Prof. Ssempebwa ‘s case on today

By Sania Babirye
The supreme court on Wednesday expected to hear an application filed by Celebrated law professor Fredrick Ssempebwa in which he petitioned the Supreme Court seeking orders to declare the Attorney General William Byaruhanga unfit for the position of Attorney General for disregarding the supreme court electoral reforms recommendations arising out of the 2016 Presidential election petition judgement .

The application will be heard by Seven Justices including; Justice Stellah Arach Amoko, Eldard Mwangusya, Faith Mwhodha, Lillian Tibatemwa, Richard Buteera , Augustine Nshiimye and Jotham Tumwwsigye .

On the 26th of March this year, Prof. Ssempebwa together with other law dons including Fredrick Jjuko and Kituo Cha asked the same court to hold the AG in contempt of court for allegedly failing to follow up on the said reforms to see that they are implemented and report back to court within two years to check on their progress.

The petitioners claim that the Attorney General is a senior lawyer who needs to be demoted from an important position as Government chief adviser because his actions and behavior is unbecoming.

These claim that the Supreme court ordered the AG to make a follow up on the concerned two arms of government regarding the implementation of the above recommendations and report back to the Supreme court within 2 years which has never been done forcing them to seek legal redress.

On the 31st of March 2016, Nine justices of the supreme court led by chief Justice Bart Katureebe, ruled that President Museveni lawfully nominated by the electoral commission in accordance with the Presidential Election act which saw him win his fifth term in office.

These however gave 10 key electoral reforms that the Attorney General had to implement before the 2012 General elections.

The attorney General was also ordered to follow up the said reforms together with other state organs including Parliament and the executive and also report back to court on which measures government has taken to see that the said reforms are implemented which has never been done.

Some of the said recommendations was that Government should review the 10 day period within which to file a presidential election petition and the 30 day period within which the court must analyze the said evidence and determine the matter which to the justices was not enough time.

These recommended that the time be amended and increased to 60 days so that the petition can be heard in ample time within which also the new president must be sworn in.

The supreme court also recommended that evidence in regard to the election petition be both oral and affidavit evidence to allow oral examination since affidavits on its own can seem to be unreliable because witnesses tend to be partisan.

These also recommended that the period within which to hold a fresh election once one is annulled be increased from 20 days to a longer and more realistic period since sometimes the hearing and determination of such petitions take longer and also the fact that the electoral commission has had problems in fully holding a free and fair election due to problems like securing funds and importation of electoral materials and those materials reaching in time at polling stations.

These also recommended that a law in regulate the use of analogy in the conduct and management of elections be enacted and within time to train the officials and also sensitize voters and other stake holders over the law.

These also recommended that the law in regard to the use of state owned Media be amended to allow all presidential candidates given equal time and space on state-owned media.

These had found out that state owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation UBC did fail in its duty of availing all presidential candidates including the opposition equal time.

They therefore recommended that any state organ or officer who violates such laws be punished.

Other recommendations included prohibiting the giving of donations by all candidates including the sitting President who is also a candidate so that there is a level playing field for all.

These had observed that the president continued to give donations even through out his campaign, that the said recommendations be carried out within a period of two years to avoid last minute hastily enacted legislation on elections, the Attorney General to be able to respond to some of the allegations brought against state officers among others and that all public officers should not participate in any political campaign .

On the 1st of March 2016, former Prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi also a former presidential candidate who was the third run-up behind FDCs Ret.Col.Kizza Besigye petitioned the supreme court seeking challenging President Museveni’s victory citing massive election irregularities that were held on the 18th of February 2016.

Mbabazi sued President Museveni together with the Uganda Electoral Commission and the Attorney General.

On the 20th of February 2016, President Museveni was declared winner with 60.62% , while Besigye scored 35.61% and Amama Mbabazi came third with just 1.39% of the total votes cast.

