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”.
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.
We all have followed the recent events that UPF went bat-crazy on the consultant meetings that Amama Mbabazi had in Jinja and Soroti. Some places even had the pictures for a fighter airplane flying over the place that had the meeting in the Soroti. And all the tear-gas that they shuffled into the people who showed up the events should be not forgiven. What seems strange to people is the issues with campaigning, though Museveni did the same thing two weeks before in the same area as Mbabazi! The IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura didn’t talk about that… though… but the one feed you sure get shield by the UPF. So that Amama Mbabazi has fallen from the grace and throne and now the cronies of the government is showing its true color.
Gen. Kale Kayihura said earlier today to the press:
“When he asked to hold the first phase of the consultation meetings in Eastern Uganda, I was relaxed and allowed him to do so. However, Mr Mbabazi deviated from what the law provides for. He went ahead and organized and held public rallies yet he is not a presidential candidate there by provoking police to fire tear gas. He (Mbabazi) is still an aspirant” (…)”Don’t blame the police (for firing tear gas and live bullets at Mr Mbabazi’s supporters). Blame Mbabazi who organized and held illegal rallies in a market and near the schools. Don’t blame the consequences, blame the cause” (…)”an aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within twelve months before the nomination date” (…)”while consulting under subsection one, a presidential aspirant may carry out nationwide consultations, prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials, raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means and convene meetings of national delegates” (…)”while consulting, the aspirant shall introduce himself or herself to the Electoral Commission and notify the relevant local council and the police of the area he or she goes to” (Daily Monitor, 2015).
He also said:
“An aspiring leader must be responsible” (…)”Police comes in when rights and freedoms of society is violated” (…)”Why not? We facilitated Mbabazi meeting at that place” (…)”Consultation mean exchange of views quietly. Why hurrying the campaigns?” (…)”Mbabazi must hold consultative meetings in confined place so that they don’t degenerate into rallies and campaigns” (…)”He [Mbabazi] should not defy the police” (…)”Mbabazi wanted to have two rallies including one in a market in Jinja. He wanted to build up mass of supporters from Iganga” (…)”I should have asked for specifics” (…)”They must be lawful. Why put rally in a market? Crime prevention is provided by law” (…)”Mbabazi should stop creating situations and blame us for the consequence (on teargas in Jinja)” (…)”Why aren’t aspiring leaders responsibility? Why did Mbabazi organize in a rally in a market and near school in Jinja?” (…)”Mbabazi is a clever lawyer, trying to use the public meetings for campaigns which are not authorized at this stage” (…)”Mbabazi is the one introduced the idea of town hall meetings. He is turning consultations into open campaigns” (TheInsider.co.ug, 2015).
Another report says that IGP said this:
“Accordingly, while you can go ahead and hold town hall meetings, we cannot clear you to hold your planned public meetings in the mayor’s gardens in Lira, in Pece Stadium, Gulu, and at the Boma grounds in Arua because that would be in violation of the Presidential Elections Act” (Mulondo, 2015).
If this wasn’t amazing quotes and telling how they are augmenting their ways. It should be put a light on especially with the knowledge of how the people who showed up to the meetings and the way the police acted towards its own citizens. So with the following post and updates from the events that you should look upon if you don’t know. Since then the words of the IGP will be utter nonsense from a police chief. Secondly you should also look into the history of Amama Mbabazi an seen the way he has gone through a wildfire from being one of the poster boys of the NRM to the independent candidate who now recently gone together with The Democratic Alliance. But that happen after the famous meetings that Gen. Kale Kayihura talked about! He is surely hold under surveillance since he can hold certain ways of meetings, but not the way the “clever laywer” wish to hold. Peace.
Yet another day in the wilderness for Amama Mbabazi, the former weapon brother of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who wishes to surpass him and become the president of the country from 2016. The reports saying even though Amama Mbabazi has sent in all the forms and letters recommended by the Electoral Commission, still the UPF harass the rally or consultation that was held on the Boma Ground.
Amama’s dream said in Seibei yesterday:
“It gives me great pleasure to be here with you today. I have come here on a consultative tour because I have a dream of becoming a president of this country” (…)”Kaguta Museveni has served us as a country and we as NRM have done well for the last 30 years but you see you still have some serious problems like poor education, poor roads, hospitals and land grabbing” (…)”Some people are saying that I have never visited the Sebei region but this is the first area I visited after we captured power in 1986 and the whole stretch is a food basket. You have the capacity to grow enough wheat to meet the demand of Uganda but because of roads you cannot” (Kay, 2015).
The Electoral Commission says about Mbabazi’s meeting plans:
The Secretary of the Electoral Commission Sam Rwakojo says: “Presidential aspirant can only hold consultative meetings but not public rallies” (…)”so what Amama Mbabazi is doing wrong” (…)”We advice presidential aspirants to carry out nation-wide consultations as provided by law not campaigning at rallies” (Insider, 2015).
Reports from official sources:
“Angry residents did not only pull down President Museveni’s campaign posters off buildings and poles along Soroti streets but also dared security operatives in running battles following Police’s disruption of Amama Mbabazi’s rally today” (…)”Police was able to disperse the residents from the Sports Ground, they started pelting the officers with stones. The residents later regrouped and managed to cut off a team of about 30 Police officers at Soroti Sports Grounds and threatened to lynch them. The officers pleaded for their lives saying they were only following orders from above” (Kisakye, 2015).
The teargas arrived. Even if it is out of date!
Reason given by Gen. Kale Kayihura:
“Huge numbers on the independence grounds (Soroti public gardens) will destroy the grass, which will cost the municipal spent large sums of money to grow”.
Fred Enage the Police Spokesman to the New Vision via Soundcloud reports today:
“The respective territorial commanders edicted and other DPCs to ensure that to police the numbers that are actually involved. If there are a hundred, if there are a thousand. What is important is that the venues are efficient to accommodate the supporters who are going to be consulted. Is it a clear place? Does it have the consent of the owner of the venue? If it is outside a town hall then we have to assure that it have time-limits to 7 am to 7 pm. If it is within the town hall then its continues” (Nsuguba, 2015).
Kay, Julius – ‘I have a dream of becoming president—Mbabazi’ (09.09.2015) link: http://crooze.info/i-have-a-dream-of-becoming-president-mbabazi/
Kisakye, Frank – ‘Anger in Soroti as Police disperses Mbabazi supporters’ (09.09.2015) link:
Nsubuga, Benon – ‘DPCs to monitor Mbabazi meetings’ (07.09.2015) link: http://www.elections.co.ug/new-vision/election/1000522/dpcs-monitor-mbabazi-meetings
The Insider – ‘EC declares Mbabazi rallies illegal’ (08.09.2015) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/ec-declares-mbabazi-rallies-illegal/