The role of religious leaders in multi-party political elections of Kamwenge District
MetadataShow full item record
The researcher was guided by the topic, "The role of religious leaders in the multi-party political elections of Kamwenge District." Most curious was whether active participation of Religious leaders in the 2006 Multi-party political elections of Kamwenge District could negative the relationship between politics and religion. The study was meant to collect opinions of people on what they think is the right thing to be done by religious leaders in such diverse multi-party politics. The researcher used the following specific objectives: i. To investigate the level of participation and involvement of Religious Leaders in Multi-Party Political Elections. ii. To find out the areas of co-operation between / among Religious Leaders and Political Leaders during Political Elections. iii. To suggest ways and means through which Religious Leaders can exercise their rights in Multi-Party Political Elections. Questionnaires were distributed and opinions were tabulated. These were compared and juxtaposed with the theoretical frame work of political parties, their internal factions and their considerable impact in development of society. Questions in the questionnaire were meant to evoke responses to the cited provocative literature review. For instance, Ram (1975) contends that development of society depends upon the functioning of the political elite and political parties. This involves planned change for achieving the set economic, social, pol4ical and cultural goals for improving the quality of life of the people. Hence political parties have to mobilize people for that. Paradoxically development is precipitated by factions in a political party, one oriented to royalty to the party leader and the other oriented to the ideology of the party. If politics is meant for development of society many stakeholders including religious leaders play some roles. The researcher observed that it was a general opinion that religious leaders should participate or get involved in multi-party political elections of Kamwenge but people had different opinions on the extent of participation. Some respondents regarded participation of religious leaders in politics as negative. Perhaps the historical antagonism between religious leaders and politicians justify the negative attitude. For instance Waliggo (March,2004) contends that the notion and exercise of power, which is often and erroneously interchangeably used for authority has been the major cause of the power struggle between religion and politics, church and state. The struggle for power between church and state is spread over church history especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Viorst (1965:53) asserts that the struggle for power between church and state had a disastrous effect in 1080 when Pope Gregory VII tried to overthrow King Henry, the king deposed the Pope and established a Papal rival in Rome. But in the Concordat of worms in 1122, concluded between Henry V and Pope Calixtus, the Papacy recognized the obligation of each Bishop to swear fealty to the king and accept secular obligations of feudal vassal. The moment both politics and religion become thirsty for power rather than for authority, the tensions between the two become very dangerous and may lead to deadly conflicts. Kanyeihamba (2005) contends that the political situation in Uganda has a bearing on historical development from religion. In the late 1890s, Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism met with Islam, which had been introduced into Buganda in the 1840s and met with the African traditional religion, which had been the sole religion in the country for thousands of years. In the power struggle that followed each of the four religions transformed itself into a political faction or party to entirely eliminate both the political leadership and the religious leadership of the rest. It is asserted that the system of multi-party politics in Uganda was transplanted and superimposed by the British in 1962 when Uganda attained independence. There was very little consideration for economic, social backgrounds and cultural values of the people of Uganda. The corollary result was that when Uganda seized the idea of organizing political parties, they were based on ethnic and religious affiliations. Findings were subjected to measures of association to establish and interpret the degree of correlation. Conspicuous was the opinion that religious leaders should actively participate in multiparty political elections especially through civic education, informing people about dates of political elections and informing them about the political offices. The majority of respondents (68%) among political leaders (councillors) resented the idea of religious leaders working as campaign agents during political elections. Yet religious leaders were equally divided on the same issue. These general opinions were tested using ordinal measures of association and showed a low negative association indicating that what was given as an opinion does not necessarily show what is actually happening in the field. From the research outcomes the researcher concluded that since religious leaders and political leaders serve the same society none of them should serve society to the exclusion of the other. In addition, religious leaders have the capacity to promote political tolerance and peaceful co-existence regardless of political inclinations. Active involvement of religious leaders in civic education was welcome as long as they tend to be neutral. The researcher recommended partnership of religious organizations with the electoral commission to enhance civic education. Sheiks, Imams, Bishops, Clergy and other categories of religious leaders should accept their social responsibility in the state. They need to emulate their predecessors like Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Samuel, John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles who were on the forefront as champions defending truth.