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Press Release: Clarification on Hon. Norbert Mao’s failed bid for Nomination as a Parliamentary Candidate (03.12.2015)

Norbert Mao NTV

On 2nd December 2015, Hon. Norbert Mao presented himself for nomination for Member of Parliament, Gulu Municipality, Gulu District. However, the Returning Officer could not nominate him because his name was not found on the National Voters Register, which is a requirement for nomination under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005 (as amended).

The Electoral Commission has noted the false commentaries that have arisen out of this failed bid for nomination of Hon. Norbert Mao, and would like to clarify on the matter as follows:

1. The Electoral Commission compiled a National Voters’ Register for purposes of the 2015-2016 General Elections, and for this purpose, extracted the data containing the particulars of registered and verified Ugandan citizens from the National Identification Register;

2. The extracted data of the successfully verified Ugandan citizens was displayed for public scrutiny at the respective update centers in each Parish/Ward during the update period from 7th April to 11th May 2015. The exercise had been scheduled to end on 30th April 2015 but was extended twice, from 30th April to 4th May, and again, to 11th May 2015;

3. During the above period, the Commission conducted an update of the National Voters’ Register, which involved fresh registration of Ugandan citizens of 18 years and above, who had missed out on the registration conducted for purpose of issuance of a National Identity Card.

The Commission extensively publicized the exercise to ensure that Ugandan citizens register to participate in the 2016 General Elections;

4. During the update exercise, the Commission clarified that all persons who registered for purposes of elections prior to the 2010/2011 General Elections and consequent update exercises conducted for purposes of by-elections, but had not registered during the Enrolment exercise for purposes of issuance with a National Identification Card, were required to register (afresh) for purposes of voting during the 2016 General Elections;

5. In a Press Statement dated 1st April 2015, the Commission announced that effective 31st March 2015, the 2011 National Voters’ Register (as updated) had been retired and degazetted, and accordingly, it would not be used for purposes of elections and/or referenda in 2016 and beyond;

6. The information available to the Electoral Commission is that Hon. Mao Norbert did not register during the above exercises, which he, too acknowledges in his letter to the Chairperson, Electoral Commission, dated 16th October 2015, requesting for consideration and inclusion on the National Voters’ Register;

7. The Commission, in response, advised that his request was time barred, since it was raised after conclusion of the General Update whose cut-off date was 11th May 2015; and,

8. Please note that only persons whose particulars appear on the National Voters Register are eligible to participate in the ongoing electoral processes, including nomination to an elective position.

The above facts clarify the failure of Hon. Mao to be nominated as a candidate, since he never registered as a voter for purposes of the 2016 General Elections.

Finally, the Commission calls on all stakeholders in the ongoing electoral process to refrain from making statements that are likely to misguide the general public. I would like to thank those Ugandans who seek to understand the electoral process, and give informed opinion on the processes. The Commission is available to guide on any matter related to the electoral process.

For God and My Country

Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu
Chairperson, Electoral Commission

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The Proposed changes and added amendments on the Election laws that can be seen as preparation for the Election in 2016 in Uganda.

Fred Ruhindi

On the 25th September 2015 three amendments will be read for the parliament. These Amendments are the President Elections Amendment Bill of 2015, Parliamentary Elections Amendment Bill of 2015 and the Electoral Commission Amendment Bill of 2015. They are all interconnected and will be a part of the preparations to the election that is happening in 2016.  All the Amendments comes from the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Fredrick Ruhindi

The Main parts of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill of 2015:

Parts of the bill with revise the requirement for a candidate to campaign in every district in Uganda and to stop the polling stations at 4:00PM on the polling day. Another main part of the bill is that nominations fee for the candidate will go from Shs. 8Million/= to the the new fee of Shs. 20Million/=.

The first issue with the candidate is that with the surge of districts make it difficult for a candidate to be in all the new districts before the polling day while campaigning. The second one is for fitting the economic environment that is different than in 2005.  The third issue is that the polling time is set from 5:00PM to 4:00PM to give the Electoral Commission more time to count the votes.

And a new amendment to proof the voter’s identity:

“a fourth table located at least ten meters from the ballot boxes where every voter, after deposing the ballot paper into the ballot box, shall proceed and the thumb or other finger on the voter’s right hand determined by the commission marked with or applied with inedible ink as one indicators that the voter has cast the ballot”.

The Main parts of the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill of 2015:

First part of the bill is to get four representatives of persons with disabilities to be elected by Electoral Colleges Constituted in accordance to the four traditional districts: Central, Eastern, Northern and Western regions. The second part of the bill is on the nomination fee for the candidate will go from Shs. 200k/= to new fee of Shs. 1Million/=.

