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Expect low voters turn up come 2016

Isa Senkumba

Expect low voters turn up come 2016

Politicians and the electorate busy minding different issues other than elections


Despite the fact that it is now less than a year to 2016 Presidential elections, or sleep the whole day. Between the two which one sounds better?  Our elites can actually use the day to visit relatives, go to sauna or play golf.  Either they have no interest in the political affairs of the country or they have lost trust in the electoral process.

In the previous Presidential elections the civil society has been invited to help in voter sensitization, a decision I regarded with some justice as a calculated mockery. How do you really expect people who don’t vote to sensitize those who do so? Yes, you may have one hundred ways of making love, but you don’t have a wife.  You don’t actually have the moral authority to educate those who are married if you are still a bachelor.

An inquiry into the voters’ reluctance to participate in electoral process is likely to unearth reasons such as mere lack of interest or dislike of candidates in the race, failure to make a choice, illness or disability especially among old registered voters, some are too busy looking for the daily bread, others have conflicting schedules, bad weather and transportation problems in cases where polling stations are far away from ones’ residence, logistical problems with the process, some have problems with their voter registration  and many others.

The youth who constitute the biggest percentage of Uganda’s population and hence the electorate unfortunately don’t vote as expected. Given the complex and frustrating nature of our politics young people have no idea what’s going on, but to be fair nobody does. You overwhelmingly vote for a particular candidate only to be mesmerised when another candidate is announced the victor. All you remember are the sacks of money that were released during the election season and how the citizens fought for this cash.

There are people who don’t care about politics and elections simply because they have a feeling that whatever government comes into power it is going to be exactly the same as the previous one. For instance people have lived to develop a notion that corruption is not a tribute of one party; it is for all political parties and governments in general.  Secondly all politicians look white like snow and sound sweet like honey before elections. When we help them sit onto the political saddle, they turn into monsters and parasites to haunt us.

As long as political parties are centred on individuals rather than a system of beliefs we shall continue to exhibit political immaturity. This lack of distinguishing ideology ultimately makes people have little faith in the government irrespective of who is in power and for whatever personal reason. People are now aware that no matter who you are going to vote for, you are probably going to end up getting disappointed anyway.  Then why vote?



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