Comodification of Rights: Votes on Sale in Sub-Sahara Africa.


One of the fundamental of human rights is the right to vote and be voted for freely without fear, favour and intimidation. It is very inappropriate in most Sub-Sahara countries where voting rights are flouted with impunity by politicians and people placed in high offices. Armed with improper acquired state resources, these politicians deprive their citizens of the basic necessities of life only to use a token of the squandered resources to buy peoples votes during elections periods. People are in abject poverty and some are so pressed to the stage of destitution and thus accept the vote trades which infringe their freedom and rights.

Citizens’ choice in a democratic society where people enjoy the liberty to vote is a right enshrined in the constitutions of these nations. In a democracy people are at liberty to chose what may lead to the fulfilment of their desires but to decide or chose, the choices first of all has to be available otherwise the freedom is not there.  They lack the capabilities to exercise their rights.

Ideally, the political set up should make sure rights to free voting are exerted. Without being empowered, the poor have no democratic legitimacy of freedom. This is about being marginalized and lack of capabilities. Such actions do not translate into these vulnerable poor making informed voting decision but rather they exchange their power for money or as agreed.

Consideration of future impact of their actions, their behaviours shows that they are not aware of the collective restraint gains from the common freedom. In any case, even if the consequences are understood, the poor are left with little or no options to ease their state of being ultra poor and basically not provided for by the very power holders. They lack access of information to enhance them make free decision. The people have little or no power to influence the political gains thus they are mere puppets of the politicians who set up the rule of the dirty political games. This actually violate decent functioning democratic right or principles such violation is inimical to the societal freedom so much so that the community itself is not free and so can not exert influence on individual and restrict the freedom especially as misguided



One Response to “Comodification of Rights: Votes on Sale in Sub-Sahara Africa.”

  1. ngoziokei Says:

    Human Right is when government, public authorities, individuals of all different levels in life are legally obliged to respect one another in love. It becomes laws as Human Right act 1998. In some developing countries, we have lacked the voter registration. Some commons votes, while some commons are not given the opportunities to vote their right. That is why you can see more corruption/embelzzlement in the Africa and Islamist countries right now (Eygpt, Libya, Saudi Arabian, Bahrain, Burma and Syria) fighting and crying out for their rights, interms to vote for a functioning democratic government. We are all citizens of different countries, who must be heard from and given the equal rights of opportunities in all aspects of life.
    We should all be given equal rights to exersice it freely.

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