The Main parts of the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill of 2015:

First part of new amendment is: “The commission shall, not later then two weeks before polling day, transmit to every political party and organization and independent candidate taking part in the election, an electronic text based copy of each voters’ register which the commission shall use on polling day”.

Second part is that the Commission has to employ one a District Election Administrator and an Assistant Election Administration. The District Election Administrator has the supervision, is in charge and custody of the voters’ in the district, and also seeing through the manner of the voters registers. Important character that the Administrator need is integrity, high moral and also “a person taken to have behaved in a corrupt manner in relation to his or her duties if he or she commits any act of dishonesty in connection with his or her duties, whether or not it constitutes a criminal offence”.

Third part is: “the Commission shall, before the display of the copy of the voters’ roll publish in the Gazette and in the print media, a list of all the places at which a voters’ roll is required to be displayed under this section”.

Aftermath:

The Presidential Candidate first gets more expensive to pay the nominee fee as a candidate it goes up Shs. 12Million from the 2005 to the total of Shs. 20Million and was at 2005 set to be Shs. 8Million. Everybody understands that’s a viable and big fee change and the argument is for the economic climate that has changed since 2005. If the value of the shilling has devalued that much in about ten year period that the candidate must pay over double of the fee, then the economic system has server issues.

The Second change is the time that is set from 5:00PM to 4:00PM on the polling station at the Election Day to give more time for counting. I am sure that this will be more of a statuary fix. The counting will have enormous ability to be manipulated after the votes are cast. The time set or fixed times is just an small tweak.

The third change in the Election laws are the thumb print that each voter has to get before casting the ballot. This will be sign of ink on the thumb proving that the voter has cast his or hers ballot. It’s a nice fix especially thinking about how the reports was a last election that people and military personal was bussed between voting stations to vote multiple times. With the ink on the finger it should be harder to dupe this one and the officials should easily see the print of ink on the thumb if a person tries to vote twice.

Fourth change is that a nomination fee for representatives for the disability goes up to Shs. 1Millon. There will also be four representatives one each representative from traditional districts: Central, Western, Northern and Eastern. This is in general a nice gesture to the community with applying that the Parliament gets people with special needs to the Parliament from now on.

Fifth change is that each political parties and independent should at least receive the voters register before two weeks before the polling day.  This is good thing to give them time to see the registers and check it. Might even give feedback to the Electoral Commission on shortfalls for the registration of voters in districts and municipalities that is necessary, though two weeks are little, if the registers are big who would have the capacity to oversee and scrutinize the register?

Sixth change is the additional new staff each district need. The new staff by the law is now District Election Administrator and Assistant Election Administrator who will look over the Polling and Election in the District. The person who will be hired has to have a moral compass, integrity and not act in a corrupt manner. All of the ones that are put into law are not exceptional this is what they should be as members of society and also professional people delivering and serving their nation and government so that the citizens can be sure of a valid result. A result and poll that is efficient and following procedure so that the tally can be justified and also being correct. Because if the Election Administrator doing their job and picking the right people, not letting the Electoral Commission having ability to trick the numbers or anybody else. Then the ballots and elections would be less rigged and actual have trustworthy people doing their jobs. If not, this is just a nice on paper and we still see the same issues in the Districts and clear the ballots for a free and fair election in 2016.

Seventh change is the publication in the Gazette or in print media. Where the Voters roll will be published, that is just a good thing. And proving to the public that the results getting official and can be explained. That should have already been there and is basic of official and public order, with this the Electoral Commission proves that it does it actual job in the election.

This all should be seen as interesting and see if this get voted in. If this gets official law it will have some effect on certain aspects on the coming election and the later by-elections as well. Since the signs of the public and local display will be visual with the thumb print and the District Electoral Administrator getting a vital role in procedures of the polling. Also the establishment of higher nomination fees for Presidential Candidates and also Special Disability representative which is total 4 representative one from each traditional regions. That is a great sign of all of the laws.

I don’t want to write for the third time what the laws says, but the issue is that it’s really patchwork and also quick fixes. If they will play big in the election is time to tell. And see if the next Commonwealth Report of 2016 will be as harsh as it was on Presidential Election in 2011. Peace.

Mugesha’s words against Besigye’s candidacy in the FDC and the result from the Flag-bearer voting at the FDC Conference in Nambole today (2.9.2015)

Kiiza-Besigye-talking-to-Amanya-Mushega

It isn’t everyday another deflector from NRM who has been a vital part of FDC goes in on Dr. Kizza Besigye. As he has done with Museveni when he lingered in power he switched party to be a part of FDC as well. The words and letter he wrote to the Dr. Kizza Besigye is powerful words from a man who support the party that he deflected to. Both men left the NRM for some of the same reasons. They are both educated and has been on a long road to where they are today. So I respect the views from Mugesha. Therefore I see them as valued debate about how the opposition should show leadership skills and also get new blood in. I am a big-fan of Dr. Kizza Besigye candidacy, but I still see the issue! It isn’t just NRM who should have renewed leadership; its steady ships everywhere that need shifts. If not the staleness and roughness get inside the organizations and parties that doesn’t evolve, but makes certain systems around them. This is the big issue with the NRM. But the People President deserves another chance to win in an election and run as a president. Though with the rigging and running of the Electoral Commission the race isn’t in there in other lanes then theoretical, in reality it’s something else.

