Published by Patra K on

Money, Promises and Appointments to Public Jobs are Subtle Ways of Killing Democracy

Photo courtesy of Trumpet News

Politics of defection and migration is taking center stage with the traffic flowing in one direction – from opposition political parties to the incumbent NRM party led by incumbent presidential candidate, Gen. Yoweri Museveni.

Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform (NUP) is one of the targeted grounds for political poaching. The biggest animal poached is the party’s Regional Registrar for Northern Uganda region which comprise the sub-regions of Acholi, Lango and West Nile, Mr. Robnison Rackara and 60 others. NUP coordinator for Bunyoro sub-region, Godwin Angaria also reportedly crossed over to the NRM party.

The expressed reason for defection is the allegation of NUP leadership preaching politics of hate, pushing for violence and ideological bankruptcy. But the secret known is that the impetus for the political cross-over is largely money or promises for “juicy” jobs in public institutions which the poor and economically vulnerable youth find difficult to resist.

The Daily Monitor newspaper carried a lead story in its December 21, 2020 edition where they report on President Museveni hint about his underground works that are calculated to diminish the political threat on Robert Kyagulanyi’s NUP Party.

It is a known secret to us that many of the defectors are just political merchants who do not even associate with the beliefs, values and ideologies of the political parties they defect from but want to use them as nothing but special purpose vehicles to win the next election or to strategically position themselves to be bought off by other political parties or candidates that fear competition.

With all that said, one must also take note that all these defections are not merely the sum of the opportunism but are also brewed by intra-party conflict or capture of political parties by few individuals who determine who does what, when, and how. This kind of political culture is sabotaging competitive democracy.

The way forward is for Uganda to focus on building a culture of multi-party politics where someone joins as a member not because of pecuniary interests but because he/she subscribes to the political ideology of the party. For now, the major driver of political socialization is money. Money seeking politicians take a detour into NUP or other political parties to increase their premium so that the buyer can pay a higher price.

Others become candidates so that they can use it as a platform for fundraising. In this case when it comes to campaign spending, they would use a small percentage and keep the rest. What explains the situation where over 14 candidates have been nominated for the same position?

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