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Opinion: Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress turns more and more into NRM-Lite!

Akena M7

“Power is a curious thing. Who lives, Who dies. Power resides where men believe it resides. It is a trick, A shadow on the wall.”  ― Lord Varys (Game of Thrones).

Adjective: Denoting a low-fat or low-sugar version of a manufactured food or drink product” (…) “Origin: 1950s: a commercial respelling of light, light” (Oxford Dictionary – Lite).

This here isn’t something based on evidence, but more a genuine feeling I have is not only one I share, but many others. There is something at stake and someone who has agreed the negotiations so these so-called opposition parties isn’t really so. That is why the Uganda People Congress has some MPs in the Cabinet and the same with Democratic Party. The same can be said that both of these parties, still have slots or parts of the delegations to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha.

What we do know is that James Akena, the newly concurred leader of UPC could easily do some trade-off with NRM in 2015. That isn’t just mere speculation as his party did decent and there haven’t been any controversy or lashing out from NRM MPs towards the UPC in ages. Secondly, the DP has become the good DPs and the ones that even are parts of NRM Celebrations. There is something up with these two parties, just like Uganda Federal Alliance and Beti Kamya all of a sudden is a bigger support of the NRM government than the former NRM historical’s and the NRM hardliners.

The President and his NRM CEC must see their State House visits as a blessed and ease ways of figuring out how to undress the opposition and how to deal with them. All needs a meal-ticket, the question is who will give in to the regime and at what cost. Therefore, the arrangement and the deals behind the close doors show the conning way of the illegitimate regime who uses all sorts of methods to undermine the opposition. The FDC has clearly given in too, in my book, with even becoming the shadow-government in Parliament. Something the FDC NEC shouldn’t have considered and agreed upon, because when NRM together with the President agreed to get a UPC minister and DP minister, it would be hard to have shadow-government with members from these parties. That would be rare and weird to explain.

DP Mao

We can even wonder if Norbert Mao even cared of losing his slot as Member of Parliament in the 10th Parliament, as the DP was behind Amama Mbabazi Presidential Candidate through the The Democratic Alliance (TDA). Why I say that now? Since he is snickering and defending the NRM on NBSFrontline, attacking Lord Mayor Lukwago and the FDC when he can, just as we would expect Akena, since he has been bought sometime during the 2015. The price and the value of the UPC is for him and his closest allies to know.

DP’s Mao on the other hand is worrying, that Fred Mukasa Mbidde went so easily and elected into the EALA, also how little care the DP has given to the DP Cabinet Member Florence Nakiwala. Who could have thought the party would trade these folks that easily? That without any worry and without care has let it go, that they have set the standard of being a mediocre party who has no courage and no fighting spirit.

Maybe, Mao has gotten tired of fighting as the campaign he himself has a Presidential Candidate was sour, it wasn’t a joyful journey as the promises and the ride against the police force wasn’t ideal. Therefore, the battle even for his own MPs place got lost and as a leader who isn’t in Parliament, while the ones in Parliament are getting cosy with the NRM. That might be why Mao is complied with the forged friendships and trading in Parliament, to make sure they can gain the most. Still, the value and integrity of DP is dwindling, with every forged agreement with NRM makes them more and more alike, less different.

The NRM regime and NRM caucus in Parliament is adding DP and UPC, they are just turning into branches of the regime instead of being rooted on their own and on their own framework. It is just like Mao and Akena, just shift-bosses instead of being their own factory leaders. They work less for their own product and delivery, more and more to please the Executive through agreements and negotiations.

That is why the NRM has swallowed their paths and the lacking spine of DP and UPC has given way for this. Therefore, the current affairs and state makes them like a light version of the NRM. For this reason DP = NRM Lite and UPC = NRM Lite. Both parties are old and have a long history; they were established long before NRM, still the abolishment from Obote, made the other obsolete. So Museveni’s trick of being in the shadows of these parties before and after the parties, this is essentially killing of the multi-party system. That the NRM are tarnishing the DP and UPC to becoming NRM knocks-offs.

