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Uganda: Electoral Commission Statement – “Programme for Conduct of Administrative Unite (Village and Parish Level) and Woman Councils and Committees (Village to National Level) Elections, 2017” (24.08.2017)

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Uganda: Electoral Commission Statement – “Programme for the Conduct of Administrative Units (Village and Parish) Elections 2017” (24.08.2017)

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

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

NRM Letter to President Museveni: “Re: Memorandum of Important Issues Affecting Our Party and The Running of Government under the National Resistance Movement” (03.03.2017)

Opinion: Tired of NRM apologists defending the record of President Museveni!

It is depressing, it is sad and it tormenting to listen and read the defenses of National Resistance Movement. The defense of the 31 years of rule, the rule of the for life President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his cronies. The cronies and their 10th Parliament, the By-Elections that are rigged in favor of the NRM Regime. The government of Uganda is totally controlled by the one in-charge, the President and kingpin.

The Parliament are following orders and making amends to seem to be different. Therefore, the results of elections are more to just show overpower, but not to have real elections. As the NRM sends buses and pays of villages with small-fees and commodities. There aren’t anything fruitful or sincere by the regime. The ones who put dissidents in the Nalufenya prison. Where they will be beaten, tortured and get ill. As well, as in the overcrowded prison in Luzira. The organized silence of opposition, as their rallies are filled with tear-gas and police brutality. If not the ones who are feared by the NRM are put on treason charges and called terrorists.

President Museveni with his patronage, his bloated State House, the massive cabinet and the Presidential Advisors. There certainly enough ghosts, fake bills and misuse of state reserves to write books ten times thicker than the bible. We can know by the lost trillions of the Petroleum monies, as the “Presidential Handshake” is a drop in the ocean. As the UNRA and other agencies has misused the taxpayers monies. This happens with such ease and lacking finesse, but the agencies looking into graft and corruption is compromised, because the ones leading it are loyal Musevenist.

That the government and budgets are bloated. That the financial and economic state is in deep distress, as the state is suffering from lacking provisions and revenue. As well, as they are struggling with the stop of donor friendly relationships. People’s and Foreigners trust in the leadership of Museveni has been dwindling. President Museveni are also already prospecting the revenue of the oil and petroleum, even before it has surfaced. Therefore, the future will also be compromised by the deals done today.

The defenders of the NRM now, does not believe in real democracy, as they defending the rigging and militant Movement. A President who has no trouble with killing and destroying to stay in power. The ones defending him has no trouble to stand by a man who empties the treasury and state reserves with no hesitation. As well, as the men and woman who stays by the regime, are easily taking land and resources, they are eating of the plate and selling it back to the Ugandans. This with impunity and without any consideration of the ones who loses their chances.

It is a nation who has a government, not based on merit, but on loyalty. The loyalty to Museveni and his agenda. The agenda to work for him and his ideas. Not work to develop the nation, but develop the estate of Museveni. The idea of real Movement is ploy from the master himself. He just needs shadows to work for him and for envelopes. Not a real party who deliver policy or working for the future Republic. No the Movement is now a shell used pounce out the empty ideas of greed, nurture of the estates of Museveni and of the staging the power of the old-man with the hat!

President Museveni and his apologists knows all of this, they live by this and has faith that this is ideal and the dream. That someone comes with empty promises and lives by the fake party celebrating the 1986 coup. The coup that overruled the government and the old constitution, that President Museveni couldn’t pigeonhole. That has he done to his own and plans to do it again for his 8th Term.

The apologists can say he created safety, but he also created warfare and civil-war to get to power. Some called it a revolution, other calls it a takeover. But with time it wasn’t for the idea of a people’s government, but more a government and state built around the revolutionary, who didn’t really believe in the words he spoke.

The ones defending him, is defending a lie and that for the sake of eating. Not for the benefit of the Republic or the public. The struggling public is pawns, they are just needed props now and then for the Movement. As they praise their master, as they know if they get to close or too ambitious they are surely losing their place. Therefore, all of them are loyal cadres, elite and patrons who surely basks in the pasture of the President. But really, they should know it is on borrowed time. No-one knows how long the patronage and military can be serviced, how long they can all live on the charade and the misuse of power.

Certainly, the President knows this too, therefore, he uses all ways to make sure and get people on board. Even if that lets people starve, let them cheat on food reliefs and even use refugees as bailing-out card on the struggling economy. That is solely made of the patronage and grand-corruption orchestrated from the seat of the President at the Okello House. He can created all sorts of schemes and manufacture new ways of promoting better agriculture or better yields, but it is all ploys of generating more funds for his own. Not for the public to earn or get better output of the seeds and seedlings. If so, than the agricultural should be booming after 30 years in power.

