The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
Good Governance Practice (GOGOP) has tried to get funding from NED for 4 consecutive years, unfortunately, all has been a flop! The 1st big disappointment was when a Good Governance School Clubs (GOGOC) proposal was not funded, and the Government of Uganda modified the original idea to Patriotic School Clubs. However, that did not discourage us from trying again, we went for: SKILLFULLY TACKLING THE RAMPANT VOTER BRIBERY IN UGANDA ELECTIONS, as per the details below, but NED has given another regret!
PROPOSAL: SKILLFULLY TACKLING THE RAMPANT VOTER BRIBERY IN UGANDA ELECTIONS
I. SUMMARY (1-2 paragraphs)
Addressing the danger of electing candidates who buy their way through bribing voters given that it is inconsistent with democratic principles as it influences the would be independent opinion of the electorate; by reaching out to the Uganda voters using the media of a widely listened to FM radio station and using a well understood and spoken local language (Luganda) to address the evil of voter bribery in a well packaged weekly 45 minutes programme aired at prime time when there is good listenership. The programme will point out the reasons why it is suicidal to exchange one’s vote for a bribe, and as a strategy; encourage voters to form single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) of 15 – 20 members with emphasis on women groups as an empowerment vehicle through which they will implement innovations taught on the radio programmes conducted by various professionals, such that by the time of the forthcoming elections (2016); they will have jumped to a higher income level not so impoverished to exchange their voter right for an inappropriate candidate who may have given a bribe, and also know that there is an opportunity cost attached to the bribe, which is the loss in service delivery as the elected official will among other things recover what he spend through rendering substandard works and as well benefit from corruption, which developments we are well aware of. Accepting to be bribed is due to a situation and state of hopelessness the voters find themselves in. This follows research and observations of wide spread voters buying and influence when President Museveni and a number of NRM party candidates while in the 2010/2011 campaigns made important decisions mostly promises of projects; fulfilled previous pledges and jobs and used Government institutions to generate patronage and inappropriate use of public resources and facilities for campaign purposes. Voter bribery, a form of corruption prevailed to unprecedented magnitude in Uganda History leading to the return of Yoweri Museveni and a Parliament Majority from the NRM Party a development which will see him in office for 30 years by the time of its expiry!
II. BACKGROUND (1-2 pages)
The political, economic, or social environment as it affects the development of democracy in Uganda which the project addresses is that of the bribing of voters in elections in Uganda which is a form of corruption, but also a defeat to democracy where people are expected to make uninfluenced decision in electing office bearers. The magnitude as well as evidence of this device is clearly stated in findings of the 2011 General Elections in Uganda.
1) On 18 February 2011, Uganda held its second Presidential Election since the introduction of a multiparty system in 2005. The incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was re-elected for another five-year term, he has led the country for the last 25 years, the election campaign, was termed by various observers and the opposition as having been characterized by voter bribery, on the part of the ruling party (NRM) and vote rigging.
2) Frederic Charles Schaffer has argued that ‘Vote buying and vote selling can be understood no longer as an economic transaction between those who sell their freedom and those who buy them in the hope of regaining their investments when they get into power ... From the standpoint of ordinary people ... elections are the times when equality and justice are temporarily achieved as their patrons fulfill their financial obligations to support them in times of need. The use of money to influence election processes and outcomes is a reality in Uganda. The NRM party spent huge sums of money during its campaign, some of it on campaign organization and the balance on bribery to influence voters. This definitely gave the ruling party unfair advantage over the opposition.
3) “Of particular note is the lack of a level playing field and the “commercialization of politics”, both of which will need to be addressed,” 2011 Uganda Elections - Interim Statement Interim Statement by Dame Billie Miller, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group further, “The ruling party in Uganda is by far the largest and best-resourced party and following many years in power, elements of the state structure are synonymous with the party. Further, reports regarding the “commercialization of politics” by the distribution of vast amounts of money and gifts are most disturbing”. The main concern regarding the campaign, and indeed regarding the overall character of the election, was the lack of a level playing field, the use of money and abuse of incumbency in the process. The magnitude of resources that was deployed by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), its huge level of funding and overwhelming advantage of incumbency, once again, challenged the notion of a level playing field in the entire process. “The February 2011 Ugandan Presidential elections can be characterized as nothing more than an attempt to satisfy the international community who believe that holding elections are proof of democracy.
