The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Major Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire has said that it’s high time African countries came up with their own type of democracy.
Otafiire who was officiating the Electoral Commission Symposium on strengthening the Electoral process at Speke Resort, Munyonyo on Wednesday said that the reason why democracy in Africa is failing is that the continent is different from the Western world whose type of democracy is just forced on the former.
“We need to define our own type of democracy. We can’t be tied to a system of people who had a different history. Africa has its peculiar background, history. We must sit down and rethink our democracy. And move away from what we are being taught by others. They keep telling us: “If you don’t do it this way, this will happen”. Threats all the time,” he said.
Otafiire also said that African leaders must liberate Africans from electoral chaos by avoiding commercialization of elections. He noted that Ugandans should also stop the habit of asking for money from candidates during the process.
“Avoid bribery, killings, lies during elections.During the last elections, people from my constituency asked me for money in order to vote for me and when I refused they voted me out,” said Otafiire.
He cautioned that commercialisation of elections leads to ruining the economy during and after the electoral processes.
“In most African countries, economies normally go down during elections which is a very big challenge on development and investment, this must stop, we must adopt the way how other countries hold their elections. Have you ever heard investors fleeing America because of elections?” asked Otafiire adding that Ugandans must stop violence during elections because it hinders the country’s development.
However, the Chairperson Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama promised Otafiire that his team will make sure that violence does not occur during 2021 elections at any polling station or during the campaigns.
“I want to assure Ugandans that EC will maintain stability during 2021 elections and elections will be free and fair,” said Byabakama.
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