EXTENDED STUDY ON CAMPAIGN FINANCING FOR PRESIDENTIAL AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT RACES FINAL REPORT
Currently, money dominates Uganda’s politics and as a result the gap between elected politicians and their voters has widened substantially. This has created an environment where the principles of political accountability are grossly undermined.
ACFIM´s study has recorded that the total expenditure incurred by all political parties and independent candidates that contested in the Presidential and Member of Parliament races in the 16 districts combined is a minimum of UGX 435 billion (US$ 128 million). If this figure is extrapolated in view of all the 112 districts of Uganda, it can be estimated that at least UGX 2.4 trillion (US$ 716 million) was spent by political parties and candidates on the elections campaigns of 2015/2016.
The majority of the recorded campaign spending in the 16 districts (76.6 per cent) was done by the Incumbent National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to the tune of at least UGX 333bn (US$ 98 million), followed by independent candidates. A combined minimum of UGX 122.5 billion (US$ 36 million) is estimated to have been spent by all the other presidential candidates combined during the campaign period (November 3rd 2015 – February 16th 2016).
Incumbent candidate Yoweri Museveni outspent the other candidates by 91.5 per cent. The second biggest spender was candidate Amama Mbabazi (6.3 percent) and third biggest, candidate Kizza Besigye (1.8 per cent). The lowest spender amongst the presidential candidates was candidate Mourine Faith Walube Kyalya representing 0.01 per cent of the observed combined expenditure by presidential candidates. Other candidates’ spending was below 2 per cent namely: Venasius Baryamureeba (0.18 per cent), Benon Biraaro (0.1 per cent), Abed Bwanika (0.1 per cent) and Joseph Mabirizi (0.05 per cent).
Kampala district recorded the highest campaign spending at constituency level with a share of 27.3 per cent, followed by Luweero District (16 per cent), Masaka District (9.4 per cent), Iganga District (7.5 per cent) and Jinja District (7.2 per cent). The districts in which presidential candidates spent the least was in the districts of Nwoya (1.1 per cent), Hoima (1.6 per cent), Kanungu (2.1 per cent), Kabalore (2.3 per cent) and Apac (2.6 per cent).