Opinion: Politicians and Good Governance: Do politicians serve interests of the people?

Mr Wilfred Arinda Nsheeka , Male Youth Councilor for Rubanda District

By Wilfred Arinda Nsheeka

I have been compelled to write this piece, several times, little did I know that some devil has been pulling me back. Because I have had this idea for a long time. But let me put it down.

I have lived to witness political campaigns of Members of Parliament, and Local Government leaders. I won’t tamper with presidency, for I have no idea about it. The Local Government Leaders start campaigns, spending money, some even start four years before the campaigns.

You will get disturbed to establish that district Chairpersons, who will earn between Shs 150 million to 200 million in a five-year term, will spend more than Shs 400 million, and sell his family house if it means winning an election.

For Members of Parliament, it’s a matter of life and death. If possible, some contestants will spend as much as they can, and will even rob the bank to win elections. I will not use personalities, for this matter, but my point is service delivery.  Do these people fight for service delivery or a fighting to rob us and the country? And will this continue?

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A district will get a budget of billions, but if you visited the district at the end of the financial year, you would be shocked. They’ll budget and nothing will be done, yet money is available.

Where’s the problem? These politicians pay themselves for the money they spent during campaigns, use the budget money to campaign for the next term, and life continues. They literally rob districts, and the country.

The politician will rob districts and the country, then takes the money to funerals and fundraisings, but most of this cash is “eaten” by his or her voters for what I’ll call political visibility.  But this money was budgeted for by the districts, by the country to improve health services, improve road connectivity, build schools etc.

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The basic services that are supposed to improved are left to crumble. The result is that the schools will collapse, health services will be in shambles, roads will be impassable, and the now “rich politicians” will set up mansions in their villages, without those services.

 

The disturbing part of this is that there’s no measuring tape that checks these leaders properly.  The tapes with us at hand are old and almost useless. Just present to waste tax payers’ money.

 

Most of the political leaders who win positions because of over spending are associated with such counterproductive behaviors of theft, violence and sabotage. Their integrity is always lacking.

 

The problem at hand won’t be solved by elections, but a few sober minds, that should appreciate the danger with us at hand, and possible repercussions the future will hold.

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Management of political finance or money in politics is necessary for credible and genuine elections and electoral campaigns because it has the potential to skew competition between contestants. Proper management ensures the country is governed effectively; however, corruption can easily damage good governance.

 

If money is a necessary, albeit problematic part of politics, we must consider how we can control its impact so as to nurture its positive aspects, while controlling and counteracting negative influences.

 

The writer is the Male Youth Councilor for Rubanda District.

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