NRM UPC Arua 16.11.15

All of this is mere speculation, but still, there aren’t any official agreements in public between UPC and DP towards to the NRM, but their friendliness and co-operations are evident of certain negotiated deals. You will not hear Akena or the UPC complain about the NRM, just like Mao suddenly defends on national TV their position towards NRM and attacks Lukwago. There is just some uncertainty of how and what they have done behind closed doors. Beyond a shadow of a doubt some worrying signs that can and should be questioned, especially not accept as the acceptance of these parties to the NRM gives way to establish deep concerns of the value of opposition at all in Uganda. Since the DP and UPC have been thresholds for such, now it is FDC, even with a FDC NEC who doesn’t concern their legitimising the Parliament.

We all should ask and question the recent efforts from DP and UPC as legitimate opposition, even as parties without connections or how possibly they have accepted agreements with Movement. This surpass the judgement and the recognition of their existence, it is more the mere fact of lacking attention to transparency and accountability, as they are giving way to a regime who certainly does not care about procedures or acts or rule of law. The parties are therefore giving the Movement acceptance and are silently supporting their rule with these sorts of acts. Certainly, something the founders of these parties would turn in their graves and wanted to resurrect to adjust the malfunctions of these parties. Peace.

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Opinion: Tired of the ‘last words of Mwenda’ against the FDC and Besigye!

mwenda-lastword-banner-3

Mwenda, Andrew Mwenda the Independent Magazine owner and editor, the man who knows all about how to rant against fellow political opponents, than a month later praising them, like they are the next one to save the world. In one week Museveni can be the worst and the other week he will be the hero. The same is with the Forum for Democratic Change and Dr. Kizza Besigye, all through December 2016 and this beginning 2017 his focus has been bashing on Besigye like he is AIDS.

Mwenda has a fetish or worse a deluded mind where he uses all kind of words to address why Besigye isn’t the President, without considering the fact of the power of ‘the old man with the hat’. The editor rant is about the organizations, the loss of local elections and the losing of presidential election going back to Dr. Paul Ssemogerere of the Democratic Party who ran against President Museveni and all of his campaign we’re filled with attacks and brutality. Just like all of Besigye’s has been, it is a reason why he is for the second time in his life-time charged with treason against the Republic. All of those explanations vanish like water meet the heat of the sun and becomes part of the air.

Mwenda’s rants concluded with today’s word calling FDC a Cult on Facebook. Where he was calling literally Besigye a Cult leader, because Mwenda has to grind out every little bit of anger into the public sphere. He added videos of the inauguration of Nana Addo in Accra where Besigye we’re invited, Mwenda had this to say about the Ghanaian President speech: “In these two videos, newly elected Ghanaian president, who invited FDC cult leader to his inauguration, parrots the inaugural speeches of Bill Clinton in 1993 and George Bush in 2001. Besigye’s 2010 manifesto copied David Cameron’s Conservative Party manifesto almost word for word” (Mwenda, 08.01.2016). So his words are saying itself how he has to attack the man for attending and being invited while Museveni is busy bodying himself to drop “Presidential Handshakes”.

Ferry for Besigye to Busuga 16.11.15

“Besigye’s despotism in FDC:

Earlier in the day he wrote this too against Besigye: “Most of the FDC leaders i have interviewed ran away from NRM after witnessing the same trend. Now they say that compared to Besigye and his FDC fanatics, M7 and his NRM look like the best democrats one can find. In short Besigye had established a ruthless and intolerant dictatorship over the FDC and now relies on the cult of personality rather than on institutions to govern” (…) “While Besigye fanatics claim I have been hired by NRM to tarnish the name of their cult leader, the information I post here is always supplied to me by the top ranking members of FDC who want to rescue the party and Uganda’s democracy from the tyranny of extremism and the despotism of Besigye” (Mwenda, 08.01.2017).

So he continues his rants, his words of direct attack, as there are rare breed and the Besigye is giant problem. Besigye is the reason for the losses; Besigye is the reason for everything. If it rains it’s Besigye, if it snows it is Beisgye, if it is wind it is Besigye and if it is sun by all means it is Besigye. That is how you can talk in the sense of Mwenda. He is the weatherman who always will pin the blame on Besigye, and by all current codex or modus operandi it will be boiled down to Besigye. Nobody else, the others are needed props in tale of fatigue, lacking organization or even repeatedly popular personality of Besigye. Instead of asking why was there yet again Primary Elections where Besigye won over Gen. Mugish Muntu. Something that didn’t happen in the Movement, where Museveni where sole-candidacy for Presidency and Mbabazi wasn’t allowed to run against him! Something that Mwenda wouldn’t mention, for one simple reason, it will blow his mind and lose his marbles. Mwenda will be little prick who thinks he is a genius, but misses key aspects of matter. Like you need water or milk to drink tea. You can try to boil coke, but the tea will not mix well, but boiled milk or water will make a perfect blend.

