Scientific Election: Anti-corruption activists warn of massive voter bribery

The executive director, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda(ACCU), Cissy Kagaba, has said that during the 2021 general election, the country is going to witness digitised ways of vote-buying.

Her remarks followed several discussions that have been rotating about the costs of digital campaigns where many politicians and stakeholders have expressed fear that the 2021 election will be very expensive.

On June 16, the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, unveiled a new roadmap for the 2021 general election and announced the proposal for virtual campaigns, banning mass rallies and restricted canvassing of votes to media platforms as a measure to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.

But Kagaba said this method of carrying out campaigns will lead to bribery of voters.

"The only thing that I think is going to happen is [a change] in the mode of exchanging money because we need to appreciate the fact when it comes to voter bribery, a number voters are expected to bribed," she explained.

In an interview with NBS TV, Kagaba noted that most politicians also expect to take on the bribe because digital elections are coming up with new innovative digital ways of bribing voters.

"Bribing has become part and parcel of the system, so there is the issue of mobile money. I will give an example, I come from Kalungu. I will send mobile money to my voters for them to follow my online campaigns," she noted.

She said that buying of voters will include even those who are not on social media such as Facebook,twitter among others.

She noted that the only way to fight the scandalous spending of money during the virtual campaigns is by ensuring that there is the law on campaign financing.

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