The people of Kibanda North will have to go back to the polls because of the name ‘Tampo’ again taxpayers will part with about 500 millions to have this election out of the way. Its high time government sees the relevance and hears the cry of Ugandans advocating for both political and electoral reforms. Kibanda North is not the only case more by-elections are coming our way due to electoral malpractices and the tax payer will fit the bill at any cost. For Kibanda it was just the additional name Tampo that is taking us back to the polls were complainant Sam Otada said.

Amin was nominated as Taban Idi Amin Tampo and in the voters Register of Bweyale (I-K) Polling station at Bweyale COU in central ward, Bweyale town council, Kibanda North in Kiryandongo district, the registered voter’s name is Idi Taban Amin. This contravenes the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005. More by elections are coming our way and some have already happened due to negligence. Similar case is COA-CV-EPP-0050-2016 is of Hon Wakayima Nsereko Vs. Kasule Robert representing Nansana Municipality and COA-OO-CV-EPP-0094-2016 Electoral Commission vs. Ayena Odongo.

Others who have caused us millions of money are Hon.Wetongoola Rehema who presented fake academic papers on nomination day, Kagoma Walyomu, Moses, Katuramu’s PWDS all dispensed money during the 2016 elections and now it’s the taxpayer to pay for these mistakes. Where is the missing link is it the Returning officers who don’t pay attention to details as they nominate candidates, the National Council of higher education that is compromised? Or it’s the laxity in the law that lets off anyone of the hook so easily when it comes to electoral malpractices.

In Kenya once one is found guilty all the money that government spent on that election has to be paid by the candidate making it hard for candidates to involve in electoral malpractices. Electoral malpractices weigh negatively on legitimacy. In the face of manipulation of results, the eventual winners of the elections are viewed as political flunkies, toddies and mere stooges. They are essentially devoid of the true support and recognition of the people. They might be in office yet the population prays daily for their failure. Electoral malpractices appear to plant the incandescent seed of political apathy leaving a good number of qualified voters disfranchised.

Mr.Kagole Kivumbi, shares same sentiments when he told parliament the as judiciary we encourage alternative dispute resolution rather than court battles that are long protracted and expensive. Peter Sematimba one of the victims shares his frustration, you need good lawyers who cost not less than 50m and the process distracts you from being able to concentrate on your constitution work, Helen Adoa supplements that court cases are troubling it would be better to have alternatives as written by Ibrahim Manzil. Malachy Ugwuanyi a legal practitioner in Nigeria wrote; Electoral malpractices seem to water the xerophyte plant of political godfathers. This is a pitiable situation, where persons or political leviathans convert politics to total business.it involves a situation where rich person/persons sponsor a candidate, but proceeds to use or employ all forms of malpractices to make sure their candidate emerge victorious in the elections, to the detriment of the people.

The right to vote is rather a public function conferred upon the citizen for reason of social expediency. Evidence reveals that the strict adherence to democratic values and ideals will bring about good governance in the country. It’s now one year and four months ever since Uganda went into general elections. There is no sign of government embarking on electoral reforms; I would like to invite government to start on the process of electoral reforms by establishing the constitution review commission before it’s too late.

In 2015 electoral commission had to change dates for nominations to allow the commission familiarize itself with the new law on nomination fees and this happened in during the electoral period. Electoral Institute for South Africa representing expertise in electoral issues indicates that one of the threats to electoral integrity is the late enactment of laws and regulations, tampering with legal provisions too close to the election has a negative impact on electoral integrity and should certainly be avoided.

BY

FARIDAH LULE

PROJECT ASSOCIATE ELECTORAL PROCESS OBSERVATION CCEDU

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