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Uganda: Electoral Commission Statement on Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections and By-Elections 2017 (02.08.2017)

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NRM Regime sends the message when they cannot afford elections in the new districts: That they are not important!

There are clear reports that the Electoral Commission doesn’t have the funds for elections in the new districts, which is: “The districts that came into effect on July 1 are Bunyangabu carved out of Kabarole, Namisindwa carved out of Manafwa, Pakwach from Nebbi, Butebo from Pallisa, Rukiga from Kabale and Kyotera from Rakai” (Mwesigwa, 2017). So from these newly created districts does have new Members of Parliament, but does not have local leadership.

This proves the real value of the newly created districts, as the National Resistance Movement pays it no mind and only create it out of political will. Not creating districts for better governance or service delivery. The NRM and the President have been gerrymandering and paying off his people with making new districts. Why I say the NRM and the government doesn’t prioritize real local leadership, since the Electoral Commission had on the 27th June 2017 in a Press Release said this:

The Electoral Commission has appointed Monday 3rd July 2017, as the date for election of Interim District Chairperson in each of the newly created districts of Bunyangabu, Butebo, Kyotera, Namisindwa, Pakwach and Rukiga” (Electoral Commisson, 27.06.2017). Still, that date has been postponed because of lacking funds. Therefore, the interim leadership in the new districts get to stay in power without polls.

It was apparently very easy to create districts and than find suitable people to run them. And done so without any scrutiny, since it is done times ahead before the General Election in 2016. This was done with several districts and made into new government organization. Something the NRM regime has done through the decades.

It is more evident now that the NRM doesn’t consider the chairpersons in the new districts. That the LCV chairmen got elected in in 112 districts. But with the new districts its become 118 districts. Since in the 9th Parliament by August 2015, this was totally 23 new districts, not only the ones active from 1st July 2017. Which now the state cannot afford to have local leadership election. Like the report in August 2015: “Last week, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, presented an amended motion seeking to create 23 new districts spread across four financial years. According to the motion, districts to be created effective July 1, 2016 include Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. Those to come into effect by July 1, 2017 include Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabu. On the other hand Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kasanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube districts will become effective July 1, 2018 while Obongi, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi Okollo, Kalenga and Kalaki come into effect from July 1, 2019” (The Observer, 2015). Because the State has been able to hold elections in the ones that came into affect in July 1st 2016. These we’re by-election that has gone in favor of the NRM. These being in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. So it is now the 6 districts who the state cannot afford to have elections for. Which means that the Republic cannot afford having local government officials.

So the state has carved out new districts, but cannot afford them. It is special that during the next two years there will be 13 more districts. There is already launched 10 districts and only 4 districts has elected leadership through ballots. These are Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. The rest are without leadership. The 13 districts that is coming, you can wonder if the state can afford them as well? Even if it will be another fiscal year, but there still need extended efforts because the state has established and created districts, that needs offices and councils. These all needs provisions and budgetary discipline to make it happen.

Clearly, the service delivery and the need for the new districts isn’t there, it is all political motivated to pay off loyal NRM cronies and give them titles. That they can hire Resident District Commanders and others who will work directly for the President and the State House. The Electoral Commission has just to issue an election and get the secret ballots. That is the easy thing, but to build the new district and the government organization. The NRM knows this, but the initial factor is if they cannot hold elections there, can they pay for the structure?

It doesn’t seem likely that the districts are made for the best of the community or the government services. More for cronies loyal to the President. Peace.

Reference:

Mwesigwa, Alon – ‘Crisis: No money to run new districts, conduct elections’ (07.07.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53724-crisis-no-money-to-run-new-districts-conduct-elections.html

The Observer – ‘Uganda: Museveni Directs Parliament to Convene Over New Districts’ (25.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508260319.html

Bunyoro squabble: Besigye Rally blocked in Masindi!

