LOSING CANDIDATES NOW FLYING TOWARDS THE POLITICAL BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Losing candidates now flying towards the political bermuda triangle
Following their loss in the January 2021 Parliamentary Elections, a number of losing candidates have resorted to retrieving the donations they had made to the electorate. Notable among these are; Hon Evely Anite, Mr Paul Owor, Hon. Mary Babirye Kabanda, Hon Mubrak Munyagwa, and Hon Herbert Kabafunzaki among others.
On the 08th August, 2020 amidst strict COVID-19 regulations against gatherings and processions, Hon Evelyn Anite breached the guidelines with some level of arrogance when she organized a procession in Koboko Municipality. This is where she was contesting in the NRM primaries against Dr Charles Ayume.
The procession was in celebration of an ambulance she had donated to the constituents. Not only did her actions expose the people to COVID-19, but also breached the rules she herself had set to control the spread of the deadly virus since she sits in cabinet.
However, Hon. Anite miserably lost the election to Dr Charles Ayume and this infuriated the verbal minister to withdraw her donated ambulance. Hon. Mary Babirye Kabanda, Masaka MP also withdrew the mattresses she donated to the voters. Similarly, Hon Herbert Kabafunzaki the MP for Rukiga County threatened to withdraw the two ambulances he donated to the constituency and subsequently stop giving condolence money if he lost the election.
Notwithstanding the constitutional provisions that allow individuals to develop their communities, politicians have utilized this as a cover to manipulate the already vulnerable citizenry. Suffice to say, the nature of political donation is withdrawn by the politicians who don’t get the political offices they contest for.
Service delivery donations have become a culture in Uganda’s politics and the government has critically failed on its role. Upon failure to secure the office contested for, the politicians usually see their political careers diminish beyond repairable propositions.
Its miraculous to imagine that Hon Eveline Anite will have a bright political career after the incident that cast her in bad public image. Holding a ministerial position might be fizzling away since her actions cast the NRM government in very bad light. Having had a very controversial political career that involved stepping on many toes that include Rt Hon Amama Mbabazi, her political ambitions might see her have a great fall from the center of power.
POOR SERVICE DELIVERY HAS LEFT UGANDANS AT THE HANDS OF MANIPULATIVE POLITICIANS
Over the years, service delivery has consistently become a challenge for the government of Uganda. The demands for access to good healthcare services, clean water, organized transport and other social services has posed a stiff challenge for the regime.
The growth in desire to access good and quality services in Uganda caused the restructuring of governance and the introduction of decentralized governance. Many times government has created smaller administration centers in a bid to have better, easy and quick access to services at the closest unit.
The inefficient and corruption tendencies that have characterized the current NRM regime has left the vulnerable population to the vagaries of manipulative politicians. To bridge the gap, politicians came up with innovative ideas like donating ambulances, digging and constructing boreholes, make donations including paying school fees, funeral contributions among others.
It is these community donations that propel politicians to political offices and hence create strong patronage systems within their political geography. The tenability of these donations is still understated because upon any political setback, the politicians are unable to maintain the status quo and thus abandon the services they offer.
Consequently, politicians have created “mini” governments of their own. From running an ambulance to the least of community activities like grave digging. This unbecoming character is most seen with politicians aiming at becoming members of parliament.
In 2015, social media and other media platforms were awash with photos of Hon Hatwib Katoto turning to grave digging as a campaign strategy to win him the Katerera County. Its many of these actions that politicians use to manipulate the population and even shielding themselves from their poor performance in parliament.
Government must take its central role and relieve Ugandans from the shackles of manipulative and self-centered politicians. The desired intentions of decentralized ought to be revisited, interrogated, assessed and reformed for it to serve its legal and legitimate purpose.