Gender Minister Betty Amongi has delivered a blistering rebuke to young political leaders, asserting that elections alone do not pave the path to true democracy. She vehemently urged them to discard the notion that participating in elective politics automatically equates to achieving democracy.
Amongi brazenly highlighted that thriving governments like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), under the rule of a monarch, flourish without the need for elections while providing essential services to their citizens. She went further to contend that some developed nations may hold democratic elections, but the result is far from a functional democracy.
With a tone of disdain, Amongi asserted, “Elections are not democracy; they are just one tool among many.” She sharply criticized the notion that elections alone could deliver functional democracy, which she argued has failed miserably in numerous countries.
Taking a stinging swipe at the role of money in politics, the minister claimed that aspiring leaders without substantial financial resources are doomed to fail when attempting to convince impoverished communities about democratic principles.
Amongi delivered this scathing assessment during an event on September 21, 2023, where she addressed young leaders from various political groups in Uganda on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy. She was unapologetic in her message, emphasizing that the democracy these youth had been trained in was nothing but a theoretical facade. She urged them to focus on practical aspects of democracy influenced by factors like money, religion, gender, clans, and other interests.
In a biting commentary, Amongi suggested that the elite class prefers long standing Presidents in Africa because they rely on these leaders for their survival. She scoffed at the idea that politics could be devoid of financial influence, bluntly stating, “You may have graduated in democratic ideals, but you must also consider the pragmatic side that defines democracy.”
Amidst this scathing critique, European Union Ambassador to Uganda, Jan Sadek, revealed a multimillion dollar project aimed at empowering and including young people in democratic participation. Sadek commended the efforts of young leaders from various political backgrounds working together to enhance democratic representation in Uganda.