However, the defense of this will be in the patronage and by the spokespersons appointed by the President. These ones will make a fuzz and say the Opposition never was a viable option and never had the leadership to overturn the Movement. The Movement has always been the only option, they say and use new ways of saying so. But that doesn’t make it true, as the rigging and the intimidation is used to forge this facade. The flawless untouched ballots doesn’t exists, there has been all sorts of play to get the will of the President.

President Museveni, even detain opposition, he uses safe-houses and some like Sam Mugumya are detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with no plan of getting him home. Him and others are lingering abroad as the political prisoner lingers in uncertainty. This is the legacy of the revolutionary, who became the draconian and the militarized government who uses all means to stay. He uses all methods on earth, Machiavellian and Orwellian blended in a Yellow Color with no fear of repression… no fear that the Movement can be touched, but when the moment appear. Than the Ugandans shouldn’t lose it, because they have already lost so much in the name of Museveni. Museveni has stolen the past and the present. His men has rewritten the history and tried to become the grand hero, and the generations from the rebellion is dwindling away. The young generation only knows the folklore and should beware, it is not all what it seems. The ghosts are not only in the budgets, but they are haunting the President from the past. They are the ones he stole to gain power and to silence the opposition. These souls will ask in the after-life, why he did what he did to them and also why he punished their grand-kids. Since they all lead the same faith. They all got to feel the pain, with no mercy from the leadership controlled by the President.

That is why there are no defending a man like Museveni. He has used all tricks, even was able to deceive the west for decades to pay for his decadence. Certainly, he must laugh about the dumb-white men and their agendas. His grin must be wide thinking of all the sorts of cars, airplanes and ranch expansions that are paid by the friends of direct-state aid. They have kept his roof and his ammunition, to oppress and to relief his patronage. Therefore, if someone is defending this man. Think of his track-record and all the souls he has left behind. Peace.

Al Jazeera’s interview undress Mzee’s so-called Democracy!

Again, President Yoweri Katuga Museveni tried use the trick of democracy, as the ballots and the Electoral Commission, didn’t cook the numbers like a drunk cafeteria staffer and tried to sell it Michelin Star Restaurant. Mr. President has try to sell it other numb-sculls than me, but I am not his target audience.

Let me address one thing Al-Jazeera did wrong, they called him a five time term President, as off his elections. Certainly, the Media House are forgiven for giving way to the propaganda arm of the Movement and their rewriting of history. But there is decade when he wasn’t elected and postponed elections. Sort of the same trick President Joseph Kabila tries to pull of in Democratic Republic of Congo. Well, that is another story for another day. What Al-Jazeera does is to erase the years between 1986 to 1996. Since he wasn’t elected nor had an election, as the rebel and two time General going in and getting rid of the ones on the throne. That is easy to forget as the time past and most of his citizens are born since the 1990s.

Well, before more comments. Look at this interview and the comments of the long-term dictator and ruler of the Republic of Uganda.

Outtake of the Interview:

Museveni: Have you heard of something called democracy? Democracy means you elect the people you like. We had elections about one year ago and my party won 62 percent of the vote. That does not show that the people of Uganda are fed up of our party because they have voted for us five times.

Al Jazeera: According to some reports, you have demanded to be given the right to choose the next leader of Uganda. You were unsuccessful.

Museveni: No. I cannot demand that. The people are there. The people have been electing me, in spite of Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera: Are you going to run for another term?

Museveni: We follow our Constitution.

Al Jazeera: There are reports that you are about to change the Constitution so that you can run for another term. Is that going to happen?

Museveni: I cannot change the Constitution because I do not have that power.

Al Jazeera: Reports also say that you are now preparing your own son, who is now highly elevated in the army and he’s your special adviser on certain issues. Your wife is also a minister – she sits next to you on the cabinet. Reports are you are preparing one of the two to become the next president of Uganda. What do you say to this?

Museveni: Why should I prepare them? The people of Uganda will choose the one they want.

Al Jazeera: People in your family are very close to you right now, closer than anybody else. There are reports that you are focusing on your own relatives and this is nepotism – giving them higher seats in the government. Isn’t that nepotism, Mr President?

