There doesn’t seem to be much interest on the side of government to support democratic electoral processes in Uganda, lately:
1) There has been reluctance of the executive to cause or effect electoral reforms – as recommended by Supreme Court, the Election Observation Missions; and other government bodies including Electoral Commission (EC), National Consultative Forum (NCF), Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations since as far back as 2016 and even before;
2) Government seems to be dragging its feet on funding the implementation of the electoral roadmap to 2021 general elections;
3) Government appears averse towards facilitating the process of holding elections in the new districts created on 1st July 2018.
All these cast a doubt on government’s commitment to hold democratic elections in whatever form and fashion. It is less than two years to the general elections; and there’s little or no publicity around on-going or upcoming electoral milestones.
It is difficult to believe that government cannot simply afford a budget for priorities relating to elections; yet the same government has of late been spending lavishly on some seemingly vanity projects that seek to benefit only a few people.
Previous elections have had a weak legal and administrative framework and the consequences have been clear: violence, corruption, tech-based manipulation of elections, unbalanced media coverage of political parties and candidates, use of state resources to run individual political campaigns etc.
Therefore, 2021 elections may not be any different if we do not reinforce the existing legislative and administrative framework for conducting democratic elections.
It is frustrating that we seem not to have learnt from our past election experiences.