Parliament.
Richard Todwong, the General Secretary of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM said DGF was funding capacity building activities in political parties, including training of members especially those being groomed for leadership. He said that now parties cannot conduct such activities due to lack of funds.
Harold Kaija, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, said that one of the biggest challenges Uganda faces is bad leadership, which can only be addressed through training.
He said leaders are not self-made but rather trained and groomed. He said that political parties cannot raise enough funds from members to conduct training among other capacity-building programs initially funded by DGF.
Gerald Blacks Siranda, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Party-DP shared the same sentiments with Todong and Kaija. He said Uganda needs to nurture its young people, women and persons with disabilities to be better leaders and this can be achieved through training. Siranda said that DP and equally other political parties are crippled because of lack of funding to implement their programs previously funded by DGF.
Frank Rusa, the IPOD Executive Secretary said that they have been able to continue with a few administrative activities using other sources of funding like the Netherlands government but political parties, whom they work with, are largely affected.
Meanwhile, IPOD has opened doors to new parties with representation in Parliament as they draft a new Memorandum of Understanding-MoU that will run from 2022 to 2026.
The new entrants in Parliament are the National Unity Platform, which is the dominant opposition party and the People’s Progressive Party-PPP, which has one Member of Parliament.
Richard Todwong, who is the current chairman of the IPOD Council, said the MoU shall represent views of the different political parties and offer continuity to IPOD objectives and resolutions.