On 20th February 2020, Kyambogo University hosted the 3rd National youth convention on money in politics in the CTF building. The convention attracted guild leaders from seventeen universities in Uganda that included; Kyambogo University, Uganda Christian University, Makerere University Business School, Kampala International University, St Lawrence University, Mutesa I Royal University, University of Kisubi, Nkumba University, Ndejje University, Bugema University, Cavendish University, Islamic University in Uganda, Multitech Business School, Uganda Martyrs University and the International University of East Africa.
Kyambogo University Ag. Senior Counsellor Ms. Winfred Biribonwa Kyosaba who represented the Dean of students welcomed all stakeholders and thanked the organizers for such an engaging forum to youth leaders which she said will shape their intellectual reasoning and help them to be accountable leaders in future.
The National Youth Convention of Money in Politics is an annual event aimed at empowering young people to contribute towards building Electoral Integrity for Sustainable Democracy in Uganda. This event is hosted on a rotational basis by one of the participating universities and this year (2020) Kyambogo University was the host.
The event was presided over by the Democratic Party Secretary-General, Dr. Gerald Siranda who stated that Uganda has 75% population of young people and youth aged between 18-30 of which these youth constitute 23% of the national population (UBOS, 2016) so youth participation and influence informal politics remains limited largely due to the growing barrier of very costly election campaigns in a country where electoral politics is commercialized. He added that a study by Agha Khan University revealed that 74% of young people are vulnerable to electoral bribery and of these, 39% will only vote if they are given money and experience has proved that youth get to be used as agents of vote-buying and electoral violence.
“The level of monetization of student guild elections mirrors that which happens at the national level. The downside is that Uganda continues to be ranked as one of the twelve countries in Africa that suffer from very low electoral integrity”, Dr. Siranda stated.
According to the ACFIM Executive Director, Mr. Henry A. Muguzi, ACFIM is a Pan African civil society organization founded in Uganda to contribute towards building electoral integrity through monitoring money in politics and election campaigns; engaging the electorate on electoral accountability and advocating for feasible reforms. “The cardinal aim of the convention this time is to engage youth in a discussion and building the integrity during the election because every generation has got its own tasks to accomplish. This generation has to fight and rebuild the integrity of the election that brings us the services we need because elections is a need”. Henry added.