Mwenda’s rants are now pointless and personal, like vendetta against the FDC and Besigye. Like he has to attack them! He cannot do anything else, if not he loses his mind. I know I write against Museveni a lot too, but usually with context of economy or recent acts, but Mwenda recreate the election and the internal organization of FDC without caring about factors that are put into play with no regard of the political status in the Republic. FDC are not alone on the losing end of Movement, but Mwenda acts like they are the only one, there is UPC, DP, Farmer’s Party, TIC, UFA and so on.

Kisoro FDC 01.02.2016 Muntu Rally Police

Like yesterday’s rant: “Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly” (Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

He goes again into insults not only Besigye, but his supporters, because what else there to do. Because he doesn’t have a valid argument as long as he is putting FDC and Besigye in vacuum, the same kind of empty hole his arguments and reasoning is for the moment. 2017 stroke Mwenda and his mind went haywire. To prove the nonsense of this man, let’s take a piece of the rant of the day before:

“Over the last 16 years, Besigye has concentrated all the meager resources of the opposition on one singular objective, to capture the presidency. Yet we all know that maintaining the presidency is the most important objective of M7 and the NRM where he has concentrated most of his resources” (…) “Now FDC is much weaker relative to NRM. Not only that. NRM is also backed by the power of the state. By concentrating all opposition resources to attack NRM at its most fortified position, Besigye has expended his meager resources to secure an objective where he has the least chance of success. This is a strategic blunder” (Mwenda, 06.01.2017).

The relative argument itself is disgusting, because even if NRM is a ordinary party as Mwenda make it seems, it still is freighting how little he consider how the ambitions are under siege in the NRM, therefore handpicked and rigged members are becoming leaders, but that part of the argument is lost on Mwenda. Because that makes NRM more fragile than Mwenda wants to say. As well as the FDC primary model is better than NRM, though not perfect it still are more democratic than NRM ever will be. Another reason why the debate of Muntu and Besigye in the FDC are a valid one, directly opposite in the NRM where there is no discussion if VP Edward Ssekandi or PM Rukhana Ruganda will ever challenge Museveni. But that is a silent and a mute-point. If doing so your devaluing the epitome of all Ugandan wishes is to have Museveni for life as the chairman of the Movement and Executive of the Republic. Another thing, Mwenda doesn’t have the balls to connects when taking in consideration the stalemate in FDC and in other parties. In a state where it isn’t really democratic, in the sense that NRM are rigging when needed to control the Parliament and all other political offices in the country. The rest is just a front. Strange that Mwenda cannot mention that either. But that is another illness, that his eyes looks away from.

The flawed and the lost plot, is why all of sudden has went into mayhem and going all in to attack FDC and Besigye, Mwenda seems like only dreaming and thinking about them. That is the only thing that boggles his precious minds and the only discussion he can have in the Independent Magazine, as the other obstacles of the Republic can be redundant.  Peace.

Opinion: Mao disappoints with grandeur…

DP Mao

Well, 20-17 just starts and with a bang, the former honourable Norbert Mao of the Democratic Party doesn’t care anymore about nepotism and autocratic regime, which if President Museveni gives away executive power to his wife Janet or Maj. Gen. Muhoozi that it doesn’t matter!

The Democratic Party President Norbert Mao says Ugandans are so desperate for change that they no longer care to whom President Museveni hands over power peacefully. According to Mr Mao, just like many Ugandans especially those born after Museveni captured power in 1986; he does not care whether the president hands over peacefully to his son Muhoozi Keinerugaba or wife Janet Kataha Museveni” (Daily Monitor, 2017).

Well, it is understatement that I am confused about the peaceful transition it seems to be only that the business stays in the family. If Mao thinks that the Mafia, the elitism and the gravy eating regime going to drastically change with the wife or son of Museveni, he is sadly wrong. That is by the mere fact of the history in other countries where family members take-over as in Equatorial Guinea, Cuba, Syria and North Korea isn’t actually splendid evidence of totalitarian regimes handing over or coup d’état from family members to become the Executives.

