Electoral commission advised to issue roadmap for presidential elections

By Sania Babirye

Opposition Forum for Democratic change says the Electoral commission should stop hiding under the lock down measures and issue a revised roadmap for the next year’s general elections.

FDC party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat says the said revised roadmap will clear all speculations from Ugandans surrounding the general elections on when they will be held.

Amuriat is accusing the EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama of allegedly being guided by president Museveni whom they call a perennial candidate instead of being guided by the constitution of Uganda and other electoral laws.

FDC says as a party they are ready for the elections as scheduled by the Constitution.

The party is now calling upon the EC to issue the revised roadmap by this week to calm the hearts of many Ugandans on when whether the elections will take place or not next year as planned.

Judges panel instituted to work on nullified MPs petition

By Sania Babirye

The supreme court has instituted a panel of seven justices to hear a consolidated petition against the nullification of elections of six legislators in the newly formed municipalities.

This is after the constitutional court threw out the said Members of Parliament on grounds that their municipalities were unconstitutionally formed says to the notice issued by the acting supreme court registrar Esther Nansamba.

The judges on this case include Esther Kisakye, Stella Arachi Amoko, Lillian Tibsatemwa, Opio Aweri, Paul Mugamba, Richard Buteera and Justice Mike Chibita.

The said petition was filed by the affected MPs, Electoral commission and government through the attorney general among other petitioners. The hearing is slated for 6th of February this year.

The MPs who were kicked out of Parliament include Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, Sheema’s MP Dr.Eldard Mwesigye, Kotido’s MP Abraham Ziloki, Nebi’s Hashim Sulaiman, Ibanda’s Tarsis and Apach MP Patrick Ochan.

In December 2019, five justices of the constitutional court nullified their elections following a petition by former Bufumbira East MP Kwezira Eddie challenging their legality saying the said municipalities did not exist since they had not been demarcated and were formed after the 2016 general elections which the constitutional court was in agreement.

Bobi Wine meets EC after failed attempts at peaceful consultative meetings

By Deo Wasswa

Leader of the People Power group Honorable Kyagulanyi, and other 2021 Presidential aspirants today met the Uganda electoral commission.

The meeting that was held under heavy police deployment lasted almost six hours.

It is upon this background that Hon. Kyagulanyi and his top members in People Power held a press conference at the their headquarters in Kamwokya . The leadership team at People Power shared the outcomes of the meeting;

According to People Power,some of the the key things agreed upon, was minimal interference of the Uganda police, they also asked Uganda police to stop deploying officers without uniform or name tags. They also asked that police maintains their role of keeping law and order and this should be done without sidelining with the ruling party.

In the meeting Bobi wine has also denied having led any processions as alleged by police operatives.

It was agreed in the meeting that People power goes ahead with consultative meetings too without situations similar to those witnessed in the past three failed meeting attempts.

Court refuses to extend voter’s registration

By Sania Babirye

The high court in Kampala has dismissed an application seeking for the extension of the ongoing voters registration exercise until March 2020.

Deputy Registrar Sarah Langa, ruled that she can not issue an interim injunction against the exercise that concludes today because the applicant is seeking the same orders that he sought in the main case that will be determined in March next year.

She also ruled that issuing the same order will be pre-emptying the determination of the main case.

City lawyer Steven Kalali petitioned the high court seeking the on going voters verification and registration process to continue until march 2020.

In his petition, Kalali claimed that this was the time in which court will deliver its judgement on whether Ugandans in other foreign countries are free to vote.

He had further claimed that if the process was stopped before then, his main application which will be determined in march 2020 will be over taken by events.

However, in response, EC lawyer Lugolobi Hamid had asked court to dismiss the said application on grounds that Kalali should have first taken his concerns to be addressed by EC as the law requires which he never did.

Last Monday the EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama announced that they had extended the exercise to the 16th of December 2019 and that no more extension will be accorded after that.

The process began on the 21st of Noveber and was meamt to end on the 11th of December 2019.

According to justice Byabakama the extension was die yo the many applicants ay the update centers.

EC extends registration update days

By Robert Segawa

The electoral commission has provided a five days extension for the national update of the voters register from the 11th of December to 16th of December.

The exercise which kicked off in 21st of November country wide was scheduled to end tomorrow 11th December 2019.

Addressing journalists this afternoon the commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama says the extension was effected due to the high number of applicants and outcry from various stake holders.

