The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Member of Parliament Mathias Kasamba has cautioned politicians to desist from excessive spending of money during elections.
During an interview on NBS TV on Tuesday, Kasamba said that the moment money penetrated into political campaigns, the quality of Uganda’s politics started degrading overtime.
Mass spending of money in campaigns is becoming a norm in Uganda because every year of elections more money is spent by political office aspirants. In the election 2016, according to the Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) a Pan African civil society organisation that monitors political and electoral financing, over Shs2.4 trillion was spent by both political parties and candidates.
Reports from ACFIM on electoral financing show that this coming year of elections, the amount of money expected to be spent may double or triple the figures that were spent in the last elections.
However, the former Kakuuto county Member of Parliament has warned that, if the spending of money in campaigns becomes a character in Uganda, politics will cease to bring service delivery to Ugandans to doing business.
“Money in the campaigns or electoral financing is going to bring a lot problems because politicians have turned politics into business, this has made those serving in political offices to fight those opposing them because they take it as their business. We must stop splashing of money in Uganda’s politics, and I want to urge those still in active politics to endeavour and fight this vice,” he said.
Kasamba added that politicians who buy voters are not leaders but crooks who came in offices to steal because they have to pay back the loans they acquired for campaigns.
“Crooks think everything can be solved by money yet it’s not right, in doing so they have shown a bad picture to many voters that is why everybody now wants to be a politician, they think as one buys a cloth in the market, they can also buy voters like that, this is a bad example.”
According to Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze, as per the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, spending money during campaigns is necessary given the fact that aspirants are going to use media platforms entirely to conduct their campaigns.
“The question is do we need money in campaigns? Yes, EC has told you no rallies, that means you have to print many posters, announcements on all radio stations, include the radio talk shows we pay for and the security again refuses us. However, the most dangerous thing is that NRM picks from the country’s treasury, that is why after elections our shilling depreciates,” she said.
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