4) The distribution of money and gifts by candidates, especially from the ruling party, a practice inconsistent with democratic principles, was widely observed by EU EOM observers,” reported The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in their statement dated 20th February 2011 on UGANDA 2011 ELECTIONS: IMPROVEMENTS MARRED BY AVOIDABLE FAILURES. Widespread vote buying and bribery of voters were reported by all EU EOM observers deployed across Uganda. In many cases it was difficult to distinguish between bribing voters and “facilitating” party supporters46. It has been observed and reported that most NRM candidates use government projects such as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) as tools to press voters to adhere to the NRM should they wish to benefit from such projects.
Identify the needs or problems that exist and briefly explain how your proposed project will make an impact as it addresses those challenges.
The problem the proposed project will address was clearly witnessed in the February 2011 Ugandan Presidential and Parliamentary elections and those at lower levels, and can be characterized as nothing more than an attempt to satisfy the international community who believe that holding elections are proof of democracy. Vote buying and vote selling can be understood no longer as an economic transaction between those who sell their freedom and those who buy them in the hope of regaining their investments when they get into power ... From the standpoint of ordinary people ... elections are the times when equality and justice are temporarily achieved as their patrons fulfill their financial obligations to support them in times of need. The distribution of money and gifts by candidates, especially from the ruling party, a practice inconsistent with democratic principles, was widely observed. Voters are faced with Poverty, and as such, the use of money in elections has become a culture in Uganda. Voters have become accustomed to receiving bribes for their votes. Voters seek to extract resources from candidates because they feel that it is the only way they can gain from their vote. The ruling party in Uganda is by far the largest and best-resourced party and following many years in power, elements of the state structure are synonymous with the party. Further, reports regarding the “commercialization of politics” by the distribution of vast amounts of money and gifts are most disturbing”. The proposed project will make an impact by using the a popular FM radio station in a 45 minutes weekly programme where the evils associated with electing those who bribe their way will be exposed for the attention of the public and a strategy to empower the impoverished population will be used where single sex Self Help Group formation of 15 – 20 people will be advocated and after their formation, shall be guided accordingly in empowerment that is enhancing savings, implementing better crop and animal husbandry as well as implementing joint projects such that by the completion of the radio broadcast the people will know the evil of selling their independent voter rights as well as have enhanced incomes hence less vulnerable to voter bribes.
III. PROJECT OBJECTIVES (1-2 short paragraphs or bullet points)
1. To enhance the knowledge base regarding the consequences associated with voter bribes as a basis for the radio programme.
2. To enhance voters’ understanding of the wrong in selling their voting rights using the media of FM radio.
3. To enhance the formation of single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) with emphasis on women and use resource persons on radio media to empower them with ability to generate own income.
IV. PROJECT ACTIVITIES (2-4 pages)
The Project Activities to be undertaken under are:
1. Under the enhancement of the knowledge base regarding the consequences associated with voter bribes as a base for the radio programme.
i. Preparation and holding a One Day Workshop of Stakeholders in Human Rights and come up with a comprehensive approach to tackling the voter bribery and strategy to get the right message to the public.
1.1 The project is to organize a One Day Workshop; this shall involve writing out Invitation letters to Prospect Presenters of Papers who are players in Human Rights related activities. In total we shall have 62 participants as below:-
I. 1 Guest of Honour – Uganda Human Rights Commission
II. 1 Guest to Close the Workshop – Uganda Electoral Commission.
III. 1 Master of Ceremony
IV. 10 Paper Presenters as indicated below.
V. 31 Participants from Organizations that have to do with Human Rights.
VI. 1 Hired Journalist to Summarize the Day’s proceedings
VII. 10 Representatives of Media Houses
VIII. 2 Security Personnel
IX. 5 Officers from Good Governance Practice (GOGOP)
The total number is 62
1.2 There shall be hand delivered letters to the organizations to present papers as well as participants. The organizations shall be required to give the name of the presenter so that he is included on the Workshop Progamme; the same to invited guests so that fluckers are eliminated at the time of registration for the Workshop.
