In Summary
  • To government, all this seems to be normal given that corrupt public officials take advantage of these by-elections to make money for their own agendas.
  • This has forced many capable and competent people to abandon politics to the so-called rich, who end up violating electoral rules.
  • Some political parties have even taken it upon themselves to demonstrate how well-resourced they are by splashing money on voters as is if there will be no tomorrow.

Of late, the media has been awash with story titles such as ‘Court approves Bugiri polls, ‘Seven nominated in Sheema’, ‘Three for Ibanda Municipality parliamentary race’, ‘Campaigns in high gear for Pallisa NRM flag-bearer’, NRM’s Masiko nominated for Rukungiri Woman MP’, ‘Madi Okollo by-election’, etc.

This happen as many of our elected members in the August House continue to lose their seats due to petitions filed by their aggrieved opponents. My heart continues to beat due to the fact that all these by-elections come with costs. It implies that taxpayers’ money meant for delivering social and other services will be reallocated to facilitate these by-elections, many of which arose following earlier elections that were marred by cases of violence, irregularities and voter bribery, among other reasons.

To government, all this seems to be normal given that corrupt public officials take advantage of these by-elections to make money for their own agendas. I wonder why the electoral body has failed to clean the rot in the system yet if reforms were to be made, such occurrences would be prevented.

The growing trend of survival for the fittest instead of working to improve the lives of the people seems to be gathering speed. Yet individual’s self-interest and greed coupled with the high rate of corruption can never take this country anywhere. People are ready to do whatever it takes to join politics as to accumulate wealth, get a job, establish own business and improve their family’s welfare.

This has forced many capable and competent people to abandon politics to the so-called rich, who end up violating electoral rules. Some political parties have even taken it upon themselves to demonstrate how well-resourced they are by splashing money on voters as is if there will be no tomorrow. This is in addition to distributing tangible items such as beer, cows, sugar, soap, sodas, motorcycles etc. The big question is, where is the country heading?

In my view, there is need for electoral reforms with a view to addressing pertinent democratic lapses in the country. Short of conducting reforms, we will continue to mess up our elections.

Therefore, the Electoral Commission should wake up and clean the rot in its house if we are to stop wasting in organising and holding costly by-elections yet many of our critical sectors like health need more funding.
kenyidesmond@yahoo.com