As the Police has monitored and followed the moves of Forum for Democratic Change in Bunyoro, even standing guards around the compounds of the retreat that the FDC during the week. You can tell that the government does not spare a single shilling in the mind of keeping the FDC at bay. Clearly, the Police Force in Masindi was preoccupied with handling the matters and silencing the FDC. Not catching criminals, because that is not important in the Republic of Uganda. It is more important to count the steps and gasoline run by the White SUV of Dr. Kizza Besigye. Therefore, this shallow and truthful news coming from URN wasn’t that surprising considering how many times they have done it!

“The officials arrived at Masindi Stadium at around 5pm and agreed with police to conclude the rally within 30 minutes. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, the former FDC president addressed the residents and urged them to jealously guard their land from government officials who have turned to it for survival since they have stolen all the money for service delivery” (…) “Besigye ignored the directives and continued speaking leading to a heated verbal exchange between FDC party officials and heavily armed police personnel. As a result, Police threatened to use teargas prompting Besigye to cut short his speech and drive away with police patrol cars behind him. Waiswa told reporters that they couldn’t allow Besigye go beyond the allocated 30 minutes” (Ogga & Gucwaki, 2017).

So again, the Police Force has stopped a rally, another rally in the series of spreading the information of land grabbing and of making sure the citizens know their rights. That is deemed unfit and not the sort of subject the citizens need. Especially in districts close to the vast oil reserves, which the state intent to only to supplement the income of the President, not his fellow citizens. If it were, wouldn’t the new debt in the budgets be recovered sooner, instead of a Presidential Handshake?

Well, as state of affairs goes, the state continues to hamper with rallies of opposition, the police continue to vital part of politics, instead of fighting crime. The Police is more concerned with the moves of FDC and “Bad DP“, than of actual police work. The opposition are more often criminals, than the average chicken thief’s, just pound on that for a hot-moment. Certainly, it will be more chicken-soup and less chicken, boiled water on bones instead of flesh. Since, the Police Force cannot stop themselves from being political active. Their mandate under this administration is to subdue and silence the ones who does not comply with the vision of Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Ogga, Thembo Kahungu Misairi & Gucwaki, Yosam – ‘POLICE STOP BESIGYE RALLY IN MASINDI’ (14.06.2017) – Uganda Radio Network – link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/police-stops-besigye-rally-in-masindi

A look into the Oil Road Cost: the Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko Road!

As the Budget Framework paper for Financial Year 2017/2018 in Uganda, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) requested for the roads a total of Shs. 1,779bn and the required just to build the road in this budget year alone where 1,107bn. This was seen as a strategic area from the state, as the road is seen as one of them Oil Roads. Which, is one of the most important projects the government has, as the future profits of these are soon all used before the drilling starts. This with the giant projects and the misuse of funds. This is epitome with the Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko road! Just take a look at the reports collected on the road. But the official paper of the budget said otherwise than the framework, who was just nonsense.

While the Budget report to the Parliament of May 2017 Vote 113 UNRA Hoima – Wanseko Oil Road Shs. 29.00bn. This funds will be available after reconciliation of numbers. While the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) where planning proposed numbers for the Oil Roads and the Hoima – Wanseko road where the length of 83 kilometers, and the budget was 444bn. Which is a bit more than the vote! And doesn’t fit with the records even. The numbers are staggering and confusing. As to put it further every unit or kilometers are estimated to cost 5,35bn. So the cost of the oil-road just in this budget year is insane.

Hon. Cecilia Ogwal expresses concern about the cost of the Hoima-Butiana-Wasenko oil road of shs53billion per kilometre” (Parliament, 31.05.2017). The Road that is under construction and is upgraded are 111 kilometers road. If the MP’s estimate is correct means the road cost shs. 5,883bn or Shs. 5.8 trillions. In the budget plenary session on the 31st May 2017 she was also very adamant that the roads who we’re budgeted without feasability studies should be cut and get other use of the funds. Still, that didn’t happen. One of these roads was the oil-road of Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko. But with this years Budget report and actual feasibility study alone, proves the state will use 444bn on the road. As the other reports prove what they we’re planning to use. But this project started in 2015 and the reports of the misspending on it, seems so big as it gets. So the Road development and the Oil Road could be proof of another UNRA scandal. Take a look!