That Norbert Mao wants to give way for another unelected family member to the throne is a mere demonstration of the meagre effort of opposition to the Movement. That he accepts the draconian and all eating Museveni and let his family go forward before the Republic. It’s an insult to all Ugandans. That only the Clan of Museveni is fit to rule the Republic. There we’re a Republic before Museveni and be one after his time. Still, now it seems that Mao is so tired and has so little faith in the Ugandan people, that he gives way to the Museveni clan.

He should care as he should be voice for the ones really wanting change and a peaceful change from the government and regime that only cares about Museveni. So Mao shouldn’t lose faith. Mao should fight with fellow comrades and want a substantial change for the Republic, that doesn’t owe anything to the Museveni clan. Peace.

Reference:

Daily Monitor – ‘I don’t care whether Museveni hands over to son or wife – Mao’ (01.01.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-hands-son-wife-Mao/688334-3503756-format-xhtml-13ewxl2/index.html

Opinion: Post-Kiggundu – The brutal truth about the new Electoral Commission in Uganda

Uganda EC Wall

No matter who get appointed or picked as long as the His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is in charge and the Commander in Chief. So as long as he is there, his decrees and orders will matter. So the results and the final say are in the hands of the President. He will not care what the locals of Karamoja votes or the ones in Mbarara, what matters is what is needed for the Movement and in the end him!

The Electoral Commission under the Dr. Badru Kiggundu has been a useful tool for the regime. He has used all kind of ways to get the results that we’re needed. Also all kind of explanation to avoid the reasoning or even trying to shuffle the defence as the relevant laws to sustain the needed excuse to exhaust the courts. This has been done as the Opposition has questioned the legality and the just behaviour of the Electoral Commission.

The all of sudden 100% in counties, the ghost voters, the unregistered voters showing up and the moving of place of voting for the citizens, the lack of delivery of ballots and equipment to key areas. This has been tactics as well as fixing the elections into the schedule of the Movement. Free and fair was never important for the President as long as his loyal men and woman we’re plated and sent to Parliament. Or his loyal men and woman elected through the Resistance Councils and the Local Government positions as Local Councillors and such.

This will not change as the appropriate men and woman is not in circle of the new Electoral Commission. The cleared name from the President is more loyal men and woman who want to eat of the Presidents hand. They want to eat and are hungry like the rest of the MPs who has cars and no income tax. The same level is what the EC commissioner’s wants and therefore wants to be hired. So they can live in mansions and have government perks that citizens don’t get.

ec-appointment-14-11-2016

So no matter who is put up in the Movement and who they want to appoint will be working for the President and his elite. The regime will not change their pattern even if Badru Kiggundu is out of the picture. Will just be a new face that will eat the same level of crap.

The reality is that the names put forward now by the President is his loyal cadres, they are not bi-partisan or even becoming of people who the citizens can trust. That is for the same reason as the ones before, they will be the loyalists for the pay-check of the President; they will not be there for people. They are just useful props for the President to get his fake-elections and votes when needed, but not something he cares deeply about. If he did he would have set in place systems where the people wasn’t starving and had water-irrigation to secure the harvest even in dry season. He has 30 years, but hasn’t left much behind because what he has is fragmented and eaten by his ego. Therefore the EC will be marked of his loyalist, not of the ones who is best for nation, but who is the best for the “only man with a vision”. Peace.

Dr. Kizza Besigye: “The 2016 Uganda General Elections and the way forward” (04.03.2016)

Tororo town FDC Poster Former Campaign IPC

Background:
After the 2011 elections, all political parties (including NRM) concurred that electoral and political reforms were necessary in order to have free and fair elections in 2016.

Proposed reforms were generated by various political formations; including, the Inter-Party Organisations Dialogue (IPOD-consisting of all parties represented in parliament), National Consultative Forum (NCF- consisting of all registered political parties and led by NRM), Citizens’ Coalition of Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and the National Consultation on Free and Fair Elections (NCFFE).

Old Campaign Posters Uganda

In spite of the NRM having fully participated in the various formations that presented reform proposals to government (executive) and parliament, Mr Museveni, the final authority in NRM decided that no electoral reforms would be undertaken ahead of 2016 elections. That’s what happened.

All parties and persons participating in the 2016 elections, therefore, knew that the elections would be inherently not free or fair. That’s why opposition parties and elements from the NRM were engaged in protracted discussions seeking to devise an appropriate strategy for contesting in an inherently manipulated and unfair election.

