Give Politics a New Definition in Uganda!

Published By UNNGOF |  January 25, 2016

On Wednesday 13th January 2016 Centre for Basic Research hosted the second debate seminar on 2016 Elections. The seminar was attended by participants ranging from Academia, Civil Society, political parties, central and local Government, cultural institutions, the youth, Media, Development partners as well as all the authors.

The chapters discussed include: “The Interplay between Security and the Electoral Process: the Case of the 2016 General Elections in Uganda” by James Nkuubi; “Who gets What, When, how and Where? Youth Participation in Electoral Politics in Uganda” by Andrew Karamagi; “Recounting Electoral Violence and ‘Verbal Duels’: An Appraisal of the 2016 Electioneering News Reports in Uganda” by Levis Mugumya and “Enjoying Elections: Analysis of Editorial Cartoons on Uganda’s Elections” by Richard Ssewakiryanga.

Commenting on the draft chapters presented by the authors, Hon. Irene Ovonji stated the need to understand the nature of the state as predatory and characterised by the politics of patronage, where power has been centralised thus killing institutions. Police brutality and malfunction of social service centres stem from the nature of the politics and the state and that those are the real issues to be tackled.

Prof. Aaron Mukwaya stated the need to give a new definition to politics in Africa as it has lost meaning. He further asserted that politics deals with People and not individuals. The individuals have so much power and wealth and as such, they use power to access whatever they need at the expense of others and as such, this has to be re-defined. He further stated that it is difficult to have independent and unbiased media reporting in Uganda and this is because of several reasons; Media ownership, editorial policies of the media houses as well the business aspects.

There was also a call for the disbandment of the crime preventers as they have no legal establishment and their terms of references are unknown. They further noted that the crime preventers actually have perpetuated more crime since they are acting illegally. The security agencies have also continued to brutalize the opposition candidates and thus perpetuating electoral violence even before the polling day.