THE BANK NOTE CAPTURED THE BALLOT PAPER IN ELDERLY ELECTIONS
The Bank Note Captured the Ballot Paper in Elderly Elections
National Resistance Movement’s Peggy Joy Waako posted a landslide victory in the race for National Woman MP for elders Elect landslide victory, thanks to conquering power of the banknote.
Secrets Known has learned that the victor in these elections allegedly induced voters with a standard cash donation of Ugx40,000 ($11) per delegate. Ms Waako, a retired social worker garnered 640 votes where as her only opponent Miria Matembe (Independent), former minister of state for Ethics and integrity only secured 56 votes out of at least 703 delegates.
This story was broken by the Daily Monitor of 23rd January, which reported that there was a sense in which the delegates for this electoral college enjoyed the voter hospitality and readily put their ballots up for sale.
The delegates volunteered information that at the venue of the college election, they were clustered into districts where each of them was given Ugx 200,000 ($53) for the five executive members who form the Electoral college.
Some delegates revealed that were hosted on the eve of the election at the same polling venue admitting that they had indeed been handed UGX 40,000 each by the agents of Ms. Waako in a meeting that lasted from midday till late evening. This highlights voter tourism and voter hospitality by the candidates as a way to induce voters.
The delegates justified the bribe claiming that it was meant to cater for their accommodation and meals. However, contrary to this claim, Muwaya Frederick Tibakuno, Electoral Commission returning officer, Kampala stated that each delegate was to be given an allowance of UGX.400,000 in addition to the transport depending on the distance from their respective home district courtesy of Electoral Commission.
The daily Monitor reported that one delegate even mentioned that in the previous regional election for the elderly, they pocketed not less than Ugx2 million after receiving a “token” from all candidates in addition to their official allowance.
The blatant bribery on show by candidates who have shamelessly made it the norm to openly bribe voters in full glare of everyone, is one of the subtle ways that are being used to kill Uganda’s democracy. Voters in this case chose money over ideas and have lost 5 years of able and ideological leadership in exchange of Ugx 40,000.
Parliament last year approved for the creation of 5 seats for the elderly on which one was ring fenced for women adding on to the 4 regional representatives. The position for National Woman MP for elders adds to the 4 seats for the elderly that have all been taken by the ruling NRM party courtesy of money. One would therefore not be faulted to say that without money, the NRM would fail to retain power.
According to the Uganda Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act, 2010, 2010, 69 Bribery (1) Any person who, either before or during an election with intent, either directly or indirectly to influence another person to vote or to refrain from voting for any candidate, gives or provides or causes to be given or provided any money, gift or other consideration to that other person, commits the offence of bribery and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ninety currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.
This raises questions on the reluctance of the police to take action rather than pretend as if they are not aware. The Electoral Commission should also be put on the spot because it is the body in charge of Elections and must ensure that the whole notion of voter bribery is weeded out but have unfortunately remained by standers.
ACFIM condemns the political actors that have become midwives and incubators of commercialised electoral politics which is one of the subtle ways the regime in power has killed democracy.