Museveni: That’s not nepotism. The few members of my family that are involved, I involve on their own merit. My wife, against my advice, stood for election and had the biggest majority in the whole country – because the population appreciate what I have done(Talk to Al Jazeera, 2017).

I wonder if President Museveni feels that as a sole candidate and NRM Flag-Bearer for three decades, that he knows there hasn’t been any suggestion of other people running the country. Why are Dr. Kizza Besigye, Dr. Olara Otunnu, Dr. Paul Ssemogerere and Amama Mbabazi never became Presidents after you? Certainly one of them could have been legitimate presidents and de facto leaders as well. Not only you Mr. President of a so-called democracy? But hey, you took the grip of the nation by the gun and never let-go!

He speaks about electing him, if he means he puts up elections and than makes sure rigging it and using the military to spread fear in the villages; than he would be closer to the actual fact. The time when he was popular have gone, as the pictures only today in the villages when Besigye rode around the whole village turned-up to the car of the opposition leader. Something that wouldn’t occur on the watch of the President, as people more fear him and the security forces around him.

That President Museveni speaks of respecting the constitution, he has already pigeon-hold it to fit the paradigm of longevity of himself. If someone we’re up to change the age-limit on the Presidency, it wouldn’t be out of his character to drop of a few suits to the MP’s and have a summit at Kyankwanzi where the subject came and the Movement would celebrate in the progress the party has made. So the use of democracy and constitution is just fronts to look uptight, when the reality is much more bleak.

Let’s be clear if the Ugandans really could choose, it wouldn’t be you, you are already old milk that is not drinkable. The fatigue and disguise of so-called democracy doesn’t work anymore, the gig is up Mr. President. The evidence is right there, on the kangaroo court, the post-election violence and the disappearance of governance from the Central Governance. It is all circled around you and not the institutions of the government. If so there wouldn’t be given food to district who doesn’t need so and the districts getting who needs so are not getting enough. Just as the proof of the food relief in Lira, Abletong and Dokolo this weekend.

The first lady and Minister for Karamoja says she will not be seeking re-election as MP for Ruhama County in the 2016 elections. In a statement to her constituents, Mrs. Museveni said she had reached the decision after a lot of thinking and prayer. She asked that her constituents to understand her and accept her message within grace” (NTV Uganda, 22. May 2015).

So how Mrs. Janet Museveni is on merit and was elected to her role as Minister in his cabinet, is not only violation of her place, but he directly lied to Al-Jazeera, but calling Uganda a Democracy and calling himself elected by the people is a forgery. President Museveni knows it and the world does to. The rigging and the pre-ticked ballots is known by the ones googling away. The history on how he changed the constitution in the past is there too. Not like it is not well known. The ignorant are the ones who doesn’t know.

That President Museveni uses the Flying Squad or Special Forces Command to kill and get of rid of dissidents isn’t a rumor or a mirage, it is mere fact of sadness of overstepping powers. As the ones with detaining dissidents and opposition voices like Stella Nyanzi, but also others. Therefore, keep in mind that Uganda isn’t democratic. That President Museveni is on his 7th Term, not on his 5th that is National Resistance Movement rewriting of history and the world has swallowed it! Peace.

Reference:

Talk to Al Jazeera – ‘Yoweri Museveni: A five times-elected dictator?’ (29.04.2017) link:http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2017/04/yoweri-museveni-times-elected-dictator-170429102326955.html

Apparently, Mzee needs counsel from 163 appointed individuals!

It is just one of these days that the souring networks of brown-enveloped friendly figures in Uganda gets to level that is certainly, only one thing, and one thing only: “Bonkers”. That the Republic of Uganda, has such a giant cabinet already, should be a warning sign, but now with the extended Presidential Advisors, the levels of cronyism, isn’t funny, but a sincere apology to anyone who thought President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni cared about Steady Progress. The progression, apparently, meaning him giving favors and creating jobs for loyalty.

“The move is in keeping with the president’s tradition of shoring up the numbers of his presidential advisors after every election cycle or cabinet reshuffle. However, the request, which would raise the number of presidential advisors from 145 to 163, has met strong opposition from members of Parliament. According to the 2017/18 ministerial policy statement for the Presidency, the appointment of the 18 presidential advisors will push the wage budget for the advisors up by Shs 28.5bn. By the time he was sworn-in last year for his fifth elective presidential term, Museveni had 141 advisors. He drafted in four former ministers who lost the February 2016 elections. The 18 new advisors will be appointed on ministerial terms, joining another 12 who were previously appointed on similar terms” (Kaaya, 2017).