The works on Hoima-Butiaba- Wanseko road are expected to start during the second half of 2015. This is subject to availability of funding for the project,” said Dan Alinange, the UNRA head of corporate communications” (Rwothungeyo, 2014).

Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko cost Shs. 454bn:

Works minister John Byabagambi and the new Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) executive director Allen Kagina have agreed to handpick a contractor for Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko road despite an earlier petition on influence-peddling and fraud in the process. Mr Byabagambi has also changed from his earlier position where he opposed the move, when he was still a junior minister. A whistleblower had raised the red flag in a petition to Ms Kagina indicating that the project cost had been inflated by Shs66 billion ($20 million)” (…) “The 111km road stretches from Hoima to Butiaba on Lake Albert and one of the major corridors in the oil-rich Albertine Graben in south western Uganda. The project is expected to cost Shs454 billion” (Musisi, 2015).

UNRA on the Spot:

The third road project, pointed out by the whistleblower is the 55km Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road. According to the dossier, bids for the road were opened on January 22, 2016 and the deal was awarded to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) at Shs 398 billion. According to the whistleblower, this would translate into $2m per kilometre, which is exorbitant. The whistleblower notes that this is way above construction estimates posted on the Unra website, which are at $960,000 per kilometre. Later, after an outcry from some bidders, Unra cancelled the deal, the whistleblower says. “The IGG should investigate the people who crafted this ignominious evaluation and bring them to book. They should even be interdicted as investigations continue,” notes the dossier. The whistleblower claims that roads in the oil sub-region of Bunyoro have been restricted to only Chinese firms because of the funding from Exim bank. Local and other foreign firms, the dossier noted, were left out” (Kiggundu, 2017).

So the prices of the budget framework and the budget report of 2017/2018, as the whistleblower of early May 2017 are clearly saying that the $2m per kilometers on the Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko. If the US Dollars are Currency converted into Uganda Shillings which means the price per kilometers are Shs. 7,187bn, that means the price calculated by the budget and the MoFPED are Shs. 5,35bn. That means that are a difference in the price per kilometers which is Shs. 1.837bn. If the budget would be correct than the total price for the 83 kilometers, would e 596bn. I also find it strange that the UNRA budget and length on the FY 2017/2018 is 83 kilometers, as the initial length was 111 kilometers. That is also a length of roads that suddenly couldn’t disappear.

This road is surely more expensive than the government wants it to be, or certainly some lost public funds. Not shocking in the nation run by National Resistance Movement. The total tally of the cost will be revealed, but is not yet. Peace

Reference:

Kiggundu, Edris – ‘UNRA on spot over Chinese contracts’ (03.05.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52685-unra-on-spot-over-chinese-contracts.html

Musisi, Frederic – ‘Minister, Kagina hand-pick contractor’ (26.06.2015) link:http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/News/Minister–Kagina-hand-pick-contractor/2466686-2765360-format-xhtml-9uhqklz/index.html

Rwothungeyo, Billy – ‘Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road for upgrade’ (02.01.2014) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1336203/hoima-butiaba-wanseko-road-upgrade

Parliamentary Report spells out that the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) is a totally flawed initiative!

As the 10th Parliament and one of their committee has written a report on the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), this one lead by the man who is named General Salim Selah. There has been seen to see fruitful results to the government sponsored projects, that is for the cash-crops and other agricultural outputs. But the report that is made today in Parliament isn’t really saying much positive about the initiatives. As this OWC that are part of the Office of Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, he surely will looked failed together with Gen. Selah.

It is clearly stating the OWC as failed initiative, as the delivery is flawed, it is done without information sharing, without local knowledge or input into how they want it. The leadership from the top has decided and gives the seeds and seedlings when they feel like it. Without any concern of the districts and their OWC administration, as they do not have facilities for the deliveries done by the OWC. Certainly, there are decisions made by OPM and the General without clear leadership, neither listening to the farmers they are supposed to help to enrich. Instead, they are more delivering sub-standard services and not working for others than the ones on the top. Just take a look!

