MPs’ Huge Campaign expenditure worries Nation
By Serestino Tusingwire
A new survey on electoral financing has revealed that each MP in the 10th Parliament spent an average amount of Shs218 million on the campaigns of the recently concluded general elections.
The survey was conducted by the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM). One of the MPs who preferred anonymity admitted to having spent as much as one billion in the whole campaign process.
The survey further indicates that that Shs24.7bn was spent by 113 MPs out of 185 MPs that were interviewed recently. There are more than 400 legislators in the Uganda’s parliament.
Henry Muguzi, ACFIM national coordinator said; “This report indicates that elective politics in Uganda has been commercialized and that credible people are scared of joining elective politics.”
Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) says that such expenditures undermine democracy, adding that that’s why they decided to put personal interests first after entering the parliament because they work towards recouping what they spend during campaigns.
“Commercialization of politics has deprived Ugandans of capable leaders in parliament. It results into demand for higher pay by legislators since they want to recover their money spent on campaigns,” Kagaba noted.
This has therefore led some MPs to suggest that parliament should consider establishing a cap on election financing but sharp divisions remain over whether legislators should lose their seats if they are found to have spent above the ceiling.