Nakaseke Police 04.01.2015 P4 FDC

This is why my candidature adopted the strategy of a Defiance Campaign. Our clear understanding was that this was an election organised on the premise of injustice. A political defiance campaign entails informing the population about the injustice and enabling the people to organise and confront the injustice.

It’s important to note that a political defiance campaign is completely NON-VIOLENT. It employs well-informed citizens to non-violently challenge the injustices in the electoral process; protect against various forms of rigging on polling day; and ensure that the peoples’ will is respected. This was the purpose of the “POWER 10” system that we organised during the campaign.

Kaabong 18.02.2016

Polling Day:
A lot has been talked about events of the polling days, 18th and 19th February. The main problems during voting included widespread disenfranchisement of voters, especially, in Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja, Iganga, and Mbale, with more than 2 million registered voters; arrest of polling agents; pre-ticking and stuffing of ballot boxes; widespread and systematic voter bribery; and denying polling agents their Results Declaration Forms.

Tallying and announcement of results:

What is now clear is that all the injustices undertaken prior and during voting failed to deliver victory to Mr museveni. As soon the Electoral Commission begun to announce the results at the Namboole Tally Centre, the alarm-bells started ringing. It became clear that many of the results they were announcing were different from the ones announced at the polling stations.

When the pattern of inconsistency was sustained, on 19th February, we decided to address the media and draw the public’s attention to this. We’d previously alerted the country about a house in Nagulu, Kampala, where, according to reliable information, manipulation of results from Districts was planned to take place. Ballot papers were also pre-ticked in this house.

FDC HQ 19.02.2016 Police Siege

It was at this point that the police stormed our Party Hqs and, under cover of teargas, arrested our Party President Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, FDC Mobiliser Ms Ingrid Turinawe and myself. Our Headquarters was taken over, ransacked and kept under police control up to now.

From 19th February (the day before the announcement of final results by EC) up to now, I’ve been under police detention- either in police cells or at my Kasangati home. Access to our Party leaders and lawyers was very limited.

Several of our District Party offices have also been attacked and hundreds of our Party officials and polling agents have been detained countrywide.

It is this Police/Military operation that crippled our effort of gathering evidence and evaluating it for purposes of preparing an election petition as provided for in the Constitution.

NTV 20.02.2016

The Constitution gives an aggrieved parliamentary candidate 30 days within which to petition. However, a presidential candidate who’s supposed to collect evidence from 281 constituencies, exclusively by affidavit (statement sworn before a lawyer), has only 10 days to do so.

The stealing of the 2016 presidential election was so clumsy and exaggerated that the Police/ Military forces had to intervene directly to stop its exposure. Even biased courts like ours could not be relied upon to protect the fraud. That’s why the electoral process was overthrown! What happened is, for all intents and purposes, a military coup. Kampala remains under “siege”, with streets reminiscent of February 1971, in the aftermath of Gen Idi Amin coup!

It may be easy to fake results, but it’s not easy to fake people’s response. There was absolutely no celebration on the announcement of the fraudulent declaration of Mr Museveni as a winner of 2016 elections. Even NRM members knew that the EC announcement was not true!

Ugandan Election 2016 Grieving

Our results:
I can confidently inform Ugandans that we undoubtedly won the elections. Even with the unprecedented effort of the Police, Military and Intelligence Services to deny us our results, we now have enough to go by in claiming our victory.

We also discovered many clearly anomalous results- including over one hundred polling stations, in Kiruhura District, where 100% of registered voters cast their votes and all voted for Mr Museveni, without a single spoilt ballot paper!!

We also have horrific accounts of what happened in the Karamoja region. In most of the region, it was a military/police/mafia operation, rather than an election conducted by EC according to the law.

Kizza Besigye 22.02.2016

The way forward:
It’s on the basis of the information in our possession that we’ve demanded for an Independent Audit of the 2016 presidential election. This would mean that we would politically agree on a process of election audit that’s not presently provided for in the law, since the one provided was overthrown.

This would, basically, mean agreeing on independent auditors and supervisors that would work with representatives of candidates and the EC to carry out the audit. All candidates would commit themselves to respect the outcome of the audit. This can be conclusively done before the expiry of the current term of Government.

All peace-loving Ugandans, East Africans, Africans and members of the International Community are called upon to play a role in working towards the Independent Audit.