OWC is coordinated by the Senior Presidential Advisor on Defense and Security. He heads the team of directors at the headquarters in charge of inputs, low cost housing, value addition, pensions among others, They coordinate all activities of the operation such as planning, evaluation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation” (Republic of Uganda, P: 2, 2017).

Operation Wealth Creation distributes inputs late. Because of this, people do not pick them especially seedlings and they go to waste. For example when the Committee undertook the field visit to Agago, Oyam and Nebbi, it was informed that the inputs had been delivered late in September/October and were also planted late. The crops planted could not withstand the long dry spell that run from late November till late March and ended up dying” (Republic of Uganda, P: 3, 2017).

Most of the suppliers of seeds and seedlings do not own nurseries. They buy from uncertified nursery operators and end up compromising the quality to meet demand” (Republic of Ugandan, P: 6, 2017).

Some people complained that OWC “dumps” agricultural inputs that are not required by the beneficiaries for example the people of Nakaseke complained that they are given too many mangoes and oranges yet they would prefer food crops like maize and beans instead” (Republic of Uganda, P: 7, 2017). “OWC uses the top bottom approach. People are not consulted before supplying therefore people are sometimes given what they do need for example people in Kubuku district complained that they were given the variety of mangoes that they not need” (Republic of Uganda, P: 7, 2017).

OWC supplies inputs without informing the district leadership making it difficult for them to plan how to store and distribute the inputs” (Republic of Uganda, P: 7, 2017). OWC does not monitor the performance of the inputs distributed. This leaves the programme without data on which it can base the supply of inputs in the future” (Republic of Uganda, P: 8, 2017).

If these quotes are not proving that the OWC is totally flawed, it is heavily run by the General Salim Selah and under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who are in-direct charge of the OWC. The OWC seems more like a fine slogan and signs, but the secretariat are not controlling or informing as it should. Neither is it listening to the ones that are supposed to benefit from it. Secondly, the programme doesn’t even monitor the results. Therefore, the results and the evidence of the having it is more on the feelings of Gen. Selah and the President Museveni. Not on the farmers who could instead have district boards on Co-Ops on Inputs. Instead of a centralized Museveni family controlled organization, that is clearly not doing what is supposed to do. It seems futile and not to be there for anyone else, then the ones appointed by the President and the companies they buy the seeds and seedlings from!

OWC isn’t for the farmers and for growing better yields, right now it is a non-transparent, top bottom leadership without any care for the districts who needs help and need government subsidized seeds and seedlings. If it doesn’t change… than the government can just pocket the monies, instead of just spending monies at the wrong time, for the wrong farmers and for the late season for growing the seeds. Peace.

Reference:

Republic of Uganda – ‘Report on the Sectoral Commission on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries of the Implementation of the Operation Wealth Creation Programme in Uganda’ (May 2017)

Bunyoro: “Re: Clarification on the newly appointed Bunyoro Cabinet and the alleged dissmissal of the Principal Private Secretary to Omukama (22.02.2017)

bunyororo-22-02-2017

Opinion: Flabbergasting to know that funds used from Ministry of Works was used to print NRM Manifestos in 2016!

president-museveni-and-first-lady-janet-museveni-at-the-launching-of-the-nrm-manifesito

“Ministry of Works officials reveal to PAC that UGX47m budgeted for the roads fund was used to print NRM manifesto last year” (NBS TV Uganda, 01.03.2017).

The Yellow Movement have no nerve; they have Presidential Handshakes, buying jet-planes for the President, but not money for maintenance. They want to buy helicopters to the Speakers of the Parliament this year. But last year they impressed as well!

Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege, the Minister of the Ministry must feel stupid, as she knows perfectly well that the funds should go to transport or to roads, even gone to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) development, even to build ports like Bukasa Port on the Lake Victoria.

That this proves something that we all have feared all along, is that the National Resistance Movement are eating of the plate of the public funds when they need. This is if the NRM needs money for gasoline or hiring buses during the campaigns they just take the unallocated salaries for teachers to that. If President Museveni needs more funds to pay musicians for campaigning for him, than going to the function where the allocated taxpayers monies we’re supposed to go.