Other Justices on the panel included Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, Esther Kisaakye,Mary Stella Arach Amoko, Augustine Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya, Rubbu Aweri-Opio, Faith Mwonda and Lillian Tibatemwa.

MP Luttamaguzi pleads with opposition youth to demand electoral reforms

By Alice Lubwama
Nakaseke south Member of Parliament Lutamaguzi semakula has asked the opposition not to allow to be diverted by the NRM proposals of lining up in party elections instead of demanding for electoral reforms.

While reacting to the resolution by the NRM Central executive committee which decided that the NRM party primaries will be conducted through lining up behind backs, Lutamaguzi also shadow minister for lands noted that by the opposition discussing such a small group will mean that everything is okay.

The legislator alleges that the proposal made by CEC is just intended to benefit the NRM party chairman.

Opposition leader in parliament Betty Aol Ocan recently announced how the opposition was planning to move a private members bill in parliament seeking for constitution amendment to have some of electoral reforms.

Some of the reforms will include presidential aspirants who get 10 per cent of the vote to become ex-officio members in Parliament.

The Bill also seeks for the reinstatement of presidential term limits, the introduction of federal governments and the constitution of an independent electoral commission

Vladimir Putin inaugurated for a forth term following 70% win in Russian elections

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for another six years as Russian president on Monday, buoyed by popular support but weighed down too by a costly confrontation with the West, a fragile economy and uncertainty about what happens when his term ends.

Standing in the ornately-decorated Andreyevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, with his hand on a gold-embossed copy of the constitution, Putin swore to serve the Russian people, to safeguard rights and freedoms, and protect Russian sovereignty

Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term as Russian president came two months after more than 70 percent of voters backed him in an election in which he had no serious challengers.

His most dangerous opponent, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running and on Saturday Navalny and hundreds of his supporters were detained by police while protesting over Putin’s new term under the slogan: “Putin is not our tsar.”

 In a speech after the swearing-in ceremony, Putin said that in the next six years Russia would prove a strong, muscular player on the world stage, backed by a powerful military, while pushing hard to improve life for its citizens at home.

“Taking up this post, I feel a colossal sense of responsibility,” Putin told his audience of Russian officials and foreign dignitaries, among them former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.





Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi named Fufa deputy chairperson

The State Minister for Youth and Children, Florence Kiyingi Nakiwala has today been elected 3rd Vice President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa).

Nakiwala who is also the chairperson of Premier League side Express FC was voted during the Fufa General Assembly that took place at the Kabalega Resort Hotel in Masindi district on Saturday.

She beat Kirinya Jinja SS chairperson Diana Nyago in the elections as candidates for the Azam Uganda Premier League clubs to the FUFA Assembly in June. Nakiwala therefore recorded the 50% of the votes at the Assembly to be declared third Vice President.

The General Assembly also returned Moses Hassim Magogo for another four years (2017-2021) as the President.

Magogo, also a co-opted executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and member of the FIFA ethics committee was un-opposed for the position of presidency and was declared President during the General Assembly that took place at the Kabalega Resort Hotel in Masindi district on Saturday.

“I am happy that I will have another four years to develop football in Uganda further. I thank you all for the support,” said the 41-year Magogo who added that he does not know how he will be a President of a State Minister. Officially the new term will start after August 31st when this first term comes to an end.

The Fufa electoral committee chairman, Sam Bakika thanked all the delegates for observing order during the elections.

Former Tanzania FA president, Leodegar Tenga who represented FIFA and the Djibouti FA president who is also an executive member of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) and member of the FIFA competitions committee, Hassan Souleiman Waberi also attended the Assembly as observers.

Justus Mugisha and Darius Mugoye were retained as first and second vice presidents respectively. The executive committee members include: Mukiidi Kalyebala (North), Issa Magoola (Eastern), Hajji Abdul Lukooya (Buganda),  Rogers Byamukama (Kitara Region), Rasoul Ariga (West Nile), Kirizesitom Kalibala (Western Region), Richard Ochom (North East Region), Hamid Juma (Kampala Region) and Agnes Mugena (North East Region).




