As the country prepares for the 2021 general elections, civil society organisations and members of parliament have demanded for stringent measures to be put in place to curb excessive campaign spending and election violence.
Activists noted that commercialisation of politics has contributed towards making the electoral processes violent and most of the participation especially women.
The remarks were made during National Women’s Conference held in Kampala.
According to the research done recently by Women Democracy Networks, there is a likelihood of more violence in 2021 elections than what was experienced during the 2016 polls.
The same study indicated that violence is likely to affect more women than men.
There was serious discussion on the ways of protecting women against election violence which has affected women’s participation in politics.
Regina Akullo from the Institute for Social Transformation noted that the issues of sexualising electoral process is very true and many women are greatly affected and left helpless.
She noted that something must be done to provide safer environment for the women’s participation in the forth coming elections.
The executive director Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring Henry Muguzi, said commercialisation of politics is cited as a driver of election violence.
He said there are many stakeholders who will pick interest in these elections and choose to finance candidates and political parties.
“Once they finance political parties and candidates in these elections then they will be able to protect their interests and we have to understand that some of those interests could even be undermining sovereignty of Uganda,” he said.
The activists want voters’ sensitisation on their civic responsibilities noting that Ugandans should have civic education in schools as part of the curriculum.
The executive director Women’s Democracy Network Uganda chapter Perry Aritua said the legal reforms must include stopping certain candidates who have been engaged in malpractices including elections violence from contesting in by elections.