This shows the lack of transparency and respect of the government funds when the ruling regime and ruling party uses state funds to inner-party campaigning. That NRM and their party organization used Ministry of Works funds to print NRM Manifestos for the General Election of 2016, show lack of governance and allocation procedures. We can question the oversight of the allocation of state funds that is diverted to party work.

The NRM regime is now openly telling to the world that they are misusing the funds and doing in broad daylight, during the plenary sessions on the audit of funds from former financial year of 2015/2016. The world would not be surprised if the NRM used more funds from other ministries to campaign in the recent campaign. Especially knowing that NRM and President Museveni doesn’t seem to have any care with the scrutiny or good-governance. Good governance is apparently a giant issue that will continue be hurt one for regime, because they don’t have the ability or wish to change. Since President Museveni are only focused on his own riches and own wealth, as he is not a civil servant, but his own master who controls the Republic. Peace.  

NRM claim victory in recent elections in the new districts; it was expected, but how long can they rule on borrowed time?

NRM30082016

It is just one of these days, where the result of the recent election; to be frank another one of days after the ballot is casted and things are just back to normal. It is just one of these days. Where the news of the National Resistance Movement picking up most of mandates and representatives from the newly created districts in Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda Omoro and Kakumiro.

The ones that are surprised that there do exist a voting apathy and low turnouts has lost the plot since the rigging generation under the current administration. As there are clear reports of Pre-Ticked Ballots even in this minor election. Where the good news we are that the Electoral Commission was actually prepared and had some sense of delivering Electoral Material. Though late at some polling stations as 10:40 but still closing the Polling Station at ordinary time, which is an insult to injury.

It was not strange that the Movement got most of the candidate in a race where the locals anticipated bribes to decide their votes. Something the CCEDU clearly saw and reported in the districts. Where the Police and Crime Preventers was guards at the Polling Stations, but the good news was no clear violence during the election. The only one where the certain individuals where caught planning to put fire on one radio-station. While it were reports that other Radio Stations had focus on spreading the news of the Movement and let the others, just run astray. This is a proof of malpractice and maladministration as the ruling regime does not care about the freedoms of assembly of the fellow citizens.

Together with FDC Mobilisers who tailgated NRM initiators who we’re bribing locals to vote for them and in the end ended up serving time in jail for questioning the behaviour of the Movement. This proves that the fate is already sealed and that the election is not a necessary arrangement for picking leaders since the Movement have already done it for you. The FDC did not get any mandate, but still had more campaigns that the other parties who really put their soul into the campaign of Omoro, where the NRM captured the representative. In all the new districts all but one person outside the Movement got a position and that was an Independent Candidate. The system obviously made ready for this kind of outcome. As the registered leaders of other parties where in Omoro and the contests as the newly formed districts where the function was clearly a horserace to bribe the men and woman to give them vote and let them be for the rest of the term.

The Forum for Democratic Change lost this one, but the contest of bribing; the Movement won it. Certainly, the Uganda People’s Congress and Democratic Party must feel hurt by losing Omoro District to the Movement, but their way of bamboozling opposition continues and it is a reason why Hon. Jacob Oulanyah still is an MP and Deputy Speaker in the 10th Parliament. Not because of his ethics, but because of the Movements acts to stay in Power.

The initial outcome was set from the get-go. The reality is the same as yesterday. The Movement the shallow creature it is ask Selah. Sorry, ask Sevo. Not ask Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda and not Hon. Edward Ssekandi. Remember ask Selah, he can answer why the Movement in shallow in the chambers of the hotel he is lodged in eating on government salaries.

It is reasons why the elections in the newly created districts ended this way; the signs in the stars and moons was smiling about it. At least what the cow farmer is concerned. The Movement continues to linger on and cheat their way to happiness and further acts that are more corrupt and behaviour into oblivion. Still, they wonder why there are voter apathy and uncertainty of value of their ballot unless they get some shillings to buy soap or millet.

