The newly released Afro barometer report indicates a massive decline in Uganda’s democracy from 62% to 46% in a period between 2000 to 2017.
Reading the finding of the report, the national coordinator, Afro barometer, Francis Kibirige says, since 2000, the proportion of Ugandan who prefer democracy over any other system has been increasing but non uniformly, with each increase before a general election being followed by a decrease after the election.
Data further shows that this satisfaction gap between the proportion of citizens who prefer democracy and those who are satisfied is strongly and negative related with the perceived quality of elections as well as public views on how well the government has performed on economic and political indicators.
The report further mentions that Ugandans are consistently more likely to prefer democracy than they are to be satisfied with the way their democracy is actually working.
• Ugandans are consistently more likely to prefer democracy than they are to be satisfied with the way their democracy is actually working. The 5% point gap recorded in 2000 grew to 15 points after the 2001 elections; the 10 point difference in 2005 grew to 25 points after the 2006 polls; and the 14 point gap in 2015 grew to 34 points after the 2016 polls.
• Corresponding to this satisfaction gap, we see a drop in support for democratic values such as support for the rule of law, freedom of press, parliamentary oversight, multiparty, and freedom of assembly and association.
• Similarly, the report highlights a corresponding drop in the perceived quality of elections, especially trust in electoral commission, perceived freedom and fairness of the last national elections, freedom of assembly/association during elections coupled with increase in fear of violence/ intimidation and having to be careful about what one says or how one votes.
However, the professor of public administration at Uganda Management Institute, Gerald Kagembirwe attributes the decline in democracy in the country to failure by the leaders to provide all the necessities both social and economic to the masses coupled with lack of respect for rule of law advising that leaders both on the opposition and in the ruling party to work on the needs of the citizens as a means to raise their hopes.
However, Fred Bamwine the Butambala RDC partly agrees with the report findings but still calls for changes in the way govt is doing business but then asks the leaders to copy from what other well off countries are doing.
Research that resulted into this report saw 1200 adult Ugandans interviewed between 26 December 2016 and 8 January 2017.