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From parliament to prison – The ugly side of commercialized politics

Apollo Kantinti (Former Kyadonodo East MP) (Photo cortesy of

ACFIM Talks this week will be hosting Hon. Apollo Kantinti, former Kyadondo East Member of Parliament. Apollo’s term as MP lasted only eight months because the High court overturned his election in 2017. It is the resultant by-election that gave rise to Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu a.k.a. Bobi Wine, who went on to become Museveni’s political enigma.

Kantinti appealed against the High Court judgment. When Kantinti lost the appeal against the High Court judgment following a petition filed by his challenger Mike Sebalu, the court awarded costs against him which he failed to pay and was incarcerated in July 2019. The total costs that he failed to pay were UGX108 million ($30,000).

As he was grappling with the jail term, another sentence was handed down to him. This time it was failure to pay a 3-year loan he contracted from Standard Chartered Bank. Hon. Kantinti is reported to have taken a loan amounting to UGX 300 million ($82,000) from which he had committed to pay in 50 monthly installments.

The loan was understandably taken in June 2016 shortly after he had been sworn in as Member of Parliament. In 2017 following the nullification of his election, he started defaulting on payments which prompted the bank to go to court. For this, Hon Kantinti was handed another six-month jail sentence.

In the recently concluded elections of January 14, 2021, Kantinti contested under the flag of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party but was trounced by the all-conquering power of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

He is an outspoken critique of commercialized electoral politics which has become the mainstay of Uganda’s democratization process. He explained that this time around, candidates had to follow COVID-19 standard operating procedures. In doing so, candidates had to hold small gatherings which turned out to be very costly.

He narrates the experience where every time he had to address people, they demanded for money or refreshments before he proceeded to pose not only a legal but financial challenge as well.

The story of Hon. Kantinti’s political journey is one that you would not want to miss this week on ACFIM TALKS.

On ACFIM TALKS, he will dissect the state of unregulated election campaign spending in a country where politics is highly commercialized. The show airs every Friday, at 11.00 Hours (East African Time)

Do not miss it!!

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