The Deputy Secretary General for the ruling NRM party, Richard Todwong has said many Ugandans are now looking at elective politics as a form of employment.
Speaking during a symposium about commercialization of Politics and electoral processes organised at Hotel Africana on Thursday, Todwong said the vice of pumping a lot of money into politics will never end until something is done.
“Recently during the 2016 general elections, we had less than 600 positions in NRM primaries that attracted over 5000 candidates,” Todwong said.
“Each one of these wanted to express them better than their competitors and had to use a lot of money.”
The NRM Deputy Secretary General said the country’s politics has been modeled in such a way that people can only rise to political positions through injecting a lot of money into the electoral process, and that sadly, authorities like the Electoral Commission never care about it.
“These are the only jobs available even for the fresh graduates who have just finished school,” he said. “Politics has now become a source of employment in the country.”
Economist and MUBS lecturer, Ramathan Ggoobi described the current situation as a jobless growth economy where growth has not been reflected in the number of jobs created and people have to look for alternatives.
“Politics is now being seen as a last resort for employment after failure of the economy, “Ggoobi said on Thursday.
He explained that despite the continued growth of the economy, only a few people have benefited .
According to Ggoobi, such increased levels of unemployment have forced many people especially youths to turn to politics.
“For us to be able to reverse this trend, we need to rethink the economic model.”
He partly attributed the poor performance of the economy to what he said as over prescriptions of good ideas by government.
“When we were asked to liberalize the economy, we over did it leaving the economy without any rules.”
“We were asked to open the door but ended up plucking it out.There is need to regulate the economy,”Ggoobi advised.
Todwong on the other side said despite provision of services like schools, roads and hospitals, the ruling NRM government feels the pinch of high levels of unemployment in times of elections when it loses in some areas due to the youths who vote for opposition.
“There is need to give credible and tangible answers to these issues as a government,” he said.