The Movement can celebrate these wins like a victory of their glorious movement who is a people’s movement, as they did with the double celebration at Kololo after both the ballots, the rigging and the Supreme Court validate the Movement and its leadership yet again. But the reality is that is on borrowed time as the apathy proves the dissolution of the current leadership. The tiredness and current instability of the ones above. The silence and contempt will surface, but when it boil over is not something you can say.

The only way for this to end well is if the apathy turns into pleasure of the current status quo and that the people, the citizens are contempt with keeping the militarized Movement there. If not, then there are something else brewing; that is something Sevo and Selah doesn’t want hear. They might swallowed and paid through the hurdles for this one. Made it peaceful and organized it to an extent well, but the tarnished reputation, the violent Police Force and the abuses cannot last forever. You cannot keep your opposition in prison and still legitimize your rule. Just like the wise men of Nakawa in Kampala these days tries to defend.

The Movement and their supporters might believe they won this one and got it. But they didn’t. They bribed it and took it. They didn’t win it. They didn’t because it wasn’t rhetoric or policies that won, but who pays who for their vote. If the locals expect always to be paid for their vote, then the coffers won’t sore but be tore. As proven with the recent expensive campaign trail of Mzee and the empty bank accounts of the State House right before the opening of the 10th Parliament.

So enjoy your victories and pleasures of emptiness as the borrowed time and for every minute counting the expected payback will come. How and when is not up to me to say, but the grave danger of missteps and loosen control will widen the spectrum and the disfranchised citizens might want their justice back. Peace.

Final Election Observation Statement in Kakumiro, Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda and Omoro Districts (30.08.2016)

Kagadi 29.08.2016

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) was launched on 19th August 2009. CCEDU is a broad coalition that brings together over 850 like-minded civil society organizations and over 25,000 individuals to advocate for electoral democracy in Uganda. The CCEDU secretariat is hosted by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). CCEDU’s vision is to realize a Uganda where the principles and practices of electoral democracy are upheld. Its mission is to advance integrity and citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process. CCEDU carries out its work in all districts and regions of Uganda. Since its establishment, CCEDU has been a leading player in advocacy for electoral reforms, observation of general and by-elections and civic/voter education campaigns.

CCEDU has a special mandate to observe Elections in conformity with the relevant international instruments governing election observation and the Constitution and National Laws of the Republic of Uganda.[1]

This statement presents the overall observations of the conduct of Election Day process of the CCEDU Election Observation Mission in the five districts.

 Summary

CCEDU finds that the Election Day processes were relatively peaceful and better organized from an administration perspective. Polling officials knew polling day procedures and generally followed the legal provisions on opening of the polling station, set up, voting, closing and counting. However, there were some challenges during the polling process notably some voters who were not permitted to vote. Additionally, although the election procedures allow for assisted voting, CCEDU noted cases of voters who were assisted to vote in many of the polling stations observed.

Set Up and opening

 Although many polling stations opened after 7am, the polling officials generally followed the laid out procedures for opening and set up. Additionally, the few incidents of missing materials mainly indelible ink were also resolved.

Voting

During the voting process, polling officials at most polling stations followed procedures and the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) relatively functioned well.
In 84 of 100 polling stations observed, voters were checked for ink before receiving a ballot.

  • All polling stations observed had the BVVS. In 84 of 100 polling stations observed the BVVS functioned properly. Among the 16 that malfunctioned, 10 were fixed and 3 were replaced.
  • Polling officials instructed voters on voting procedures in 89 of the 100 polling stations observed
  • In 86 of the 100 polling stations observed, voters were able to vote in secret.
  • In 66 of the 100 polling stations observed, there were no unauthorized personnel present inside the polling station. However, police and crime preventers were present in 19 of polling stations.
  • High numbers of voters were assisted to vote. In 78 of the 100 polling stations observed some (1 – 14) voters were assisted to vote. In 6 of the polling stations observed more than 15 voters were assisted to vote. Unidentified people assisted voters in 67 of the 100 polling stations observed, while election officials and party agents assisted voters in 16 and 14 of the polling stations respectively contrary to the law.

