2021 is not very far away and it will be time to go to the polls. But Every time I think about the election period I ask if it really matters. I wonder if i am being honest with myself if I engage in a Democratic process well knowing that there is nothing Democratic about it. This thought seems to worsen as I get closer to the highest office of the land.
I had the privilege of listening in to a gentleman I hold in high regard and he asked a few compelling questions around the election which I will attempt to answer for me.
1. Why should we tell people that their vote counts?
I really don’t know. I was actively involved in the 2011,16 and 21 elections and each is more painful than the previous one. I know that there are a few parliamentary wins but I don’t think they are enough to justify my telling people that their vote actually counts. And so I wonder if I will have the courage to look a citizen in the eyes and tell them to go and vote because it will bring the change they aspire to. This said, I shall like a person in an abusive relationship take myself and cast my vote again that day knowing that the pain shall be worse.
2. What is the point of election observation?
This one I know. There is really no point. As someone intimated, election observers are really tourists who choose to come and add elections to their business. The reports don’t do much to solve our situation and they only tell us what we already suspected. The international community is more concerned with protecting their relationships with the government than the welfare of the people. Otherwise we would see responses like the ones we saw when the Homosexuality bill was threatened. After all, all are about identity and choice.
3. What is free and fair about an election which is heavily militarised?
Absolutely nothing. And for as long as there is more unfairness than fairness, more bondage than freedom, we must never deceive ourselves that we are having an election. There is really no reason people must die simply for expressing their opinion on who they wish to lead them.
And I agree with you that elections do not respond to our most pressing needs as a people. The 2021 election will not solve the problem of the bad roads in Iganga district or the kidnaps of women or the women dying each day in childbirth or the unemployed citizens in Uganda.
So maybe we should solve the pressing issues instead of wasting collosal sums of money on a circus competition whose winner we already know.
But you know what R.M, even with all the above, I will still go to the polls, knowing the result with the sort of resentment that Ugandans of social media have had over the two incidents that have happened this week. I will go to the polls with a heavy and angry heart. With all the pain I feel I shall go and cast my vote and God help me that I shall be able to live with the results that shall be announced.
The pictures used are from the internet
The questions used the property of R.M a friend of mine.