He further cautioned the public not to give money to the officials working in the voters register update exercise because it’s free of charge.

Byabakama adds that if possible they are to ask police to intervene.

Electoral commission assures opposition MPs that they can’t do anything about Museveni’s donations

Justice Simon Byabakama, the Electoral Commission chairperson has said that his Commission has no powers to stop President Yoweri Museveni from donating to Ugandans even during campaigns.

Byabakama who was appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee said that the law does not define when the president is conducting his presidential duties and when he is conducting political party activities.

He was responding to queries raised by Opposition MPs including Medard Lubega Sseggona for Busiro East MP and his Ndorwa East counterpart Wilfred Niwagaba, who attacked the Commission for looking on as voter bribery is committed by President Yoweri Museveni in Rukungiri District ahead of the Woman parliamentary by-election.

Sseggona together with Niwagaba questioned whether this was not voter bribery considering that the Electoral Commission has already issued a road map for a by-election in Rukungiri district.

Sseggona reminded Byabakama about the administrative guidelines issued by EC, wondering why the same guidelines have not been issued on the conduct of the president.

Over the weekend, President Museveni gave out 500 motorcycles, 25 Fuso Trucks, seven Tractors, 20 commuter taxis, High powered woodwork machines worth 193 million Shillings to Rukungiri Municipality Carpenters and Traders’ Association which has 5,000 members.

The President even took to his official twitter handle saying that his Government ushered in politics of unity as opposed to tribalism and called on the residents to reject leaders who preach tribalism.

Museveni also said that although funds to fight poverty are available, the local leaders need to monitor and discuss this in district councils.

“Government allocates about 500 billion Shillings for anti-poverty programmes like Operation Wealth Creation (OWC). The leaders here should not just focus on abusing Museveni, they should transform their communities as well,” Museveni wrote, saying that his trip was geared towards showing the leaders what they ought to be doing.

The donations come just over a month before the districts goes back to the polls to elect a Woman Member of Parliament on May 31.

Byabakama denied any wrongdoing by the Commission arguing that although guidelines are rolled out informing people on what to do during campaigns and elections, the law doesn’t seem to define when the President is conducting his presidential duties or when he is campaigning.

Byabakama reminded MPs that the same matter constituted part of the Supreme Court recommendations in the 2016 Presidential election petition and still Government has gone silent on enacting laws as recommended in the ruling.

He also noted that campaigns in Rukungiri have not yet started because nomination has not taken place and therefore, there is no way the Commission can prevail over the President’s controversial donations.

Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth Oboth ridiculed the Opposition MPs telling them that although Museveni’s donations look painful, they have to deal with it since that is the power of incumbency.

Early this month, the Electoral Commission (EC) released the road map for Rukungiri Parliamentary by-election setting May 31 as voting day. The programme commences with an update of the National Voters’ Register from 16th to 20th April in each of the 87 parishes and wards in the district.

The Court of Appeal on March 22 declared the seat vacant following a successful petition by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira.

Muzanira lost to Winnie Matsiko in the February 2016 elections but petitioned court citing voter bribery. High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga had on August 8, 2016 dismissed Munazira’s petition with costs, but the petitioner took the matter to the Court of Appeal which ruled in her favour.

The justices of the Court of Appeal stated that Muzanira’s evidence proved that Matsiko made donations during the campaign period at Kibale and Nyarushanje Catholic churches.

Court noted that there was disenfranchisement of voters whereby the final results of the election of 5,413 voters were not counted when Matsiko was declared winner, thereby ordering the Electoral Commission to conduct a by-election.

In its road map, EC set nomination of candidates to be conducted for a period of two days, on May 2 and May 3, at Rukungiri District Headquarters. Campaign meetings are to be held for a period of 26 days, from May 4 to May 29. Elections will take place on Thursday May 31, 2018 between 7am and 4:00pm.

So far four candidates have already printed posters eyeing the same seat. They include; Winfred Matsiko of the ruling NRM party, Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira of FDC, Sheila Akatukunda Kirebete and Prisca Sezi Bessy Mbaguta, both independents.

 

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List of new electoral commissioners out, Justice Simon Byabakama is new chairman

President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Justice Simon Byabakama as new Electoral Commission chairperson, days after Dr Badru Kiggundu retired.

