Nominations for the various parliamentary seats continue

By Our reporters

Nominations for aspirants contesting for the directly elected, and woman Member of Parliament in Kampala has ended peacefully. As Capital Radio’s Edwin Muhumuza pitched camp at the Electoral commission registrar’s office in Ntinda , he reports that 14 people have been nominated without any chaos.

Incumbent Peter Mugema Panadol has been nominated as an Independent candidate for the Iganga Municipality MP seat after losing out in the NRM primaries. Police swung into action after the incumbent who lost in the NRM primaries turned up for nomination escorted by a crowd of his supporters which is against the SOP’s set by the electoral commission.

Minister for Trade Amelia Kyambade has been nominated to contest for the seat of member of Parliament for Mawokota.She promises to improve the lives of the youth,through teaching them vocational skills so that they can be able to create their own jobs, bring in clean water and electricity to her voters. Others nominated for the same seat are Hillary Kiyaga commonly known as Dr. Hilderman on the National Unity Platform (NUP) party ticket , Joseph Zimulamugwanya, an independent candidate, and Democratic Party’s Mayinja Tebusweke

Three people have so far been nominated to stand for different constituencies in Sembabule district amid tight security. They are Salim Kiseka independent aspirant for Mawogola north, Joseph Kitayimbwa Ssekabito aspirant for Mawogola north, and Henry Nyanzi of Nation Unity Platform for Mawogola North, On Thursday, 15 people were successfully nominated by the electoral commission to contest for the 5 constituency in district.

Police tightens security as EC nominates candidates

BY EDWIN MUHUMUZA

By 8 O’clock members aspiring for elective parliamentary positions in Kampala began streaming into the electoral commission offices in Ntinda , city suburb.

The requirements for one to be nominated include the aspirant being a registered voter of the specific electoral area they want to represent in Parliament.

One should also be in possession of a receipt of sh3m nomination fees from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), certificates and original copies of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent (only for viewing).

Other requirements are registered voters to support the aspirants; and in case of change of name, the aspirant must have sworn in an affidavit by a magistrate or commissioner of oath.

At exactly 2 O’clock close to fifty aspirants had fulfilled these requirements according to the Returning officer for Kampala, Fredrick Muwaya Tibakunno in what has been a busy day for the electoral commission.

The nominations will continue tomorrow (Friday) as the other day for the parliamentary nominations.

‘We have had a very smooth operation right from the beginning. We have nominated 44 persons, 41 of them for the directly elected members of parliament for the different constituencies within Kampala City. Three of them, for women member of parliament. We are expecting many more. Today alone we have about 55 persons to who booked to be nominated. Tomorrow we have another number, we hope that we shall be able to handle them by close of business. So we do not think that there will be a challenge in regard to some people not fulfilling the requirements.’ Muwaya said.

In an era when the corona virus continues to shake the entire world, only four people were allowed to accompany the aspirants, a policy that was actively enforced by a combined team of Local Defence Unit Personnel, Uganda Police, and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces.

Some of the successful nominees include; Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala central),Betty Kamya (Lubaga North) Ken Lukyamuzi (Lubaga North) Sulaiman Kidandala (Kawempe North) Muhammad Segirinya (Kawempe North) Abubakar Kawalya (Lubaga North) Ibrahim Kasozi – (Makindye East) Allan Sewanyana (Makindye West) Bashir Kazibwe,(Kawempe North) Kenneth Paul Kakande (Nakawa East) Dennis Mbidde Sebugwawo (Lubaga South) Stella Nyanzi,Kampala Woman, Farida Nambi (Kampala Woman) and Ssebugwawo Mbidde (Lubaga South).

We had many more reporters are around in regions to update us;

In Wakiso, Minister Seninde Rosemary, Nakato Miriam, Namugga Grace, Naluyima Betty, Medard Lubega Ssegona have also been successfully nominated. Hon. Semujju was brought for nominations by a police after police foiled his procession from Kiira municipality. The FDC party spokesperson who is also aspiring member of Parliament for Kiira Municipality was later bundled up into a police car immediately after nomination and taken to an unknown location.
semujju

Reports from Masaka indicate that Field Force Unit personnel have been deployed at the electoral commission ahead of the arrival of NUP members for nomination
Some of the people who have been successfully nominated in Masaka include Former SC Villa and Uganda cranes defender Dan Ntale has been nominated. Others who have been nominated in this region include, Mayor Kayemba Godfrey, Hon. Mukasa Mbidde, Chris Nakyejwe,among others

nyanzi
Speaking to Speaker Kadaga shortly after being nominated, she said, “I’ve been nominated as a candidate for the Kamuli Woman MP seat. My priority, as MP, will be the struggle for tarmacking of three key roads that link Kamuli to three districts. These are: Bukungu to Kimaka in Jinja; Budhumbula to Kasolo in Iganga; & the road that leads to Pallisa District. The other key priorities will be to stimulate economic growth, repair the ferry and introduction of avocado as a cash crop. Research shows that a farmer can earn as much as 28m/- from it. I’ll also enhance the struggle for sugarcane markets and modes of value addition.”