Missing Kenyan IEBC IT manager found dead close to elections

Chris Msando, an ICT manager with the IEBC, had gone missing on Friday.

Kenyan newspaper The Star reports that Mr Msando’s body was found with one arm missing.
Tension is high as the presidential election is expected to be a close race between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and long-time opponent Raila Odinga.
Police said on Monday that his body and that of an unidentified woman had been found in the Kikuyu area on the outskirts of Nairobi and taken to the city mortuary.

The BBC’s Alastair Leithead in Nairobi reports that Mr Msando had been making regular appearances on Kenyan media to reassure the public that the electronic voting system he had helped develop could not be hacked nor count duplicate votes.
During the last election, the electronic system failed and there were accusations the result had been rigged.

Our correspondent adds that there are fears there could be violent clashes between rival supporters if the election result does not go their way.
However, few expect the type of violence which killed more than 1,200 people in ethnic, post-election violence 10 years ago.
Following the clashes the International Criminal Court charged President Kenyatta and his deputy with instigating violence, but the charges have since been dropped.



Government fails to specify date for LC I and II elections

Government has remained tight-lipped on when lower council elections will be held.

More than 15 years since the last Local Council One and Two elections were held, government says the elections will be held again in January 2017 but with no specific date.

The matter was brought up after Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, General Kahinda Otafiire failed to show up during Parliament’s plenary session this afternoon, to give a status report on the elections.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga tasked government to explain why it has been silent on updates on the polls, stating that lower councils need leadership urgently.

First Deputy Prime Minister, General Moses Ali, told the House that Otafiire was not available but would present a statement on Wednesday.

Key among the issues debated are amendments to the Local Government Act, to change the methodology of lining up to vote, display of voters’ registers and voter verification exercise, among others.
MPs Raphael Magyezi and Wilfred Niwagaba say the minister should table the amendments before the House goes on recess later this month.

Shadow Minister of Local Government, Roland Mugume says the minister should state the actual date when the elections will be held to enable voters prepare as well.
The Electoral Commission has budgeted for at least 37.5 billion shillings to conduct the LC 1 and LC 2 elections, as well as the women committees and council elections. About 27.6 billion shillings will be for the LC elections while 9.8 billion shillings is for the women council elections.

State Minister for Local Government, Jennifer Namuyangu assured the MPs that the funds have now been secured and elections will be held in January as earlier planned.

Otafiire is expected to present a statement on the matter tomorrow.



Gambian president of 22 years concedes to Adama Barrow

The Gambia’s president of 22 years Yahya Jammeh will be replaced by a property developer, Adama Barrow, after losing the general election.

Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has agreed to accept defeat, said electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie.

Before announcing the final result, Mr Njie appealed for calm as the country entered unchartered waters.

The Gambia has not had a smooth power transfer since independence in 1965.

Mr Njie said that Mr Barrow had won Thursday’s election by more than 50,000 votes. He runs a property company which he founded in 2006.

A devout Muslim, Mr Jammeh, 51, once said he would rule for “one billion years” if “Allah willed it”.

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Mr Njie told reporters.

Mr Jammeh’s defeat has been greeted with astonishment in The Gambia, where most people expected him to win. He has served four terms as president but now this unpredictable and ruthless man is to be replaced by a property developer.

Mr Jammeh’s 22 years in power have brought repression and intolerance to this tiny seaside nation, popular for cheap holidays in the sun.

He has been tough on journalists, the opposition and gay people. He also said he could cure Aids and infertility.

During the campaign, the country’s mostly young population seemed to be yearning for change, said the BBC’s Umaru Fofana in the capital, Banjul.

The economic challenges the country faces have forced many to make the perilous journey to Europe, with some drowning on the way, he said.

