BULK OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON 2021 ELECTIONS WENT TO ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND POLICE
Bulk of government spending on 2021 elections went to Electoral Commission and police
Government spending on election-related activities by November 2020 was recorded at UGX 456.87 billion ($125.2 million). The bulk of the money was spent by Electoral Commission – UGX 274.11 billion ($75.1 million) representing 70%, followed by Uganda Police Force – UGX 154.79 billion ($42.4 million) representing 25%.
The total budget allocation to the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies involved in the preparation and conduct of 2021 general elections was UGX 1,255.73 billion ($344.03 million). By November 2020, the total amount budgeted and released for election roadmap activities in Financial Years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 was UGX 1,073.42 billion ($294.08 million).
The rest of the public funds allocated to election financing were spent by Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Citizenship and Immigration Control, Uganda Prisons Service, National Identification and Registration Authority, Department of Government Analytical Laboratory as follows:
GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA ELECTION FINANCING BY NOVEMBER 2020
Budget for FY2019/20 & 2020/21
Releases by Nov, 2020
Total Expenditure by Nov. 2020
1. Ministry of Internal Affairs
2. Electoral Commission
3. National Citizenship and Immigration Control
4. Uganda Police Force
5. Uganda Prisons Service
6. National Identification and Registration Authority
7. Department of Government Analytical Laboratory
Source: Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development
The budget of the electoral commission includes the money allocated to finance political parties represented in Parliament which in this case was UGX 15 billion ($4.1 million). It was shared among the NRM, DP, UPC, FDC, and JEEMA political parties using the formula of numerical strength.
There is lack of transparency and openness in the utilization of money meant for public financing to political parties. The Auditor General’s reports do not clearly expound on how political parties consume the funds they get.
Public spending on the Police in November 2020 – the first month of general campaigns, went into purchase of tear gas canisters and payment of allowances for officers that were deployed to keep law and order.
The secret known is that keeping law and order also included blocking certain presidential candidates from accessing campaign venues, dispersing opposition supporters with tear gas, and sometimes shooting live bullets in the air, as well as beating up journalists covering opposition presidential candidates. This was a common occurrence that was reported by the media and ACFIM observers on the campaign trail.