Kabuleta’s case against electoral commission slated for hearing on 14th August

By Sania Babirye

The Electoral commission has asked the High court to dismiss a case in which presidential aspirant and veteran journalist turned , preacher Joseph Kabuleta is challenging the directive by the Electoral body to hold scientific/digital campaigns for the coming 2021 General elections.

The said case had come up for hearing before Justice Esther Nambayo, however, lawyers representing Uganda Electoral commission have told court that Kabuleta pre-maturely brought the said petition before court without first exhausting necessary steps within the Electoral commission .

According to EC , section 15 of its Act, has avenues through which such matters raised by Kabuleta can be resolved internally and if dissatisfied with the outcome, then someone can seek court redress.

EC further told court that the said petition was filed before court and should not be heard.

Justice Nambayo has set the 14th of August to giver her ruling.

Through his lawyers of Anthony Wameeli, Kabuleta was court to stop the scientific revised election roadmap until when the country is able to hold normal elections without restrictions.

Kabuleta also wants orders compelling government to declare a state of emergency and postpone next year’s elections in order to enable citizens express their will and consent on how they should be governed .

In his application, Kabuleta claims that digital elections dictated by the EC under the guise of preventing further spread of Covid- 19 pandemic , are meant to give incumbents an advantage over new contenders because the former category already has control over the existing media out-lets on top of having enormous followers on social media.

He further claims that the scientific elections will frustrate public participation in matters regarding their governance as it gags people from freely expressing their views to contending candidates and bars others from offering themselves for election .

On the 16th of June 2020 EC declared a scientific revised 2021 general elections banning politicians from holding public political rallies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic .

Kabuleta says the pandemic is just an excuse to violate people’s rights basing on mere anticipations that the situation will be worse at the time of holding campaigns yet there are countries like Ghana , Burundi , Malawi and America where aspiring candidates hold public rallies at the moment.

FDC to petition EC over scientific campaigns violation by some politicians

By Sania Babirye

Forum for Democratic change says it is going to petition the Uganda Electoral commission on what it says the continued violation of the guidelines for the scientific campaigns by some politicians.

Addressing the media today, party spoke person Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that they continue to see a specific group of politicians not observing the guidelines by going to campaign Publicly instead of using radio or TV stations as stated by the electoral commission.

Ssemujjju has cited among the many health minister Jane Ruth Aceng whose picture went viral over the weekend as she was caught allegedly talking to her voters face to face .

Another video of minister Aceng has angered the public as she was seen meeting a crowd of people without either wearing face masks or observing the social distancing directive.

The minister for information Judith Nabakooba has since come out and apologized on behalf of government over the ministers actions that are also against the standard operation procedures of combating COVID-19.

EC says no money for prisoners and Ugandans abroad to vote

By Sania Babirye

The electoral commission has filed an application in the high court asking court to give them more time to solicit for funds to allow prisoners and Ugandans abroad to be able to vote after 2021 generals.

The application comes after high court judge Lydia Mugambe on the 18th of June ordered EC to make sure that prisoners and Ugandans abroad participate in all general elections including the coming generals.

However, according to an affidavit sworn in by one of the commission’s legal officer Hamid Lugoloobi, the commission says it does not have resources available to allow the said two group of people to participate in the coming general elections.

Lugoloobi further reveals that currently the available resources allocated to the commission for the year 2020/2021 can only handle already registered Ugandans.

He adds that without another source of independent funding , the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the limited time frame of only 7 months to the polls, the Electoral commission cannot open the voter register to include the two categories of Ugandans.

Lugoloobi has now asked the high court to reviews it’s order in which it recognized the rights of inmates and people in the diaspora to vote in the next election and instead allows the EC embark on the process in the near future .

Court has set the 13th of this month to hear the said application before justice Esta Nambayo.

EC disagrees with prime minister over relocation plans

The Electoral Commission and the Office of the Prime Minister have disagreed over the planned construction of new Commission offices.

While the Commission plans to build new offices as its headquarters in Kampala, government wants the electoral body to instead source for a rented premise within the metropolitan area.

The relocation to an alternative area is to pave way for the construction of the eastern route of the Standard Gauge Railway and flyover under the Kampala Integrated Transport Management System. The commission is expected to relocate its offices by October this year.

Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, in a communication to the EC chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu last month, noted that the option of renting premises is the most convenient at the moment, given that the construction of new offices would take long.

