Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Refocus aid to community projects opposed to budget support- Mpuuga.

The Leader of the Opposition in Uganda, Mathias Mpuuga, has asked a Danish team to send funding to directly to community projects instead of supporting the Ugandan budget.
Mpuuga said thatdirect budget support to Uganda is no longer sustainable until the country fully transits into democracy.
“Our people can best benefit from directly funded community projects, not budget support. The trust in the regime is very low. Funds channeled through the regime are eaten before they are considered… if they can eat what is collected locally, what about that which comes from far away?” Mpuuga said
He made the remarks while addressing members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament who were led by the Committee chairperson, Lise Bech.
These are in the country to monitor Denmark’s support to Uganda in relation to the refugee response, climate change and human rights.
Denmark is one of Uganda’s major donors and has over the past five years offered Euros 127 million ( approximately Shs 49.6 trillion) to various initiatives under the Uganda Programme for Sustainable and Inclusive Development of the Economy (UPSIDE) and Uganda Programme for Governance, Rights, Accountability and Democracy (UPGRADE).
Mpuuga asked the visiting delegation to take a keen interest in Uganda’s human rights record, especially over the past two years which he said have been characterised by disappearances and detention without trial of opposition politicians and supporters.
“If you visited here in an electioneering period, it is like a war zone; it is war! [Ahead of the 2021 election], we lost over 120 civilians. In my constituency alone in Masaka city, eight people were killed, and up to now, I am still treating victims of polling day shooting,” Mpuuga said.
The Danes who met Mpuuga after their interaction with the government wondered why the opposition weighed down the country’s democratic credentials to which Mpuuga said the electoral system is no longer trusted.
“An election that is neither free nor fair can only produce a regime. When leadership becomes a matter of eternity, people lose hope [but] we want to be part of a conversation on serious electoral and constitutional reforms,” he noted.

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