A new survey has revealed that close to 25 billion Shillings was spent by Members of Parliament during the just concluded parliamentary elections.
The report released by the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), a non-government election watch organisation, in Kampala today states that 24.7 billion Shillings was spent by 113 MPs out of 185 MPs interviewed during the survey. There are more than 400 legislators in the Ugandan Parliament.
Henry Muguzi, ACFIM national coordinator, presented the findings conducted by telephone between September 16 and October 7 2016. The findings indicate that the mean expenditure for NRM MPs interviewed is 233 million Shillings, 187 million Shillings for opposition MPs and 189 million Shillings for independent MPs.
Muguzi says that the highest declared spending by a single candidate was one billion Shillings while the lowest was ten million Shillings. The report does not however state which area the MP who spent one billion Shillings comes from.
“This report indicates that elective politics in Uganda has been commercialized and that credible people are scared of joining elective politics,” Muguzi notes.
Cissy Kagaba, the Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda says that such expenditures undermine democracy. She adds that leaders elected into political office now seek personal interests and 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 says.
The report comes on the heels of an earlier report released by ACFIM on campaign financing detailing funds spent by presidential candidates during the 2016 campaigns.
NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni spent 27 billion Shillings, Amama Mbabazi spent 1.3 billion Shillings, FDC’s Kizza Besigye spent 976 million Shillings, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba 95.7 million Shillings, Dr Abed Bwanika 34.3 million Shillings and Joseph Mabiriizi spent 26.4 million Shillings.