Justice Byabakama is to be deputized by Hajjati Aisha Lubega, with Peter Emorut, Stephen Tashobya, Prof George Piwang and Mustapha Ssebagala as members of the Commission.

“By authority given to the President by Article 60 (1) of the Constitution, President Museveni has nominated the following persons to be members of the Electoral Commission and sent their names to Parliament for consideration and approval,” reads a statement posted on Facebook by Don Wanyama, the Senior Press Secretary to the President.

The new appointees replace six commissioners including Engineer Badru Kiggundu whose term in office expired two days ago after serving in this capacity since November 28, 2002.

The other retiring commissioners include Joseph Biribonwa who has been the Deputy Chairperson, Tom Buruku, Jenny Okello, Stephen Ongaria and Mugabi Justine Ahabwe.

Justice Byabakama became a Judge of the High Court in 2008 after serving as deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in September 2015.

It is second time lucky for Hajat Aisha Lubega, a former head mistress at Nabisunsa Girls School. She who would have been on the team retiring now had parliament not rejected her appointment in 2002. She has had to wait 14 years to get onto the Commission again.

In 2002, Aggrey Awori, who was then a member of the parliamentary committee on appointments, reasoned that the nomination of Hajat Aisha Lubega for appointment on the Electoral Commission was unacceptable.

The committee chaired by the then Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi rejected Lubega’s appointment on grounds that her husband, Hajji Badru Wagwa Lubega, was chairperson of the Education Service Commission. Sekandi is now vice president.

The MPs said it was improper to have two people from the same family on statutory commissions.

It is not clear at this time how Parliament will handle the matter since Wagwa Lubega is still the chairperson Education Service Commission.

Awori, who had contested and lost the 2001 presidential elections, also reasoned said appointments of Muslim women in high public offices had been revolving around less than 10 families.

At the time, current deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who was an opposition legislator representing Omoro County, also urged colleagues to reject Lubega’s name if it was brought before the committee again.

Stephen Tashobya is a former Member of Parliament for Kajara County in Ntungamo district, who chaired the legal affairs committee in the 9th Parliament. This is the same committee that scrutinises the work of the Electoral Commission.

 

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MP THROWN OUT OF PARLIAMENT

By Alice Lubwama

The new MP for Aruu north county Achiro Lucy has been thrown out of parliament over electoral malpractices.

Gulu High court judge justice David Matovu has ordered for fresh election after court in Kitgum ordered for a recount of the vote but this was not done because the ballots were destroyed.

Justice Matovu ruled that Achiro has to first vacate the seat until fresh elections are conducted.  Her victory was challenged in the high court by NRM flag bearer James Kidega on grounds that the elections were marred by malpractices.

Court has ordered the electoral commission to organize fresh elections, co-pay the court cost with Achiro.


PHOTO: acholitimes.com

MP Theodorah Ssekikubo not gazetted for swearing due to pending petition by rival

Electoral Commission has completed gazzetting almost all the newly elected members of parliament with the exception of Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga county legislator, URN has learnt.

According to Paul Bukenya, the Electoral Commission Deputy spokesperson, 427 newly elected MPs have been gazetted waiting to be sworn in next month.

Ssekikubo hasn’t been gazetted pending the disposal of a petition by his rival, Patrick Nkalubo before Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court for a vote recount.

According to Bukenya, the magistrate’s court directed EC not to gazette Ssekikubo until the matter before court is disposed of. He explained to URN the process through, which the MPs are gazetted.
The newly elected MPs are expected to be sworn in on May 16, 17 and 18, 2015.  The list of gazette of newly elected local government leaders is expected to be published next week.

Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary spokesperson, says following the gazetting of MPs, court will start hearing all election petitions and complete them next month.

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Electoral Commission sets date

The Electoral Commission has appointed 23rd – 24th March 2016 as the period for convening the Regional Meeting for election of Youth Representative to Parliament for Eastern Region.
The regional meeting shall be held at the YMCA Conference and Training Centre, Jinja Branch.

The electoral commission chairman Eng Badiru kigundu says the Electoral College for electing the Youth Representative in Parliament shall be the members of the District Youth Councils within the Eastern Region.

The youth Elections were suspended after one of the youth petitioned court that his name was not on the voters register.

Electoral commission deputy spokesman Paul Bukenya says the Election will be conducted this Thursday which will be day two of the delegate’s conference.