Although elections and access to information are critical issues of governance, to access information on election funding is quite challenging in Uganda and Sengal. This is because of the absence of a law that mandates the practice.
From the study conducted by AFIC and Article 19 West Africa on election financing in Uganda and Senegal, it was revealed that the legal frame works in both countries do not regulate disclosure of information regarding the sources of funding during elections but only necessitate the need for regular reporting on political party funds.
While presenting the study findings, during the report launch at Golf Course hotel Kampala, AFIC’s legal and Research officer Peter Mwesigwa, pointed out that political financing is an under-regulated and neglected area and the existing legal frameworks in the two countries are still inadequate to appropriately address yet emerging issues.
He said that the study recommends that a law regulating election financing should be put in place to help minimize corruption tendencies and poor service delivery.
“We need to start the discussion for an Election Campaign Financing Bill now,” he said.
In addition, the study findings also revealed that the electorate are less vigilant on requesting for election financing information. More so, the absence of election financing records makes tracking of election financing information difficult.
Moses Watasa, a commissioner at the Ministry of Information and National Guidance speaking during the launch stressed the need for disclosure on sources of income and expenditure during elections in order to track performance of the leaders.
“We need to know who funds these political leader. Holding leaders accountable becomes hard if we do not know their sources of finance, “he said.
Mr Watasa explains that some donations come with particular interests attached and this affects decision making and service delivery of leaders as they execute their duties.
Gilbert Sendugwa the head of AFIC secretariat giving his remarks noted that political parties and candidates do require funds to perform their day to duties. However, disclosure on sources of funding is necessary for the electorate to gauge their performance.