April 10, 2013

EC Asks High Court To Deregister Inactive Political Parties

EC Chief Eng. Badru Kigundu
EC Chief Eng. Badru Kigundu

The fate of eight inactive political parties now lies in the hands of the High Court.

The Electoral Commission chairman Engineer Badru Kiggundu invited eleven political parties to meet with them on their compliance with the political party and organizations act.

This was to specifically discuss their declaration of assets and liabilities, sources of funding, changes in management structures, office location and if they have held delegates conferences.

However, today only the secretary general of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Henry Lubowa turned up for the meeting.

The secretary generals of the Movement for Democratic Change and a letter from Movement volunteer Mobilisation organization requested for the scheduling of another meeting now set for Friday.

Jotham Talemwa, the spokesperson of the Commission, says they have agreed to invoke section 21 of the political parties and organisations Act by writing to the High Court recommending for their deregistration.

He adds that today was the last day of natural justice for the political parties.

The eight political parties include Action Party led by Nelson Ocheger who is now the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Uganda, Moscow. Others are Bridge Party, National Redemption Party, Progressive Alliance Party, Reform Party, Uganda Mandate Party, New order Democracy and People’s Independent Party.

Lubowa tells URN that the SDP was missing some form of returns of assets for the year 2010 and of the party and audited accounts for 2011 and 2012.

Lubowa says he was shocked that the SDP was considered an inactive party yet its party President Mike Mabikke among others is participating in by elections. He argues that lack of grassroots supporters should not be a basis to render the party inactive.

Mutibwa Johnson of the Movement for Democratic Change was very angry that his party was even summoned and considered inactive.

He questioned why the EC was requesting for accountability of their funds yet they do not get funding from government. He vowed not to disclose where the party gets funding adding that if government pushes them so hard they will not hesitate to fight back.

According to Section nine of the political parties and organizations act, on declaration of assets and liabilities, every political party or organization shall, within sixty days after the expiry of the first year after the issue to it of a certificate of registration, shall submit a declaration to the Electoral Commission the sources of funds and other assets of the political party or organization.

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