Conservative Party (CP) has closed its headquarters on Kisozi Complex citing lack of money to run party activities and rent.
Alfred Kasozi, the Deputy Secretary-General of CP said they have been struggling for several months until they decided to close their Kampala and regional offices for the meantime as they source for possible funders.
Kasozi explains that they spend more than Shillings 20m monthly on rent for the party headquarters, administrator’s allowances, political analyst, and other activities. Kasozi says that they spend an estimated more than Shillings 240m every year.
CP used to get €4000 (Shillings 16.5m shillings) from Democratic Governance Facility – DGF and Shillings 48M from the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Party Democracy – NIMD when they had representation in parliament.
However, CP has not had a member of parliament for two terms, which mean that they cannot be members of the Interparty Organization for Dialogue – IPOD to qualify for funding from the NIMD.
There has been also been a push and pull situation between the government of Uganda and DGF something that has affected the funding of political parties and other non-governmental organizations.
To address the financial challenges, CP is planning to start grass-root mobilization as one of the mechanisms to raise funds and identify new funders. This will come after the Central Executive Committee meeting that will draw the full budget and lay down the strategies for raising the funds needed.
CP is one of Uganda’s oldest political parties and has participated in various presidential and parliamentary elections. The party has been running offices in Amuru, Arua, Mbale, Rubirizi and Mukono among others.
Even though CP is financially constrained, Kasozi said they have joined other opposition political parties under the Peoples Front for Transition under the leadership of Dr. Kiiza Besigye. The new front was launched Thursday at the Justice Forum (JEEMA) headquarters in Mengo. If all goes on well, Kasozi hopes that they will have their National Delegates Conference at the start of next year.
CP president Ken Lukyamuzi castigates January 14, 2021, general election, which saw his party get no member of parliament out of the two that contested on the party ticket including him.
He describes the election as a sham, saying that it was controlled by the military and influenced by social media due to the absence of public advocacy, which he thinks would have informed people’s choice of candidates.
Alfred Kasozi blames their poor performance on the National Unity Platform (NUP) wave that swept across mainly in Buganda. The conservative party succeeded Kabaka Yekka, a Baganda political party that operated directly after independence.
CP is one of the political parties that participated in the 1980 Ugandan general elections but failed to win any parliamentary seat. The party has been battling with factionalism during the early 2000s, majorly led by Mayanja Nkangi and former Makindye West MP, Nsubuga Nsambu. Internal woes continued until 2005 when Nkangi officially stepped down for Ken Lukyamuzi to take over.