1.3 The Prospect Paper Presenters shall be given a one month time-lag to make appropriate paper preparations for presentation. They will be required to make submissions to the organization by email a week to the date of the event so that it becomes possible to make print –outs for participants to the Workshop;
1.4 The Question to be responded to: “What is wrong with bribing voters; and how can we diagnose the problem to have meaningful elections?”
1.5 Papers’ Presenter Organizations to include:
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative; Human Rights Network (HURINET); Uganda Police; Uganda Prisons; Ministry of Gender and Social Development; Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET); Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF); African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse & Neglect ( APPCAN) Uganda Chapter; Ministry of Justice; Uganda Electoral Commission.
Participant Organizations shall be given one page summarized copies of presentations at the Workshop. These will be given opportunity to contribute during the remarks & Discussion of papers/Reaction (Plenary Session) of participants to contributions. Those to be invited shall include one person to be seconded by his organization to attend.
1.6 The Workshop is scheduled to be at Lweza Training and Conference Centre 7miles Entebbe Highway.
1.7 Presenters while having a Paper for presentation shall equally have their work summarized in Power Point to enable them make summarized presentation.
1.8 Participants who will not be presenters of papers shall be invited so as to make the Workshop carry weight in a process of coming up with an Authoritative Working Document which shall be a basis for countering voter bribery; these shall include authorities from Government Ministries; the Human Rights Organizations; Development Partners and Wakiso district authorities;
1.9 The Workshop shall engage a Journalist to help summarize the day’s events.
1.10 A Summary of the Day’s deliberations to be presented by the hired journalist after the plenary session.
1.11 Closing Remarks by an Official from Uganda Electoral Commission.
ii. Make a Manuscript out of the Workshop presentations for a radio programme to be presented to the public in an educative way to expose the evil of voter bribery and the way forward.
GOGOP staff shall make a Radio Program Manuscript in English for presentation. This shall be designed such that it is covered in 8 Radio programmes of 45 minutes. The 45 minutes shall have 10 – 15 minutes of interaction where the listeners will ring into the studio in a form of question – answer session. The Radio Presentation shall however be made in Luganda one single language that is most widely understood and spoken by the people in the country. This work shall be completed within the duration of one month.
iii. Organize resource persons who will make Radio Programmes Presentations to teach the listeners how to manage various income generating enterprises under the umbrella single sex Self Help Groups as a means to empowerment to reduce vulnerability and dependence on hand outs.
The organization will assign resource persons the duty to make preparations for Radio Programme Presentation where they will teach the people how to go about forming single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) as a vehicle through which they will be mobilized and empowered so as to boost their productive capacity, hence be less dependant on hand outs by among others politicians. The resource persons to be engaged shall include: 1) A Self Help Groups Formation Facilitator, who will make a radio programme within 3 weeks, that is 3 radio presentations on how people who fall within similar income bracket and are same sex can go about forming SHGs and the advantages of working within the group arrangement. 2) A Crop Husbandry Technical Person who will teach on managing specific crop enterprises and the pests as well as handle the soil renewability; through mulching and other methods. 3) A Veterinary Doctor who will be charged with training the people on managing profitably animal enterprises. 4) We shall have a Technical person to teach the Savings and Enterprising Culture under the SHG arrangement. The Radio Airtime allotment shall be as follows: Crop Husbandry - weeks consecutive; Animal Husbandry - weeks consecutive and the Savings and Enterprising Culture person shall be given 4 weeks. Each of them on making his presentation on radio shall have time to interact with the listeners in a call in during the program where he will answer questions and or make clarifications. So, these people shall prepare their presentations according to the time allotment.
2. Under enhancement of voters’ understanding of the wrong in selling their voting rights using the media of FM radio.
i. Make the programme schedule with the FM radio on the presentation.
The program schedule shall have to be booked and assurances made by the radio station that for a total of 6 months, we shall have the 45 minutes for our programme uninterrupted so that we get the message to the public who we want to appreciate the evil associated with accepting bribes to part with their voter rights.
ii. Make the radio programme on the scheduled day once a week for 2 months emphasizing the evil of voter bribery.
For a period of two months which will be equivalent to 8 radio programmes, we shall have our presentation directly from the recommendations of the Workshop. By the end of the 8 programmes, we are sure the listeners will better appreciate the evil to do with exchanging their voter rights for a bribe in whatever form and for whatever magnitude.
3. Under enhancement of the ability to form single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) with emphasis on women and use resource persons on radio media to empower them with ability to generate own income.
