KAMPALA – Members of Parliament have rejected the proposed amendment to the Parliamentary Elections [Amendment] Bill, 2019 to reduce the nomination fee for persons seeking to contest as members of parliament
The Amendment was proposed by Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) to have the nomination fee for Parliamentary contestants reduced from Shs3m to Shs2m saying the move would give chance to poor Ugandans participate in the election.
Nandala’s proposal was supported by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga who said that the youths have been pressurizing for the nomination fee to be lowered to enable them to contest since they are not in many jobs to raise this amount.
Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) also backed the proposal saying that it would help deepen Uganda’s democracy and warned MPs that maintaining nomination fees at Shs3M would put them in bad light among Ugandans, describing the current finger as unfair.
Agaba Abbas (Kitagwenda County) said that the nomination fee should have been lowered because it is not the only deterrent since academic qualification is high.
However, other MPs including Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) Elijah Okupa (Kasilo County), Robinah Ssentongo (Kyotera Woman MP) and Richard Okoth Othieno (West Budama North) rejected the proposal and called for the status quo to be maintained.
The Attorney General, William Byaruhanga defended the Shs3M saying it will help curtail the influx of contestants so as to give chance to Electoral Commission conduct an election of better quality and that the Shs3m will only attract serious candidates for election.