Make electoral reforms now

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By Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi

Posted  Thursday, December 12   2013 at  02:00

This is in reference to the issues recently raised by civil society on reforming the constitutional financial management and electoral reforms for accountable governance.

For 51 years now, the often modest but short-term peace, electoral, socio-economic and political gains through one political regime after another, is something that should concern all forward-looking Ugandans.

Then we can have a conversation on how best to take our country forward and break the yoke of colonial legacy, pseudo-democracy and neo-liberal tendencies of the master (especially vested in the governor, presidency, etc).

The electoral reforms being proposed, especially on how best to constitute the Electoral Commission with a character of independence, credibility, diversity in representation and easily trusted by majority Ugandans, is something we should to deal with now.

The electoral law and 1995 Constitution should raise the bar for gender and regional equality. This should include 50:50 men: women representation at all levels of political representation as well as regional character, diplomacy, teaching services.

Such bold actions will usher Uganda beyond the lip-service that of late manifests in government’s posture on gender and regional sharing of the national cake. Professional and ideological competences as opposed to political “correctness” could also be achieved.

For 51 years now, regional and gender imbalance have been significant in contributing the challenges of the day and political instability for Uganda; whether under multi-party, monolithic, kith and kin cleavages, and “movement” modes of political organization.

In addition, the constitutional and electoral reforms should re-emphasise annual audits and accountability by all political parties, as part of forging accountable governance in Uganda.

The annual verifiable audit reports should be publicised/ disseminated through the media and request Ugandans to submit any information, to a reformed Electoral Commission in cases of misrepresentation of this financial information.

Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi,
Uganda Debt Network