The election contest in Oyam District was turned into a competition of who had the “deepest pocket” by Queen Dorothy Amolo. The Queen who garnered the second biggest number of votes competed against six other candidates included Amongi Betty Ongom, Obong Patrick Otto, Isha Amiza, Awuko Benard, Oketch Alfred, and Odong Godfrey.
During campaigns, Queen Dorothy moved with bundles of UGX 1,000 notes which she would first parade to the electorate convening on her campaign rallies before giving it out to be shared among everyone present. This became her signature campaign tool and an attraction to the electorate to come to her campaign rallies and meetings.
It is reported that she would ask voters to line up in long queues and each would be given UGX 1000 as a token. Since she had turned herself into Oyam’s political money bag, it’s reported that people would always flood her campaigns not necessarily to listen to ideas but to receive brand new UGX 1000 banknotes.
Politicians like Queen Dorothy Amolo have chosen to vulgarize politics by engaging in wanton bribing of the electorate. These should have no future in the Uganda of everyone’s dreams. The Queen and other politicians of like mind should be consigned to the doldrums of political history. Their names should be written only in the Book of Shame.
SecretsKnown is aware that in Kamuli district, candidate Salaam Musumba was synonymous with giving out UGX 2,000 notes to the electorate under the guise of COVID-19 barring the physical distribution of soda. The secret known is that politicians like Queen Dorothy Amolo are always hoodwinked by campaign managers who are renowned money milking machines in most constituencies.
Campaign managers often misguide candidates especially when it comes to the utilization of campaign finances. Since election season is money-making opportunity for most campaign managers, they always ensure that candidates don’t run out of money and to show that they are working, mobilize voters with the promise of being given money and candidates have to comply with such demands.
it’s not surprising that Queen Dorothy Amolo like many others politicians was trapped by this money-making vultures, who are renowned for looting large portions of candidates campaign funds available.
Although Queen Dorothy Amolo fronted money over ideas during her campaigns, she only managed to become runner-up in the races with 14,883 votes as shown in the table below.
Number of Votes
Amongi Betty Ongom
Uganda People’s Congress
Queen Dorothy Amolo
National Resistance Movement
Otto Isha Amiza
Forum for Democratic Change
Source: Uganda Electoral Commission
The voters of Oyam who accepted the illicit tactics of the Queen and rewarded her with 14,883 votes to emerge runner-up, were complicit in killing Uganda’s democracy. Using cash donations to the electorate as a campaign strategy is one of the subtle ways of killing democracy. Democracy is a contest of ideas not money.
It must be noted that Uganda’s electoral laws and guidelines are not devoid of provisions against acts of voter bribery. For instance Section 68(1) of the Parliamentary Election Act 2005 clearly states that “A person who, either before or during an election with intent, either directly or indirectly to influence another person to vote or refrain from voting for any candidate, gives or provides or causes to be given or provided any money, gift or other consideration to that other person, commits the offense of bribery and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding seventy-two currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both”. In Uganda, one currency point is equivalent to UGX 20,000.
Though the law against voter bribery is in place, its enforcement has always been a problem which is why pacts of voter bribery are still thriving since perpetrators are oftentimes not punished.
Moving forward Political candidates must learn to appreciate that an election is a competition of ideas and not competition of who has the “deepest pocket” (money). The law enforcers must also wake up from their sleep and start arresting political candidates seen and found to be killing Uganda’s democratization.