By Wetondo Denis Julius
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) is to be sued for not paying over 200 Election Observers it recruited to oversee the recently concluded Presidential and Parliamentary election campaigns in Bugisu sub region.
Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) is a Pan African civil society organisation founded in Uganda to contribute towards building electoral integrity through monitoring political and electoral financing, engaging citizens on electoral accountability and advocating for feasible election campaign finance regulatory framework.
ACFIM advertised and recruited a number of observers countrywide to observe elections at constituency and sub county-level and promised to pay them before or during election time.
According to Steven Masiga who was recruited as the Constituency Observer at Lutsekhe constituency in Bududa district, ACFIM recruited over 200 constituencies and sub-county observers at Elgon region to observe elections and report back to them.
He revealed to eastnews.co.ug website that each Constituency Observer was to be paid Shs500,000 and Sub-County Observer Shs300,000 before or during election presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.
Masiga also said that Observers in the Elgon region demand over Shs100M which has not been paid up-to-date over unknown reasons.
Martine Wamatsu who observed at Bugobero Sub County in Manafwa district says they are planning to seek legal redress as the only possible way of getting their money.
However, the Deputy National Executive Director for ACFIM, Vicente Muhindo when contacted apologized for the delay saying they have already sent the money to the regional office.
Muhindo urged the Observers to get in touch with the regional director and receive their money since they were recruited at the regional level.
ACFIM believes that sustainable democracy may not be realized if the question of too much money in politics and electoral processes is not addressed.
It also seeks to mobilize and empower voters to make rational voter choices not based on money; encourage political candidates to contest on (merit, manifesto and ideology) as opposed to influence of money; and support interactions between voters and political candidates to foster political accountability to improve service delivery.