We are just left with a few days to the nominations of Parliamentary Candidates for the national elections of 2021.With the few days left, some aspirants are still pushing messages in different WhatsApp groups asking for every bit of coin, whatever one can raise should be a step forward to raising the required Shs3m nomination fees.Organized parties like the National Unity Platform have taken it on, calling for the mobilization of resources for their candidates through the masses.One thing I am certain about Ugandans is that they are a generous lot, and the fact that NUP arguably comes with so much hope, they will dry their pockets to send in whatever they can, and this would save a few of those in need.The number however remains a big one, the NUP has decided to field a candidate in every nook and cranny of this country, whether the candidates are strong contenders or not is a debate for another day.However, it is highly unlikely that all of them will afford the nomination fees, let alone the costs that come with the scientific elections; booking radio space, booking TV space, printing posters, fueling cars, mobilizing youth, public address systems, tipping residents, etc. etc.I would like to imagine that by the time a candidate needs to be bailed out for nomination fees, which is only the beginning of the journey, then they will need a bailout on many more cases going forward.Ugandan politics has been so much commercialized, that it would be worthless, let alone unsustainable to fundraise for nominating a candidate, supposing they are bought out tomorrow?A candidate who requires Shs3m bailout for nomination will need so much thought to turn down a lumpsum to forfeit their candidature, likewise, such a candidate would be out and running as soon as they are given a permanent job paying a fair amount a month with a free vehicle and fuel.I am one of the Ugandans that does not rate most electoral office seekers highly because I am well aware that their interests come first anyway, are they in this for our own good? Oh Please wake up, they will be in parliament tomorrow stamping thunderously as they agree on increasing their salary by yards.Well, if I required Shs3m bailout to be nominated, tell me why I would refuse to award myself a 100% salary raise on my first day in the office? Anyway, I don’t want to be derailed.Voters today see the matter of choosing a candidate as doing that candidate a favor, they are voting for someone to go and make themselves rich, hence the voters under such circumstances seek that politicians pay them before they can vote.Prof John-Jean Barya in one of his papers titled; He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune: The Role of Money in Uganda’s forthcoming General Elections” Says money is one of the methods used to manipulate or influence elections and as such it has caused politicians to sink to their lowest forms of desperacy.“They are forced to use desperate methods of raising resources since Uganda’s elections have been personalized and commercialized. They sell or mortgage their property; engage in heavy borrowing; seek support or direct cash handouts from the President and fundraise.”And when money comes, it is not just about it, others have got to add intimidation and media propaganda, the smear campaign to win over the voters, this does not come cheap.The last day itself is a strange one, we have heard stories of candidate’s agents disappearing with declaration forms overpay, while others have been persuaded with lunch offers to abandon their stations, some have just been outrightly bought out by the other candidate and the election rigged.The question is; “If you require Shs3m bailout for nomination fees, how much more are you willing to ask while other candidates pour money in a society where political bribery is a norm?”Believe it or not, money is most cases in Uganda has translated to votes. Of course, there are those who have been voted strictly on merit, but they will need some money to run a campaign.While I don’t condone money in politics, it is the sad reality and just like Tanga Odoi puts it;“Do not blame those using money, if you do not have it, don’t join politics, don’t start a political party that will compete with those who have the money.”The writer is a private contributor to the UGNEWS24, and the views expressed here are personal.
Matatu Rams into Ambulance in Nairobi's Upper Hill Area - Kenyans.co.ke Skip to main content An ambulance involved in an accident with a matatu on Sunday 25 October 2020 at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.TwitterA matatu...Read more