The National Unity Platform-NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine spent between Shillings 7 and 10 million per day during his presidential election campaigns, the party Secretary-General, David Lewis Rubongoya has said.
He said that the money covered the basic needs of Kyagulanyi’s entourage such as lodging, food and fueling their vehicles.
“It is difficult to budget for a campaign and monitor the flow of money because many people were not channeling their financial support through the secretariat. Money would be sent directly to individuals such as those who had been injured or families of supporters who were killed,” Rubongoya said.
The party has maintained that its campaigns expenses were bankrolled by supporters both in the country and abroad. It’s these supporters, the party says, who continue to give aid and paying medical bills of NUP supporters who were abducted.
Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), an organization that monitors campaign financing in a report before elections indicated that NUP had more than 60% of their funding coming from foreign sources in form of donations from sympathizers in the UK and US who believe in NUP’s struggle.
Internally, before the start of campaigns, NUP was running a public fundraising drive dubbed “Muda-Ku-Muda @10K We Can”. There were several campaigns both online and offline geared at raising money for the party. And some are still running.
For instance, End Museveni Dictatorship Mutual Aid, a Twitter account has been mobilizing funds to support Bobi Wine supporters who are still in prison. The account is currently fundraising Shillings 2.5 million to send Easter packs to the detained supporters.
Operating in darkness
No political party declared its campaign budget projection or means through, which they were going to raise money before the election.
Henry Muguzi, the Executive Director of Alliance for Finance Monitoring, says political parties enjoy operating under no scrutiny even when they are supposed to submit audited financial reports every financial year as required under the Political Parties and Organization Act of 2005.
For the last five years, Muguzi says ACFIM has been writing to the Electoral Commission requesting for reports submitted by political parties but they have not gone any. These audited reports can be accessed by the public upon payment of a reasonable fee prescribed by the Electoral Commission.
Muguzi argues that there is too much darkness that shrouds the operations of political parties in Uganda including those in parliament that receive funding from the consolidated fund. He says there is a need to for a law that can force political parties to submit reports of their campaign financing and expenditures after elections.
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