Human rights groups have accused Mr Jammeh, who has in the past claimed he can cure Aids and infertility, of repression and abuses.

Several previous opposition leaders are in jail after taking part in a rare protest in April.

Observers from the European Union (EU) and the West African regional bloc Ecowas did not attend the vote.




Electoral Commission funders opt out

Electoral Commission has turned to government for funds to procure the results transmission kit for the February, 18 general elections.
The move follows a decision by the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) to withdraw from an earlier commitment to co-fund the procurement of the Electronic Results Transmission and Dissemination System.

Information obtained by URN shows that DGF had promised to pay Shillings 4.5 billion of the Shillings 9 billion required for the procurement. However, DGF has withdraw support for the system, leaving the Commission stranded.

Sam Rwakoojo, the Electoral Commission confirmed to URN the cancellation of the funding, saying they are now looking up to government to provide the money.

He says it will be absurd if government doesn’t provide the needed funding.

Mads Mayerhofer, the chairperson of DGF’s Steering Committee told URN in an email, that they withdrew funding in December last year after Electoral Commission canceled the contract of Cytel, to supply the result transmission technology in favour of Avante, under suspicious circumstances.

“After careful consideration, the DGF decided that the last minute decision to change provider raised concern as to the transparency of the procurement process as well as the timely implementation of the ERTDS itself,” says Mayerhofer.

Mads says despite this, DGF will continue to fund other partnerships with EC that seek to provide clear and added value to the integrity of the electoral process through voter education.

Fadumo : Al-Shabaab what can you do?

Somalia has been torn by decades of conflict since the 1991 ouster of long-time dictator Siad Barre by warlords who then turned on each other. Somalia had transitional administrations from 2004 but it did not have a functioning central government until the 2012 election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

In the last three years the country has stabilized but there is still a lot of work to do, Nicholas Kay, the outgoing representative for the UN Secretary General in Somalia, told The Associated Press.

“The country in the past two-three years has come together quite significantly. It is both politically stable and developed as well,” he said.

Kay said the parliamentary and presidential elections that are set for 2016 will take place and he expects leaders to respect the constitutional term limit of four years after they made firm commitments to do so. Somali leaders are currently discussing how elections will be held.


Among those standing for president is Fadumo Q. Dayib who has had her share of hardships but has perseverance against all odds. She was born in Kenya but was soon deported back to her native Somali due to her parents not having proper travel documents. According to the BBC, Dayib didn’t learn to read or write until age 14 but she recently received her Master’s degree in health care and public health from Harvard University.

The mother of four has already received death threats from the terrorist organization, Al-Shabaab but nothing can dissuade her from running.

“What can ‪‎Al-Shabaab do to a woman who has died 4 times? I died when I was born, I died when I was mutilated, I died on my wedding night and I died when I gave birth to my first child… I am not afraid of death. What can Al-Shabaab do to a woman who has died 4 times? I’d rather die for something I believe in, than live and be dead inside, because I don’t believe that a woman belongs either in a house or in a grave. That’s why I am running for President in 2016 in my country, ‪‎Somalia” she said in a speech given beginning of 2015.

This statement she posted in her Facebook page raise many concerns. But reading between the lines, her courageousness is an inspiration to all women!


Ouattara re-elected as Ivory Coast president

Incumbent Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara (L) waves to supporters as he leaves a polling station after voting in the Cocody residential district of Abidjan during Ivory Coast presidential elections on October 25, 2015. Alassane Ouattara was re-elected as president of Ivory Coast, official results showed Wednesday, in a vote seen as key to cementing peace in the west African country after years of violence and upheaval. The 73-year-old won a second term outright by garnering almost 84 percent of ballots in the first round of polls Sunday, when more than half of voters turned out despite calls for a boycott by some opposition candidates. Ouattara, who had been widely tipped to win, has been credited with reviving the country’s war-scarred economy but also accused of creeping authoritarianism.