If progression only means massive amount of cronies put into his sphere of influence, than the Republic should be booming. With the patronage and the extended surplus civil servants with portfolios, that does not even know the agencies beneath or the toil of their reach. That the Presidential Advisors are former MPs, former Permanent Secretaries or just people who has an old promise from the old man with the hat. Who knows really?

Certainly, he should be the most enlighten president and the one who should have the most balanced approach to the state, if all of the Presidential Advisors was educated professionals in their respected fields. Well, we know it is not so, or cannot be so, since he has not appointed 145 specialists. Rather it being cronies who are there for their paycheck and their brown envelope before returning home for their daily bread.

President Museveni is either a genius or gone bonkers. Why? Well, if he is wise, than it is because let all of his advisors spit poetry of knowledge into his earholes and that in-depth understand of the subject are understood by the old man, before his decisions are made. I doubt it is so, more like his own arrogance and struggle to find suitable positions for his cronies. He creates more positions instead of building institutions or departments, even agencies who actually are technical and advance. Because why bother? They might undermine the intelligence of the President and his merry counsel.

That President Museveni has no quarrel or any issues concerning this growing amount of advisors is mere a reflection of his patronage and wish to control. Not to listen or gain knowledge, if so the 145 already appointed should or could give the man a moment or two with brilliance. Neither is happening and the status quo, is that this sort is mismanagement and waste of state resources is only to keep the loyal subjects close to Museveni, not to build a better state. Peace.

Reference:

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘MPs protest as Museveni asks for more advisors’ (26.04.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52550-mps-protest-as-museveni-asks-for-more-advisors.html

Uganda: Following government’s decision to conduct the Local Council 1& 2 elections by way of open voting (lining up), CCEDU has taken a position (15.01.2017)

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ccedu-11-01-2017-p2ccedu-11-01-2017-p3

Your Excellency:

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) is the broadest active civil society coalition on issues of elections in Uganda, bringing together over 800 member organizations spread across the country. CCEDU has since its formation in 2009 worked towards promoting a social and political system that enhances fair, equitable and transparent electoral processes in the Republic of Uganda.

Your Excellency, in July 2015, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2014 providing for lining up behind candidates during elections of chairpersons for village (LC1) and parish (LC2) levels. The voting method brought in effect by the Bill was a departure from what was originally provided for in the Local Government Act, of universal adult suffrage through secret ballot. Then Minister of Local Government, Hon. Adolf Mwesige, argued before Parliament that the cost of conducting village and parish elections through the method of secret ballot was too high and had made it impracticable for the elections to be held since 2002. On this ground, Hon. Mwesige convinced Parliament to vote in favor of amending the Local Government Act to consider an open voting method – which he argued was realistic and more affordable for the country.

Your Excellency, while we acknowledge that the open method of voting for the LC I and II may be viewed as financially more affordable and does not involve the same amount of logistics that would be required to run a secret ballot vote, we wish to draw your attention to the following:

1)   Article 68 (1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda sets a standard for voting at elections and referenda: “At a public election or referendum, voting shall, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, be by secret ballot using one ballot box at each polling station for all candidates in an election and for all sides in a referendum”.

2)   Article 25(b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Uganda is a state party, guarantees “the right of every eligible citizen to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections held by secret ballot”, and grounds this in the notion that “voting by secret ballot guarantees the free expression of the will of the electors”.

3)    The Universal Declaration on Democracy, a declaration adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session in Cairo on 16th September 1997 affirms the essential place of conducting democratic elections on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage for voters to choose their representatives in conditions of equality, openness and transparency that stimulate political competition.

Your Excellency, this implies that:

1)      It is a well-established practice that holding free and fair elections is one of the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law; and the secrecy of voting remains a key aspect of free and fair elections. Government has a legal obligation to conduct public elections and referenda according to the standards set in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

2)      Voters are not only entitled but also obliged to the secrecy of their vote. The method of voting proposed for LCI and II elections in which voters are required to line up behind their preferred candidates exposes the voters’ choice and violates this principle. As such, the open voting method does not safeguard the electors’ freedom of thought and their political and other beliefs. If Uganda is truly on a democratic path, then it should be seen to espouse a method of voting which ensures that the electorate is able to express itself freely and that elected representatives are truly representative, thereby contributing to public trust in the institution of local leadership.

