This report highlights the findings of ACFIM with regard to spending by political parties and candidates for Presidential, Parliamentary and City Mayoral/District Chairperson election campaigns during the months of November and December 2020. It builds on an earlier report on pre-campaign spending that was released at the beginning of December 2020.
Elections based on multi-party-political dispensation have become regular and institutionalized in Uganda since 2005 when political parties were allowed to function again. It was in 2006, Uganda held her first election under multiparty politics since 1986 when National Resistance Movement (NRM) took power and banned all political parties in favor of one-party system known as movement system. However, regular elections have not resulted into improved democratization partly due to the rising vice of commercialized politics. The volumes of money that flow in Uganda’s politics is mindboggling and it is unclear where it comes from.
2019 was a watershed year for ACFIM in terms of deepening public awareness on commercialized electoral politics as an impediment to Uganda’s democratization process, and scaling-up the engagement of relevant government institutions and legislators on campaign finance legislation. ACFIM has contributed significantly towards building a body of knowledge on political financing through research publications. ACFIM has more boots on the ground than before.
The return to multiparty political dispensation in 2005, increased political competition, turning elections into a do-or-die affair. Electoral Politics has been commercialized amidst underlying corruption the result of which has largely manifested in form of functionally hollowing out state institutions by the political and economic elite. Electoral integrity is being sacrificed at the altar of political and economic survival.
This was the first e-Symposium of its kind on the subject of money in politics in Africa. But on the calendar of Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), it was ACFIM’s third Annual Symposium on the subject, the previous two having taken place in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Being virtual came with the advantage of it being watched by a wide audience across the African continent and beyond via zoom, on YouTube and Facebook.
Competitive elections based on multiparty political dispensation have become institutionalized in many African countries. A review of the election calendar for the next two years reveals that a total of 30 African countries will hold elections in the next two years namely 15 countries in 2019 and the same number of countries in 2020. The downside is that electoral politics is increasingly being perceived as a business, and because of this, political parties and candidates have been observed to stake huge sums of money to get elected.
The study interrogates the impact of campaign spending on electoral participants over the previous electoral cycles (2006, 2011, and 2016).
The cardinal object of this study is to analyse the extent of the impact of election spending on electoral participants as a consequence of commercialisation of politics and electoral processes, and to propose solutions for curbing the vice that has metamorphosed into a monster.
The Electoral Commission accredited four (4) campaign finance experts from Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) to carry out observation for the By-election of Nebbi District Chairperson. Upon accreditation, ACFIM was given the Guidelines for the Accredited Election Observer(s). Section 4 of these Guidelines defines the role of Accredited Persons/Institutions and scope. Specifically, section 4(c) requires accredited persons/institutions to among other things…
Working with civil society organizations, we designed the study to estimate how voters and candidates responded to their campaign in treatment and spill over villages, and how impacts varied with campaign intensity. Despite its heavy footprint, the campaign did not reduce politician offers of gifts in exchange for votes.
We estimate the effects of one of the largest anti-vote-buying campaigns ever studied—with half a million voters exposed across 1427 villages—in Uganda’s 2016 elections.
This report highlights the major findings of ACFIM’s long term observation of the campaign period and the polling day activities leading to announcement of final results. The report captures the views of key informants including losing candidates of the NRM party primaries whore were turned campaign agents of candidate Naome Kibaaju, Electoral Commission officials, political party leaders, local journalists, local opinion leaders, and voters among others.