If this is not agreed upon, then we’ll have to proceed and exercise the mandate that was clearly given to us by the people of Uganda. We cannot let down the millions of people who supported our campaign, braved the harassment and intimidation, persevered in long queues without voting materials etc, and eventually delivered the victory.

We shall form government as mandated by our people- the Peoples’ Government.

This is the critical moment for our political defiance campaign. Let’s all remember that Government power comes from cooperation, submission and obedience of the population. If the population withholds it’s cooperation, submission and obedience, the government loses power.

I ask all our people to remain strong and vigilant, especially, members of Power 10. We shall call for non-violent actions that disempower the regime seeking to impose itself on our country. We may have to make some sacrifices and should be prepared to do so. I am confident that our people’s resolve to have non-violent change of leadership for the first time will become a reality in 2016.

One Uganda, One people!

For God and my country.

Kizza-Besigye.

Adm72/01: Press Statement from the Electoral Commission of Uganda – Progress of Electoral Programmes for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections (25.11.2015)

Badru EC

  1. Introduction

Our esteemed partners, members of the press, it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome you to this press briefing.

Today, the Electoral Commission would like to update the country on the commencement of the campaign period for Local Government Councils Elections, preparations for nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections, as well as other activities related to the Roadmap for the 2015-2016 General Elections.

  1. Conclusion of Nomination for Local Government Councils Elections and Commencement of Campaign Period

The Electoral Commission concluded the nomination of candidates for the following elective positions at Local Government Councils countrywide:

  1. Candidates for District/City Chairpersons, District/City Directly-elected Councilors; District/City Councilors representing Women, the Youth, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons;
  1. Candidates for Municipality/City Division Chairpersons, Directly-elected Councilors, Councilors representing Women, Youth, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons; and,
  1. Candidates for Municipal Division, Town Council and Sub County Chairpersons, Directly-elected Councilors; Councilors representing Women, the Youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons.

Campaigns for the above elections commenced after the harmonization of the candidates’ programmes, for each respective category yesterday, Tuesday November 24, 2015, and will stop forty eight hours before polling day for each category.

The Electoral Commission urges all candidates, their agents, supporters, and members of the general public to adhere to set rules and regulations guiding the campaign period, and to particularly ensure that campaigns are held in accordance with the harmonised campaign programme.

Candidates and/or their agents must not use or publish any foul language or defamatory words, which incite public disorder, hatred, violence or which threatens war.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has appointed the following polling dates for the above electoral positions as follows:

No. Elective Position Polling Date
1. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for District (LC V); 24th February 2016
2. Lord Mayor, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Kampala Capital City Authority* 24th February 2016
3. Councilors for PWDs, Older Persons and Youth to District Councils and Kampala Capital City Authority; 26th February 2016
4. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipality and Kampala Capital City Divisions; 2nd March 2016
5. PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipalities and Kampala Capital City Divisions; 4th March 2016
6. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils; 9th March 2016
7. PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils; 10th March 2016

* The nominations for Councilors representing Professional Bodies at KCCA have not yet taken place because the Commission is still waiting for the list of members of respective electoral colleges, namely:

  1. Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers;
  2. Uganda Society of Architects;
  • Uganda Medical Association; and,
  1. Uganda Law Society
  1. Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2016

The nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections will be conducted on 2nd – 3rd December 2015.

Aspiring candidates for the following elective positions at Parliamentary level are advised to collect the nomination forms and guidelines from the Office of the Returning Officer in their respective district across the country;

  1. Directly Elected Member of Parliament (representing constituency);
  2. District Woman Member of Parliament;
  3. Member of Parliament for Persons with Disability (PWD).

The nomination of candidates for Directly Elected Member of Parliament (representing constituency) and District Woman Member of Parliament, shall take place at the respective EC District offices across the whole Country beginning at 9.00 a.m. and ending at 5:00pm on each of the appointed dates.

Please note that the nomination of Members of Parliament representing Persons with Disability (PWDs) will be held at the Electoral Commission headquarters during the above period.

The National Conference for elections of Members of Parliament representing Persons with Disability (PWDs) will be held from 21st to 22nd February 2016, at a venue to be communicated by the Commission in due course.

The Electoral Commission calls upon the Uganda Police Force to ensure law and order during this period.