Who is Nuwe Amanya Mugesha?

“Nuwe Amanya Mushega is a law graduate of the University of Dar es Salaam, from where he left for Makerere University, becoming an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Law. In 1974 he obtained a Masters and became a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. He returned to Makerere University in 1979 as a Lecturer and continued in that capacity until 1981” (…)”In the same year Mushega joined the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) of Yoweri Museveni where he rose to the post of National Political Commissar. He also served in various ministerial roles in the ministries of defence, local government, education, and public service. During that time, he also served as the Member of Parliament representing Igara East in Bushenyi District” (…)”In 2001, he was appointed by the EAC heads of state to serve a five-year term as Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC).He later disagreed with President Museveni over his continued stay in power and subsequently joined the Forum for Democratic Change(FDC). He was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and retired from the UPDF” (Mandu, 2015).

History lesson from TVO:

“The venue is Lubiri barracks and the day the NRA captured Kampala in 1986, Yoweri Museveni had just announced to his commanders that he was only going to rule for 2 years. One man stood up and told Museveni that the two years were not enough and it should be at least four.years before elections. THE NAME OF THAT MAN WAS NUWE AMANYA MUSHEGA.NEBASE”.

Nuwe Amanya Mugesha has said about Dr. Kizza Besigye:

On the 10th of August:

“No, I am not disappointed, but I am not happy [with Besigye] and I have no shame about it. You see, you cannot tell what you don’t have. When people believe that you are the answer God has given, [because] I have heard people say it’s only Besigye who can manage the FDC… “ (…)”But [Julius] Nyerere [Tanzania] gave up the leadership of CMM which he led and eventually the country, but he went on to support those who came after him in the party and the country to make Tanzania a better place. He even advised them not to do some of the things he had done and apologised to his people” (…)”[Nelson] Mandela in South Africa gave up the leadership of ANC and the country he even criticized them sometimes. He never went behind the scenes to create parallel structures to create civil society and other things…” (…)”So, let us learn from others. The moment you think you are indispensable, you begin to be a problem whether you see it or not, you will be and you are undermining the institution. It will be good if a leader steps down and then works hand in hand with those after him, and advise them if they see that they need you back, they should be the ones to genuinely say so. But when people praise you that without you there will not be a party, then you are not everlasting. We will all come to end but what will you leave behind” (…)”The crucial issue is not washing linen in public; it’s washing linen wherever you can wash it because if you don’t wash it and keep it in the closet, it will eventually stink and cause more problems. Don’t you see people washing clothes and plates and put them on wires when you move in Kampala? What are you hiding if the linen is dirty? Wash it” (…)”You are taking me back to my first answer. I don’t believe in saviors, I have seen it…there are things you will do by leading others…by advising your successors than leaving the grave to advise them…it’s not a question of defeating Museveni, it’s about if you are to be in power, what organisation is likely to lift Ugandans out of this situation. Is the priority strong leaders or strong institutions? But I have told you that the graves are full of indispensable leader” (Walusimbi, 2015).

Ingrid Turinawe answers to Mugesha on 12th of August:

“Hon Mugesha (with due respect) observer newspaper interview and attacks on KB remind me of the time when KB was in luzira prison before the 2006 election” (…)”we were organizing to nominate him in absentia, FDC members from all over the country had fully signed and submitted required signatures from nomination” (…)”I am trying to write all this history in a book that I will release soon” (TheInsider.co.ug, 2015).

She continued: “They were fronting Gen Muntu, a matter that would have left Dr Besigye to rot in prison. Don’t joke with FDC members; people refused to sign, and in most districts, these forms were torn into pieces while others were burnt” (Sadab, 2015).

On the 24th of August journalist Komakech wrote this about it: “Recently, Amanya Mushega, a former Museveni Minister, and now Opposition FDC elder, revealed that the sole candidacy idea was first mooted in 2001 when Besigye emerged to challenge the status quo. Subsequently stunts by MP Okot Felix Ogong and others who tried to challenge Museveni, made ring-fencing of the Party’s Chairmanship inevitable” (Komakech, 2015).

