Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenyan Law Professor, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba has argued that Africa’s politics lost track after the introduction of multiparty politics.
Lumumba, a renowned Pan Africanist says multiparty politics introduced in 1980s and 1990s diverted African politicians from politicking about ideas to politicking about money.
The multiparty politics were forced on Africa states by the western world. Lumumba recollected Uganda’s scenario when Museveni vehemently rejected multiparty politics in favour of one party politics. But Museveni was overwhelmed by western forces and Uganda joined bandwagon in 2005.
Lumumba gave a historical analogy of how African political terrain has changed since inception of colonialism. He said Africans were politicking with ideas as they agitated for independence and immediately after independence.
But, he said politicians completely lost track in 1980s and 1990s with inception of multiparty politics.
Lumumba, a former director of anti-corruption commission of Kenya made the remarks while giving opening remarks at a symposium on money in electoral politics. The symposium held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo was organised by Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) in partnership with Action Aid Uganda.
The symposium is meant to bring to light the plight of monetization of politics as Uganda prepares for 2021 general elections.
ACFIM and National Democratic Institute (NDI) have been pushing for a legislation to curb campaign financing. A draft bill sponsored by civil societies has been in the offing for more than two years and it’s yet to be tabled in parliament.
Lumumba argued that corruption is equally fuelling monetization of politics. He said politicians venture into politics to access and misuse government resources.
He cited a situation where politicians spend during campaigns much more than what could be their salary during the term of office. This, Lumumba said happens because politicians are assured they would misuse state resources for personal gains.
Lumumba further argued that electorate share blame for embracing politicians with deep pockets rather than politicians with deep ideas. He said the symposium is an opportunity to remind electorates and politicians that monetization of politics hurts democracy and actions should be taken expeditiously to limit the vice.