A source within EC told URN that Dr. Rugunda asked the Commission to consider the request to rent, whose bill shall be catered for by the Ministry of Finance.

“Even though this was the least considered option, the Prime Minister wants the EC to consider the time constraints that construction will face,” the source states.

However, the EC insists that they should have their own headquarters.

“In the long run, it is not only cheaper but for our equipment and their sensitivity, it is not something you want to move from place to place when you opt to rent. Our wish is to own a home,” EC Secretary Sam Rwakoojo told URN on phone.

Rwakoojo says engagements are still ongoing with the Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance to see whether they can accept.

A report compiled by an internal committee tasked to evaluate the cost of relocation of the offices said the Commission requires 82 billion Shillings to kick start the construction of its new offices. For rent, it would require 1.5 billion shillings per month.

-URN

Electoral Commission’s Kiguddu grilled by Mbabazi’s lawyers

Hearing of the petition challenging the election of President Museveni has kicked with Electoral Commission chairperson Engineer Badru Kiggundu taking the stand at the Court of Appeal.  Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers have grilled Eng. Kiggundu over declaring Mr. Museveni as winner of the recently concluded presidential election without the required hard copies of the declaration result forms.

Kiggundu however agreed that he used the electronic version of Declaration of result forms that had been wired to him by district returning officers. He told court that was an   international practice of n managing electoral processes that has been successfully tested in Ghana and neighboring Kenya. Asked on whether the candidates agents would view the results flow while at the National tally centre at Namboole,  Kiggundu answered in the negative saying  the commission did not have funds to acquire computers for all agents or utmost a  large screen .Cross examining of the EC chairperson is still going on.

Kawempe Parish II LC3 polls halted due to candidate’s symbol mix up

Electoral Commission has suspended the elections of the directly elected LC 3 councilor for Kawempe parish in Kawempe division due to a mix-up in the candidate’s symbols on the ballot paper.

The affected candidates are Kassim Buule Male and Abdu Kinene, both independents.  Male was assigned a symbol of bicycle instead of a radio.  His rival Abdu Kinene was assigned a radio instead of a bicycle.

David Kusasira, a polling assistant at Mpererwe primary school polling station told URN, that no new date has been set for the fresh election. Greenheart Mugerwe, Assistant Registrar Kawempe Division, says the polls have been put on hold until further notice.

He told URN this morning, that Electoral Commission will announce a new date for the fresh polls. By the time of cancelling the polls 30 voters had cast their votes.

-URN

European Union calls upon EC to upload election results online

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) is  encouraging  the Electoral Commission to publish without delay the detailed results from each polling station for the presidential and parliamentary elections online, including scanned copies of the Declaration of Results Forms. The EU EOM Chief Observer, Mr Eduard Kukan says this would enable voters, as well as the candidates, to comprehensively evaluate the election results.

He says the Electoral Commission’s accountability is very important in the post-electoral environment adding that t such steps as the publication of inclusive information on election results constitute international best practice in the conduct of democratic elections. He points out that Pro-active publication of information of public interest is enshrined in international standards to which Uganda has committed itself with the aim of respecting citizens’ fundamental freedoms and rights. He said the EU EOM will continue to observe the post-electoral environment. The electoral process is completed only when all candidates have rightfully exercised the relevant legal avenues without fear, intimidation or other undue restrictions.

Bukedea woman MP, Anita Among contestant arrested

Anita Among, the contestant for Bukedea woman parliamentary seat was briefly arrested and detained for allegedly trying to steal ballot papers.

Among, who is contesting as an independent candidate, was rounded up at about 6:00pm on Wednesday inside the gate of the Electoral Commission offices. The offices were closed at the time.

Tom Keith Eyaku, the Bukedea District police commander, explained that they acted after they received intelligence that Among had connived with one of the officials from the Electoral Commission to gain entrance into the offices for yet unknown motive.

He says Among was detained up to around midnight when she was released on police bond after recording her statement.

Eyatu said her car is still being held by the police waiting to be thoroughly checked before it is released. He said the situation is however calm.

Among has blamed her rival, internal affairs minister Rose Akol, for reportedly ordering for her arrest. She claims Akol is using her position as internal affairs minister to harass and intimidate her and her supporters.

She explained that she went to the Electoral Commission offices to observe and monitor the arrival of the election materials and rubbished claims that she was there with a sinister motive.

Akol has however denied being behind Among’s arrest. She blamed her for gaining access to an area in which she was not expected to be at the time.

She blame the Electoral Commission officials for being compromised saying she will instruct her lawyer to handle the matter.

At the time of filling this report Among was negotiating with the police to release her vehicle.

Meanwhile security remains tight at the Electoral Commission offices in Bukedea. Several police officers have been deployed to ensure security.

Akol of NRM is facing stiff competition from Among.

-URN