KAMPALA – The construction of Electoral Commission (EC) national offices could be financed by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) if ongoing negotiations with government bear fruit, a senior government official has said.
The EC headquarters on Jinja-road in Kampala is up for demolition to pave way for the Kampala flyover project. UNRA has asked EC to vacate the current premises by June 2021.
Appearing before Parliament’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said they are in talks with NSSF to see how to raise money for building the new EC offices.
“We have agreed that we will provide them [EC] housing through Bwebajja Government Village or the EC will get a plot of their choice somewhere and work with NSSF to put up the building,” he added.
Mr Kasaija explained that they will agree with NSSF on how to recover the workers’ money, including funds that could have been used by the electoral body on paying rent.
EC officials told MPs last week that they needed Sh72b to relocate to a new home after the roads authority earmarked the current home of the electoral body for the construction of Jinja-Kampala Expressway, Kampala Flyover as well as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, said Unra had given them up to December 2020 to shift yet the relocation had not been budgeted for. Unra has since given EC up to June 2021 to vacate the current premises.
Unra has also warned that failure to vacate within the agreed time would leave taxpayers incurring Shs300m daily in fines to the contractor due to delayed acquisition.
The Finance ministry provides an oversight role in NSSF. However, there is a proposal to split the mandate so that the Finance minister oversees fund management while the Social Security minister oversees policy matters.