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Fatboy: Why Should The Taxpayer Fund The Activities Of Political Parties?

Commenting on the Inter-Party Dialogue (IPOD) funds tripled by the government, RX Radio presenter James Onen questioned why the ordinary Ugandan should be funding the operations and welfare of political parties.

Reports from a local newspaper indicate that the parties will be getting 35 billion shillings beginning this financial year a raise tripled from 10 billion shillings the parties have been receiving annually.

The money will be shared among the political parties depending on the number of members they have in Parliament. This means National Resistance Movement (NRM) will receive the biggest chunk followed by the National Unity Platform (NUP), Forum For Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Justice Forum (Jeema), and People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Fatboy said, “ If a group puts itself forward as a political party, it holds the responsibility of canvassing support not just through votes but also to fundraise. So then why should I the taxpayer have my money directed towards their political activities?”

He went on to give examples of parties in the US having organizations like the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Republican National Committee (RNC) which lobby funds that sustain the operations as well as overseeing the well-being of their members independently.

“So I don’t understand why if the NRM and NUP have some activities it has to do, I have to see I who supports neither or any party needs to be footing the bill for their activities” he insisted.

But his co-host on the contrary supported the move saying that the parties need the funds to run their operations. According to Olive, the fact that the country is under a multi-party system makes the government justified to support the activities of other parties.

She said to Fatboy, “The President has over time said that foreign agents are always financing the activities of political parties and the best way to get rid of that, is to foot some of their activities.”

In a further comment on the tripled funds, she argued that political parties complained that it was not enough thus making the government raise the funds.

The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.

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