Again on the 31st August:

“You stated that in 1999, you approached some of us to leave the Movement and when we failed; you decided to start the work of ‘heavy lifting’ to remove the dictatorship and that you left the Movement for that purpose” (…)”For how long will this ‘heavy lifting be a personal obligation and mission? The fact is that you did not leave the Movement; you just run for the office of the President under the Movement system. There were some members who moved a motion that Mr President be declared a sole candidate in 2000. Some of those movers are now victims of that thinking, some of us openly opposed this move and argued that you were free to stand. We even advised against the efforts to have you arrested and victimised. Your ‘entasiima’” (…)”By the way, to refresh your memory, just 10 years earlier in 1989, you led a team to draft a resolution for a constitutional amendment to extend NRM rule and hence the leadership of President Museveni for an extra five years which was passed” (…)”We may recall that when the Constitution was being amended to remove term limits, there were many clear voices in and outside Parliament who opposed it and some paid and are still paying a price. Not everyone succumbed to money offers. This was before FDC was formed” (…)”Later on at the first NEC meeting at party headquarters, a meeting you chaired, it was raised that actually there were other people who had been nominated but papers not presented. To cut the long story short, Wandera was dropped and replaced by another person. The real reason, he had supported Muntu. Wandera is alive” (…)”When you stepped down, I told some leaders at that time that you had stepped down tacticfully in order to come back with a bang as flag bearer. So your coming back was not a surprise to me, what surprised was the spurious reasons you advanced” (Mushega, 2015).

Afterthought:

The opinions of Mr. Mugesha are important. He has history in both parties. Both in the NRM and also the FDC, he has been an important man for Museveni. He was even trusted with a position in the EAC. That was before he had fallout with him and went then to the FDC. And he will not be alone with these thoughts about Dr. Kizza Besigye. Especially since he now made a decision to stand again as a flag-bearer in the party.

By all means he is dramatic in words and tone. That is expected. If he is supporter for Gen. Mugisha Muntu then all of that is understandable. Mugesha has the right to ask and its healthy to be questioned the rights of Dr. Kizza Besigye to run again. The issue that can be clear is to have a viable candidate against M7 or Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the long-serving president in Uganda. And he would not fear Gen. Mugisha Muntu, but he will fear Dr. Kizza Besigye! That is something we will already know and is powerful in its self, especially when this continues to on the election trail to the February 2016. It is true that all the elections before Dr. Kizza Besigye has lost, but Mugesha nows, the whole FDC nows that the EC has been rigged by the NRM.

The history both this fellows has with Museveni is special because the way they we’re trusted men in the movement before their fallouts of his ranks. So that there will stories from 1986 and actions that is lacking of the ethics that are today can be understandable. Their words today will be different then back then. The way they act is different and being in opposition has changed them both. They also have stories from the NRM that hasn’t surfaced yet and the years they both have had there. The stories of how they lived in the FDC will also come to light there more things happen. For both Dr. Kizza Besigye and Mugisha Muntu their ways will be in the spotlight until the flag-bearer for 2016 is picked and is valid by the party. The NRM shouldn’t really matter and the Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ghost shouldn’t hunt the FDC party, but it does. Therefore when your hunted you have to use strategies to withhold the pressure and make sure you’re ready for wild goose hunt and hope you get the prey.

Reports as I write are that in the voting from the delegates at the Conference of the FDC for flagbearer.  The report is actually from Francis Mwijukye and says the result is:

Dr. Kizza Besigye got 718.

Gen. Mugisha Muntu 289.

So the party has made a good decision, but the issues and questioning from peers in the party is healthy for a democratic and influential party. Even though we can question the motives and time for doing so. Then again, what do you think?

Peace.    

Reference:

Komakech, Morris DC – ‘Contextualising Besigye’s real trial’ (24.08.2015) link: http://www.independent.co.ug/column/comment/10557-contextualising-besigyes-real-trial

Mandu, Steven F. – ‘Powerful voices of the 1970s and 1980s long gone or silent: Part 4’ (14.08.2015) link: http://www.eagle.co.ug/2015/08/14/powerful-voices-of-the-1970s-and-1980s-long-gone-or-silent-part-4.html

Mushega, Amanya – ‘Mushega’s answer to Besigye’ (31.08.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Elections/Mushega-s-answer-to-Besigye/-/859108/2853060/-/vytlkwz/-/index.html

Sadab, Kaaya Kitaffa – ‘Besigye supporters attack Mushega’ (12.08.2015) link: http://www.observer.ug/news-headlines/39202-besigye-supporters-attack-mushega

TheInsider.co.ug – ‘Ingrid to leak Mushega secrets for attacking Besigye’ (12.08.2015) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/ingrid-to-leak-mushega-secrets-for-attacking-besigye/

Walusimbi, Deo – ‘Mushega attacks Besigye U-turn’ (10.08.2015) link: http://www.observer.ug/news-headlines/39175-mushega-attacks-besigye-u-turn

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