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The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama has  decried the commercialization of Politics in the Country.

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By Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.

KAMPALA,Uganda:The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama, has  decried the commercialization of Politics in the Country.

The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama flanked by his deputy Hajjat Aisha Lubega during the media engagement.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.
Busy taking notes-(L-R):Commissioner Stephen  Tashobya,the chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama flanked by his deputy Hajjat Aisha Lubega and Commissioner during the media engagement.Extreme right is Behind is Commissioner Beinamaryo Caroline.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.
L-R):The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), the deputy Chairperson EC Hajjat Aisha Lubega chats with Commissioner Beinamaryo Caroline.during the media engagement.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.
(L-R):
The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama,Commissiner Stephen Tashobya and the deputy Chairperson EC Hajjat Aisha Lubega shortly after the media engagement. Behind is Commissioner Beinamaryo Caroline.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.
L-R):
The chairperson of Uganda Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama,Commissiner Tashobya greets a friend Okello Moses Mackson shortly after the media engagement.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.

“We must tackle the ugly phenomenon of commercialisation of politics or elections since it has also become cancer. I am told by Members of Parliament and other people that for you to even dream of attempting to contest for Parliament, you must have a sack of between sh500m and sh.1bn,” revealed Byabakama.How can this happen in our Country! He wondered.

Julius Mucunguzi,head of Public Relations & Spokesperson, Electoral Commission moderating the function.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.

What about the youths who have just graduated? Where will they get this kind of money to give their voters!

Byabakama pointed out that this rapid commercialization of politics poses a significant challenge for the youth. “Where will they obtain the sh500m, and what calibre of leader are they going to elect?” he questioned.

Some people sell of their property like land or houses to compete for in these elections. What if you lose? Remember, not whoever splashes money wins. Elections have winners and losers.

Addressing journalists, editors and media practitioners at Bugoloobi Royal Suites on Wednesday, Byabakama expressed concern that Uganda’s democracy is now seemingly for the highest bidder, adding that where are we headed, it appears democracy has been put up for auction. This can’t be!

He appealed to the youth against being lured into politics of violence.

Chaos can negatively impact on our Country such as people losing their lives, Properties just like in the recent protests in Kenya. This time, we want to identify those that engage in Violence so we can apprehend them.

 

Since the youth constitute the demographic majority not only in Uganda, but Africa as a whole, In Uganda, according to the Commission, the persons in the age bracket of 18-35 years constitute about 70%.

They have a tendency of tearing posters of Candidates they do not support.

This is wrong!.We shall try to fight this.

To prevent youth from being used for political patronage.

“Let us vigorously campaign against electoral violence through sensitization, involving civic and religious organizations, and build consensus at all levels to eliminate contestations,” he said in his call to all stakeholders.

According to Byabakama, continuous engagement of the youth in the electoral processes will pull them away from negative influences.

 

He appealed to the Media to work together with Commission to ensure that fair elections are held.

“You are playing a critical role of informing and updating the masses on what is going on. Please use your platforms positively not negatively. This is our Country. Elections are a process not an event. We all need to serve our Country diligently.

Elections are not the Primary reason for the existence of a Country but when the nation is peaceful,for example, farmers can easily transport their produce.

 

Inocent Nahabwe, the Chairperson of NAB.Photo by Ronald Kabuubi/KMA Updates.

Members of the media led by Mr.Arinaitwe Rugyendo welcomed the idea of partnering with the Commission. However, they asked the Chairman and his team to ensure they have a budget for the media since they are not a charity organization.They also need  to be facilitated during their operations.

Other members of the media asked the Commission to update the Security from time to time about the guidelines.  Security operatives sometimes just beat us because they were given orders. For example, if you say no phones, Cameras at the the Polling Stations,they just go on to enforce. Please keep these people updated  from time to time in case of change of any given orders.

Mwesigye of NTV said”Yes Mr. Chairman, this is a  good idea of partnering with us.But also be available  during elections to update us on what is going. We usually look for you to give us your comments but you are not accessible.

On this,Justice Byabakama said they sometimes get busy but they  will try to avail themselves including the Public Relations led by Mr. Julius Mucinguzi

The deputy Chairperson Hajat Aisha Lubega called on the media to desist from blowing small scandals. Scandals will always happen but you do not have to magnify them something that can end up inciting the Public.

You can imagine, in the last elections, a media Channel said that we had the results already much as the elections were not yet held. How do you say such a thing on a National TV!

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