The recent by election in Kamuli district has gotten a lot of flack for their evident ways of transgression against honoring the ballot and liberty of all parties to take part. Especially the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) won the race, but the reality is that the win cannot be seen as honorable one, as the Kamuli District was more than one place found evidence of questionable behavior of the state.
“80% of Election Day officials had arrived at the polling stations by 6:30am, only 20% had not. It is important for polling day officials to arrive on time because then the polls start on time” (CCEDU, 2017). When the CCEDU finds out that 20% of the Officials not showing up at the polling stations, show the lack of integrity and wish to really care for the voters. Like there are not really any justification to explain the lacking tolerance of the voters, when the persons who are checking and securing the ballots doesn’t show up on time. When one in 5 doesn’t care for showing up when the polls start.
“77% of observers reported no intimidation, harassment or violence during voting against any other persons, but 3% observers reported intimidation of election officials, party agents and observers and 13% reported intimidation against voters” (CCEDU, 2017). That there was reports of this and the police force was involved was clear by many reports, not only by the FDC. THe intimidation was found by 13%, which is a giant group of voters. As one in 10 was intimidated during the election, something that shouldn’t need to happen as the ballots should be able to be casted in peace. The 3% of intimidation of election officials, party agents and observers, is also to much and proves the irregularities of these polling.
“ The unauthorized persons inside polling stations during counting and closing, 68% observers reported they saw the police, 3% saw the army and 37% saw no one” (…) “97% of Observers reported that there was no intimidation, harassment or violence during counting, but 3% reported intimidation of electoral officials and 3% intimidation of party agents” (CCEDU, 2017). That most of the observers saw the Police and the Army was not unexpected, as the reports of intimidation stems from that. But that there even was intimidation of any kind during the counting proves that the system is not fair.
Main conclusions from CCEDU:
“CCEDU observers recorded a number of malpractices that were orchestrated by supporters of FDC and the NRM. At about 12:00pm there were allegations of voter bribery, by an agent of Hajjati Wetongola at St Mark Primary School. The election was also characterized by incidents of violence and a voter wanting to vote in the name of another person. However, our Observer at Kyabazinga Senior Secondary Polling Station, was able to notice the anomaly and raised it with the authorities, who arrested the young man before he would vote as John Mawanga. All these issues mean the quality of the electoral process was compromised. CCEDU was also concerned about the high number of unauthorized persons within the polling stations and noted that quiet a number of people were denied a chance to vote. The Kamuli by-election registered a voter turn-out of 51%. On the whole, the general management of the process was commendable with all polling stations commencing voting before 8:00am. It is also commendable that increasingly, more party agents are observing the electoral processes from beginning to end. Party agents have the ability to promote the integrity of electoral processes by raising a red flag on electoral ills” (CCEDU, 2017).
So a compromised electoral process isn’t what the Kamuli District deserves, neither the voters, as the incidents from both FDC and NRM in this sort of affair wasn’t justified, even as the Ruling Party was the Main denominator together with the Security Organizations, like the Police and Special Forces Command. That shouldn’t be needed during an election, when the public should expect something else. They should expect that the government facilitate the election without any intimidation and any sort of acts against the FDC. They shouldn’t have to go this far for a victory, but they did, because they do not know how to win without using force. Peace.