Please note that the Electoral Commission will not organize nomination for representatives of the following Special Interest Groups to Parliament, during the above period until Parliament of Uganda addresses the concerns raised by the Constitutional Court.

The affected Special Interest Groups include;

  1. Member of Parliament for Workers;
  2. Member of Parliament for Youths; and,
  3. Member of Parliament for Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF);
  4. Requirements for Nomination of Member of Parliament

An aspiring candidate for Member of Parliament shall be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter;  

  1. The nomination shall be made by two (2) registered voters from the constituency, who shall appear in person before the Returning Officer, and present a nomination paper filled in duplicate indicating the following:
  1. The names, age, address, and occupation of the aspiring candidate;
  2. Names and address of a person appointed as the official agent;
  1. A list of names and signatures of a minimum of ten (10) persons, who must be registered voters in the constituency where the candidate seeking nomination supporting his/her nomination; each of the persons so signing shall state his/her village, occupation and Voter Number or National ID Number or Application ID Number;
  1. Aspiring candidates shall also be required to present the following:
  1. A receipt being proof of payment of non-refundable nomination fee of Shs. 3,000,000/- (three million shillings) only. Please note the nomination fee can be paid in any commercial bank which collects Non Tax Revenue, in accordance with the issued guidelines;
  1. Three (3) postcards size copies of a recent straight face, color photograph with a light background;
  1. Certified copies of educational qualifications showing the aspirant attained a minimum formal education of Advanced (A) Level or its equivalent;
  1. Certified copies (if qualifications were attained from outside Uganda) from the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE);
  1. Proof of resignation, in the case of public officers;

Please note that a candidate who uses a convoy for purposes of nomination shall have a maximum of two vehicles bearing police stickers and each shall carry a maximum of ten persons.

  1. Update on the Presidential Campaign Meetings

The Electoral Commission would like to commend the Presidential candidates for the smooth start to the campaigns, and especially compliance with the harmonised campaign programme. We urge the candidates to continue in this direction, so that together, we achieve a peaceful campaign and elections.

However, the Commission has also noted with concern, the consistent calls by Candidate Kizza Besigye, one of the Presidential candidates, for defiance as a campaign strategy. This kind of campaign is likely to have serious impact on the conduct of peaceful campaigns and elections.

The Commission condemns this kind of conduct and hereby warns the Presidential Candidate, his agents and supporters, to desist from taking this path, but instead conduct the campaign in accordance with the law.

The Electoral Commission has also noted several reports of malicious acts of defacement and/or removal of candidates’ posters.

The Commission warns the general public, candidates, their agents and supporters, that a person who malicious defaces or removes or tears any election poster of any nominated candidate commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment.

  1. Misrepresentation of the Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission has further noted that several stakeholders, especially the media, have continued to call this institution either the National Independent Electoral Commission, or the Independent Electoral Commission. I would like to clarify that the name Electoral Commission has never been changed

We, therefore, caution the public, and our stakeholders to stop using unauthorized name and logo when referring to the Electoral Commission.

Similarly, the Commission took note of the article published in The Sunday Monitor (November 15th 2015) where the Chairperson Electoral Commission is said to have stated that the Electoral Commission will announce the right winner, because the Electoral Commission of 2016 is different from the Electoral Commission of 2006. This has created an impression that the Commission did not announce the right winner in 2006, which is very wrong.

I wish to state that the statement attributed to me was not correct. The Commission has always announced the winning candidate at each elective level; this has always been the case in all elections we have organized, and it will be the case in 2016.

  1. Message on Papal Visit to Uganda

Finaly, the Electoral Commission joins with all Ugandans to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to Uganda. We congratulate the people of Uganda on this unique opportunity to host the Pontiff a third time.

This should serve as a reminder to all Ugandans of the special position our country holds in the world.

The visit takes place at a time when political campaigns are taking place by candidates contesting for various elective positions. Let us use the visit to promote the virtues of unity and peaceful co-existence.

Thank you for listening to me,

For God and my Country,

Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu

Chairperson, Electoral Commission

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.

Uganda – NRM Electoral Commission Roadmap for Internal Party Elections (06.08.2015)

NRC CEC Roadmap 2015P1NRM CEC Roadmap 2015P2

The Electoral Commission – Press Release: Adm72/01 – Display of the National Voters Register 22th July to 11th August 2015 (13.07.2015)

ECVRP1ECVRP2

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