Chart 1 representing number of voters assisted to vote based on data from 100 polling stations observed by CCEDU

District Polling Stations with CCEDU Observers Polling stations with between 1-14 voters assisted to Vote
Kagadi 33 28
Kakumiro 22 16
Kibaale 12 9
Omoro 14 11
Rubanda 19 14

NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 99 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 85 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 78 polling stations observed.) However UPC, DP and PP party agents presence is limited to Omoro district.

  • In 84 of the 100 polling stations observed, all voters in queue by 4pm were able to vote.

Omoro Election 2016

Counting and Declaration of Results

  •     In 99 of the 100 polling stations, polling officials opened the ballot box and sorted ballots in full view of the candidates’ agents.
  • 62 of polling stations did not have unauthorized personnel present during counting. However, 23 of polling stations observed had police present and 22 of polling stations had crime preventers present.
  • Party agents are useful in an election because they can deter fraud especially if they are vigilant and loyal to their candidate/party. During counting NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 98 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 82 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 74 polling stations observed.) However UPC and DP presence is limited to Omoro district. PPP party agents were not present during counting in any district.
  • Where party agents of NRM were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 94 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 5 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where agents of FDC were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 72 of 100 polling stations. Where FDC agents were present, they refused to sign in 4 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of UPC were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 15 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 0 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of DP were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 15 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 2 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of PPP were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 6 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 0 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of independent candidates were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 79 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 8 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Election results were posted publicly at 86 of the 100 polling stations observed and in all the polling station observed the presiding officer sealed a copy of the DR form in the tamper evident envelope for transmission to the Returning officer.

Critical Incident Reports

CCEDU received 22 critical incidents and verified 17. The highest number of incidents reported from Rubanda (7) and Kakumiro (6) Kagadi (2) and Omoro (1) had the least number of incidents reported.

  • Vote buying/voter bribery was the most reported incidents in Rubanda, Omoro and Kakumiro
  • Incidents of violence including disruption of voting were the second most reported in Kakumiro, Omoro and Kagadi
  • Incidents of unauthorized persons assisting others to vote were the third most reported critical incidents reported in Kakumiro.
  • In Rubanda there was also a case of impersonation of voters reported.
  • In Omoro voting ended at 5:00pm but voting materials from the polling stations arrived at the tally centre at 10:40pm.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that there were a few incidents of violence reported, CCEDU applauds voters in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda for maintaining peace and calm during the elections. However, CCEDU is concerned that voters are increasingly demanding for bribes from candidates which is a point of concern in our electoral processes. CCEDU urges voters to desist from demanding for bribes and urges candidates to desist from buying voters.

CCEDU remains committed to improving the integrity of electoral processes in Uganda.

For God and my country.

Preliminary Election Observation Statement in Kakumiro, Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda and Omoro Districts (29.08.2016)

Kagadi 29.08.2016

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) was launched on 19th August 2009. CCEDU is a broad coalition that brings together over 850 like-minded civil society organizations and over 25,000 individuals to advocate for electoral democracy in Uganda. The CCEDU secretariat is hosted by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). CCEDU’s vision is to realize a Uganda where the principles and practices of electoral democracy are upheld. Its mission is to advance integrity and citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process. CCEDU carries out its work in all districts and regions of Uganda. Since its establishment, CCEDU has been a leading player in advocacy for electoral reforms, observation of general and by-elections and civic/voter education campaigns.
CCEDU has a special mandate to observe Elections in conformity with the relevant international instruments governing election observation and the Constitution and National Laws of the Republic of Uganda
This statement presents the preliminary observations on the opening and setup process of the CCEDU Election Observation Mission in the five districts. CCEDU share a more detailed report with once more information has been received from our observers.

