- The roadmap technically looks fine
- It coherently specifies what needs to be done and when
- However, the practical realities of implementing the roadmap may be different
This Week, the Electoral Commission released the 2021 road map for the elections with an increment of the budget from Shs 500 billion in 2016 to Shs 868 billion for the next election.
But the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) Coordinator, Crispin Kaheru, said the plan stands on shaky ground because the necessary legal reforms that are supposed to support the implementation of the plan as proposed by the Supreme Court and other stakeholders are not yet in place.
He added that this means even with a good plan, this may continue to create lowering confidence in elections, more electoral malpractices and election petitions because the legal and administrative leakages that were there in the past, may still continue unabated.
“This plan is quite costly – Shs 868 billion compared to about 500 billion shillings in 2016. This is quite a cost especially for a struggling economy.”
Most countries across the globe are struggling to reduce costs of elections through integrating effective technology, introducing laws to curb election expenditure and shifting from the traditional geographical representation to interest group representation.
“A good roadmap alone, cannot deliver a good election. We must tackle the real issues that touch on the integrity of our elections,” he added.
He added that the plan imposes a heavy burden on the country’s resources with little safeguards to guarantee cleaner and credible elections come 2021.
The electoral commission Chairman, Simon Byabakama said they are ready to conduct the elections once the money is availed by government.
Byabakama said: “Whereas government has continued to create new Administrative Units and Local Governments, the provision of recurrent expenditure has not grown proportionately. Each new district requires a total of Shs. 512 million to be operationalized. This subsequently becomes recurrent.”