NRM PARTY SETS EXAMPLE IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE MANAGEMENT
NRM Party Sets Example in Campaign Finance Management
The National Resistance Movement Party is setting the example in terms of promoting openness and transparency in management of party and campaign financing. Whether it has been done inadvertently or otherwise, it is an international best practice that political parties and candidates manage campaign funds through the banking system.
This is because it is easier for the party’s leadership to audit funds that are managed through the banking system, than the hitherto obsolete system of moving money physically in sacks.
ACFIM understands the party’s Secretary General Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba acting upon instruction from the party’s chairman President Yoweri Museveni, has introduced a system whereby the party’s campaign funds from the party headquarters to the district offices will be moved through the national banking system.
Since 2006 election campaigns, the country has observed people believed to be part and parcel of campaigns, carrying and flashing bags of money around town and in hotels allegedly from the NRM secretariat.
By using the banking system, the party’s management has addressed squarely the money hungry middlemen and opportunists who have been thriving on the cash system by diverting the funds. These were the dealers who were delivering less than what was budgeted for to NRM arms that needed the funds.
These dealers who often refer to themselves as mobilisers, have been complicit in feeding the beast of commercialized electoral politics that is currently rearing its ugly head on the very democracy it is supposed to facilitate.
This change has anguished some party members that have fed off the campaign cash windfall. The so-called party mobilisers have for long enjoyed the rudimentary NRM cash policy to the extent of many amassing wealth during campaign at the expense of NRM’s grassroots structures and voters who are left with crumbs to share.
It is understood that under the new arrangement, all NRM district branches have bank accounts where the district NRM chairperson, treasurer, and administrative secretary are all signatories.
ACFIM welcomes this new initiative by the party since its one way of promoting openness and transparency in campaign financing. This is one step in the right direction. We however further advice that to stand out as an island of transparency, the NRM should publish its financial reports on their official website so the public can view them.