SUMMARY

In August 2015, government approved the creation of new districts. Subsequently, the EC, on 30 June 2016, announced the programme for Parliamentary and Local Government Councils election in five of the newly created districts namely Kakumiro and Kagadi curved out of Kibaale district; Rubanda curved out of present day Kabale district and Omoro curved out of present day Gulu district. The offices for election are: District Woman Member of Parliament, Local Council V chairpersons and Youth representative.
In line with its mission to enhance integrity, transparency and active citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral processes, CCEDU commissioned an election observation mission in the five (5) districts, to observe the pre-election, Election Day and post-election periods.
CCEDU has deployed 100 polling station observers distributed proportionally in all the 49 sub counties that make up the five districts. These have been stationed across all the 49 sub counties to observe and report on the Election Day processes at the polling stations. (See Annex of CCEDU Observer Distribution in the 5 districts). These 100 observers are supported by 5 district supervisors, one in each district. Additionally CCEDU members and staff of CCEDU secretariat are on ground supplementing reports from the stationary observers.

PRELIMINARY ELECTION DAY FINDINGS

The conduct of the elections was guided by the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005, the Local Government Act 1997 as amended and the Electoral Commission Act 1997.

This statement is based on observer reports and incidents filed by all the 100 observers deployed in the 5 districts as at 11:40 am focusing on the opening and setup process.

Kibaale District 29.08.2016

Findings on Set-up and Opening Process:

On the opening and set up process, CCEDU has observed the following:

• Polling officials had arrived only in 28 polling stations of the 100 polling stations by 6:30am. Although Omoro had a higher presence of polling officials, on the contrary, polling officials in Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kibaale and Rubanda districts were not present at polling stations by 6:30 which affected the opening of most polling stations.

• The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Acts as amended provide for polling to begin at 7:00am and end at 4:00pm. By 7:00am, only 10 polling stations out of the 100 polling stations observed in the five districts had opened. Although most of the polling stations (72 of 100 polling stations) observed had opened by 8:00am. 27 polling stations opened after 8:30am.

• Although 91 of 100 polling stations observed had all strategic materials, 5 polling stations in Kagadi, Kakumiro and Rubanda were missing indelible ink and 1 polling station in Rubanda was missing the voter register.

• In line with Objective VI of the national objectives and directive principles of state policy, which provides for gender balance in all government institutions, out of the 4 polling officials in the 100 polling stations observed, at least 2 of polling officials were women.

• In most of the polling stations observed, polling officials followed procedure by observing the presence of at least 5 registered voters in 95 of the 100 polling stations observed. Additionally, polling officials in 95 of the 100 polling stations observed displayed ballot boxes to be empty before voting commenced observed and in 93 of 100 polling stations observed polling officials followed the set procedure of sealing ballot boxes before voting commenced.

• CCEDU observers have also noted the presence of party agents across all districts. NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 96 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 75 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 58 polling stations observed.) However UPC, DP and PP party agents presence is limited to Omoro district.
Critical Incidents:

The following critical incidents have been reported and confirmed by CCEDU observers between 7:00am and 11:40am:

• Biometric Voter verification systems malfunctioned in Kibaale District, Buyanja County, and Matale A Sub-county and at Nkooko B polling station, Bugangaizi East County, Kakumiro District.
Voter bribery has been reported in Bubare C polling station, Rubanda county East in Rubanda District.
• A fight between agents of an NRM candidate and an agent of an Independent candidate were reported and confirmed at Birembo A Sub-county, Bugangaizi West County in Kakumiro District.
• In Kyanyi Polling station, polling station code 01 in Nyamarinda Sub-county, Kibaale district, it was observed that 4 people known to be deceased had their names ticked in the voter’s register as though the deceased had voted.
Kakumiro community radio was reported to have been campaigning for an NRM candidate in Kakumiro town council, Kakumiro district.
• Agents of independent candidates were said to have manhandled an agent for the NRM candidate at Kakindo sub-county, Bugangaizi West county, Kakumiro district.

Omoro Election 2016
Conclusion

CCEDU remains committed to objectively observing and reporting on the elections as they unfold in the five districts. We shall provide a comprehensive statement on the polling and closing, counting and tabulation processes tomorrow August 30 at 10:00am.

We urge voters to remain peaceful and come out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote.

For God and my country.

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