3)      The proposed voting method violates the principle of anonymity of the voter. Freedom of opinion is endangered when a voter is prone to influence by threats of sanctions or reprisals. Open voting has time immemorial come with a lot of opportunity to influence or intimidate voters as they declare their choice by lining up behind their preferred candidates. In a country like Uganda where the population has over the years become deeply politically polarized, it is difficult to underestimate the influence and effect of fear of retribution that is embedded within an open voting system such as the proposed one. Within the context of Uganda today, the proposed method of voting is a ripe recipe of tension, vengeance and outright election-based violence – especially on the Election Day and in the aftermath of the elections.

4)      Free and fair voting principally demands that each voter makes an individual choice. Every person registered on the voters register must be able to express his or her choice in person, and this personal choice must be counted as such.  The mode of voting as prescribed under section 111 of the Local Governments Act, 2015 for village and parish elections is not consistent with this individuality principle and, in particular, constitutes a violation of gender equality and freedom of opinion.  The practice of open voting is reminiscent of days gone by of the reprehensible communal voting. In the Ugandan context, under an open voting system, it is likely that for instance, female voters may be unduly influenced to vote for candidates that their male counterparts, spouses or partners choose to vote for – for fear of catalyzing gender-based disagreement. In another case, for fear of going against their spouses’ electoral choice, female voters may decide to shun such open choice elections.  Modern societies including Uganda itself have denounced open voting methods as akin to primordial practices that infringe on voters own choice.

5)     Historically and contextually, electoral processes are highly prone to fraud and manipulation.  One of the primary reasons for the transition from ‘open’ forms of voting to the adoption of the secret ballot system in the 1800s was to help rid political systems of bribery.  Uganda is currently fighting the scourge of monetization of politics.  With an open voting system comes higher electoral stakes.   The higher the stakes, the higher the possibilities of voter bribery will be.  In effect, the possibilities of monetizing the local council elections that will be held under an open voting system remain high. The political players are quite optimistic of the eventualities very sure those voters are aware of the procedures and they will vote for them since it’s not secret.

Your Excellency, under Vision 2040, the Government of Uganda underpins the need for democracy as the anchor to transform the country. Similarly, the second National Development Plan (NDP II) recognises that without free and fair political and electoral processes, key development objectives cannot be achieved.  To this end, the NDP II proposes to institute mechanisms to strengthen credibility of electoral processes in Uganda and citizen participation in the electoral processes.

As the Fountain of Honour of our Nation, CCEDU would like to respectfully appeal to you, Your Excellency, to guarantee that:

  • The Government is indeed genuinely committed to holding free, fair and impartial elections; and considers such elections crucial for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Uganda.
  • The LCI and LCII elections are conducted in a manner that satisfies international and national legal obligations, commitments, practices and principles of; confidentiality of one’s electoral choice, anonymity and individuality of a voter. The elections must promote rather than undermine election legitimacy and integrity while reinforcing the notion of popular participation.

Your Excellency, CCEDU contends that the currently designated method of voting in the LCI and LCII elections not only fails to meet the constitutional and internationally provided for standards for conducting public elections, but is also fertile ground to foment conflict and sow seeds of discord in communities – thus undermining the hard earned peace, stability and unity in many parts of the country.

CCEDU appreciates that democratic electoral practices in Uganda are still affected by various national and contextual factors, traditions and limitations. While we recognize the importance of taking into account our country’s milieu and resource limitations, Your Excellency, we appeal against the latter being used as pretext for practices that undermine the basic principles of democracy and governing the conduct of free and fair elections.

Lastly, Your Excellency, CCEDU therefore proposes a more cost-effective option of the secret ballot method of voting in the LCI and LCII elections – in which voters record their (candidate) preference on a plain piece of paper in privacy – by way of writing or putting a thumb-print. We recommend the most basic form of secret ballot that uses standardized blank, plain or colour coded pieces of paper/cards upon which each voter marks his or her choice. Without revealing the choice to anyone, the voter in this case would fold his or her piece of paper with their marked choice and place it in a sealed ballot box. The ballot box is emptied later for the counting of the ballots. This method is not only financially affordable, but also preserves the secrecy of the ballot as well as expands possibilities for the electorate to participate in elections.

Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana

Chairperson, CCEDU Executive Committee

President might re-appoint ministerial appointments rejected by Parliament (Youtube-Clip)

“It has emerged that the president may re-appoint some of the ministers who were dropped by Parliament’s Appointments Committee last week over concerns about their competence. The Government Chief Whip, confirmed the development to NTV’s” (NTV Uganda, 2016).

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