Have the program presenter on how to form Self Help Groups for 3 Radio programmes of 45 minutes including 10 minutes for questions from listeners and giving answers.
The Self Help Groups Facilitator shall do what is normally done in the field on radio. The message he would have carried from household to household shall be conveyed on mass media using the radio. He will take the people through why they are poor and how forming single sex Self Help Groups of people in same income category can be a positive vehicle in slowly seeing them empowered as a group to undertake group enterprises as well as savings and eventually be able to move to higher income status a positive pointer that they can work on their own to generate income to boost their welfare.
i. Have the remaining 13 programs for income generating capacity for the Self Help Groups.
The Crop Husbandry technical person will use 3 weeks consecutively after the formation of the SHGs to teach people the management of a few crop enterprises as well as how to keep their soils renewed as the means to maximize revenue from the gardens. The Animal Husbandry Doctor will continue after the expiry of the three weeks of the Crop Husbandry person and will also utilize 3 weeks for salient areas on animal enterprise management to maximize returns. Finally, the Savings and Enterprising technical person will utilize the last 4 weeks to teach SHG members how to undertake savings and how to enterprise so as to create more value. The technical person will encourage the groups to go in for any funds or programs that can be helpful say those of Government to increase agricultural productivity and animal husbandry as competitive entities.
ii. Monitoring and Evaluation of the SHGs formed and their activities on ground.
The project monitoring and evaluation will be in form of inspecting the formed Self Help Groups (SHGs) through the radio program initiative. The point is that merely telling people that accepting bribes is wrong without any positive effort to see that they are given knowledge on how to get out of poverty can not positively translate to changed behaviour in most of the current beneficiaries, hence the reason we are empowering the people through groups to be able to increase on their income through skill empowerment. The organization shall follow up the groups as we shall get the contact and location of each of the group formed after the initiative.
V. EVALUATION PLAN (2-4 paragraphs or bullet points)
1) Monitoring and Evaluation of enhancement of the knowledge base regarding the consequences associated with voter bribes as a basis for the radio programme as well as enhancement of voters’ understanding of the wrong in selling their voting rights using the media of FM radio
We shall monitor and evaluate this objective by:
Measuring the response to paper presentation for the Workshop where 75% of required presentation when made will be a positive indicator given our objective;
The success of the workshop given the participation as this will be the source of the knowledge from the universe of resource persons coming up with strategy to see that voter bribery can be addressed so that it becomes history, this to be summed up with the workshop resolutions before closure;
Having the 8 radio programme presentations preparation properly documented in a manuscript in English within 1 month after the workshop and successfully publicizing the programme on radio before its commencement;
Having good listenership for the 1st part of the programme to run for 2 months (8 radio programmes) which will emphasize ‘why’ it is wrong to accept bribes to vote a candidate with living examples. The positive response will be reflected in the feedback during the 10 – 15 minutes ring in to the studio when the public will interact in the programme (giving questions and opinions as well as getting answers). The volume of the ring-ins and relevancy will be a positive indicator that the public will be tuned in and following.
2) Monitoring and Evaluation of enhancement of the formation of single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) with emphasis on women and use resource persons on radio media to empower them with ability to generate own income.
We shall encourage the listeners to communicate to us regarding the formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) giving us particulars of where they are located mostly by phone contact. The response in forming the SHGs will be a positive indicator in a strategy to empowerment.
We shall physically reach out to the formed SHGs by appointment to get the on-ground situation and confirmation that the SHGs have been formed SHGs and the specific problems they may be encountering within the central region of Uganda. This will be such that the SHGs in the same locality (village, parish and sub-county) shall be visited the same day by arrangement, at least 60 days of visit outs to be made, which may mean about 240 SHGs of 15 – 20 members shall be reached out to.
We shall assess the income generating activities put on ground by SHGs and the saving capacity as proof that there is positive empowerment of the listeners.
3,000 copies of CDs to be cut from the Radio programmes presented for eventual sell to various publics. When we manage to sell these CDs, this will be positive in further dissemination of the message to counter voter bribery and empowerment of the public through SHGs formation.
THIS PROPOSAL IS BY WILLIAM KITUUKA
GOOD GOVERNANCE PRACTICE (GOGOP)
P. O. Box 2678,