Months after the leading Opposition party; the National Unity Platform (NUP) declined an invitation to join the inter-party organisation for dialogue (IPOD), the Opposition in Parliament has launched a demand for increased funding to the National Consultative Forum in a bid to empower it in fast-tracking its statutory mandate under the Political Parties and other Organizations Act.
The National Consultative Forum is an interparty platform for excellence that seeks to create harmony and peaceful co-existence through mediating, dialoging, monitoring, capacity building and conflict resolution amongst registered political parties.
The Opposition said enhanced funding will improve operations of the Forum and build the capacities of Uganda’s political parties.
This recommendation is contained in a statement from the Leader of the Opposition, Mathia Mpuuga on the shrinking civic space in the country.
Mpuuga delegated the Shadow Minister for Internal Affairs, Abdallah Kiwanuka to present the statement on behalf of the Opposition.
Abdallah Kiwanuka said the National Consultative Forum is yet to influence reforms geared at addressing the government’s repressive approach towards political parties.
“The Forum has not weighted in or made known its position on the current indiscriminate attack on opposition political parties,” he said.
The Opposition also called for the amendment of the Electoral Commission Act to redefine the role of police and other armed forces during elections.
“The role of conducting elections should be the reserve of the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission and not the lnspector General of Police or the President or any other person should be solely in charge of and in direct command and control of the co-opted police and other internal security personnel deployed in electoral processes,” Kiwanuka said.
The report highlights what it terms as ‘state clampdown on CSOs operations in Uganda including political parties, non-governmental organizations, media, cultural institutions and religious institutions.
Kiwanuka said prohibitive powers were applied by security organs during the 2021 general elections despite a Constitutional Court judgment delivered in March 2020.
“In effect, the prohibitive powers were clipped because those powers were unacceptable and demonstrably unjustifiable in a free and democratic society,” he added.
The Leader of the Opposition also calls for the establishment of the Uganda Communications Tribunal under the Uganda Communications Commission Act.
The tribunal, Abdallah Kiwanuka said, would have handled complaints relating to the decisions of the Uganda Communications Commission as provided under Sections 60 and 64 of the UCC Act.
“The Minister responsible for Internal Affairs should brief the House on measures undertaken to apprehend perpetrators of violence meted out on journalists during the recently conducted general elections,” he added.
The LoP also recommended streamlining of the Education Service Commission to work on recommendations and technical guidance of religious institutions, as regards to the transfer of teachers and head-teachers of religious founded institutions.