Notice is hereby given that any duly-registered CCEDU member who wishes to be considered for election to the CCEDU Board of Directors is hereby requested to submit an expression of interest in writing to the CCEDU Secretariat at least two (2) weeks to the date of the Annual Membership Platform (19th August 2019) indicating his/her interest to contest for Board membership.

Should you wish to confirm your membership status (institutional or individual), please approach the CCEDU Secretariat directly at the physical address below.

Crispin Kaheru
Coordinator
Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) Democracy House
Plot 1111 Ssenyonga Road Nsambya
P.O. Box 11027 Kampala, Uganda
Tel:
+256 794 444 410
Mob: +256 794 444 401 or +256 772 332 747
Fax: +256-414-510498
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Web site: http://www.ccedu.org.ug

 

1.0 Introduction:

CCEDU observed polling day activities in the 223 polling stations, 69 parishes, and 16 Sub Counties that make up Nebbi District. The by-election attracted Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Onyai Vicky Emmanuel; Independent Candidate, Othuba George; and National Resistance Movement Candidate, Urombi Emmanuel.

 2.0 Objectives and Methodology of Observation:

Objective:

The objective of the CCEDU EOM was to make an independent, objective and impartial assessment of the July 11th 2019 Nebbi District LCV By-election. In pursuance of this objective, the CCEDU EOM observed the elections within the spirit and letter of the international election protocols that the Republic of Uganda is party to; the Guidelines of the CCEDU EOM, as well as the legal framework for the conduct of elections in the Republic of Uganda.


The CCEDU EOM was specifically required to:

· Determine whether the elections were conducted in compliance with the country’s constitutional and legal framework, other relevant laws and the guidelines governing the conduct of elections in Uganda; 


· Determine whether the election environment was conducive for voters to freely exercise their fundamental rights and express their will;

· Evaluate the transparency and adequacy of the voting, counting and tallying 
processes; as well as the announcement of the results; and

· Establish whether the results of the elections were a true reflection of the democratic 
will of the people of Nebbi district. 


 

 Methodology:

In order to achieve the aforementioned objective(s), the CCEDU EOM undertook the following activities:

· The Mission held consultation with key electoral stakeholders including the EC, political parties, representatives of Civil Society Organisations, security agencies’ representatives and members of the media; 


· CCEDU EOM also consulted with relevant stakeholders in Nebbi district;

· The CCEDU EOM requested and obtained information on activities related to the electoral process from the EC;

· On Election Day, the EOM observed all aspects of the electoral process in the respective areas of deployment; 


· The CCEDU EOM presented its preliminary assessment of the elections through a Polling Day statement released on 11th July 2019.

Downlaod Statement

MEDIA AND ELECTIONS IN UGANDA

DELIVERED AT THE WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY DIALOGUE, 3RD MAY, 2019, GOLF COURSE HOTEL, KAMPALA, UGANDA.

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION.

In his book ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, Francis Fukuyama postulated that liberal democracy constituted ‘the end point of mankind’s ideological revolution and the ‘final form of human government’. [1] Fukuyama envisaged liberal democracy as a ‘more pluralist model’, giving rise to a free state whose values include good governance, respect for individual rights and freedoms, better delivery of services and political empowerment. Largely driven by this ideology, Huntington argued that in such a political model, ‘the right to speak, publish, assemble and organise’ would be supreme. [2] In tandem with this school of thought, Roper argued that ‘democracy is responsive, guarantees liberties, encourages participation and ultimately promotes political equality’.[3] Participation, a key ingredient of this model, it is argued, promotes ‘active citizenship’ as opposed to a ‘passive society’ and confers a ‘sense of freedom’ to the individual.[4]

In a liberal democratic state, the media plays an important role in building an informed society. Citizens need credible information from media that can moderate debate and provoke meaningful conversations that can lead to societal transformation. The media has a more critical role: through its traditional function – to inform, educate and entertain, it plays a catalytic role of deepening and institutionalising democracy.

Dr Livingstone Sewanyana

Though considered as the ‘fourth estate’, the media and government in many neo-liberal African countries including Uganda is at loggerheads. Chinje, argues that government and media are two sides of the same coin. If they fight they destroy the coin. While government brings policy, the media should bring information about those policies to enrich the ideas and improve their implementation for the good of society. [5] According to Mukum Mbaku, Senior Fellow at the US-based Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, free and independent media is instrumental in cleaning up corruption and enhancing bureaucratic accountability.[6]

Journalists see themselves as watchdogs . To enable the media to function effectively as such, journalists need to be guaranteed the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression. The right to freedom of opinion and expression is provided for in Article 29 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Uganda, Article 19 of the UDHR, Article 9 of the ACHPR; Article 19, and Article 25 of the ICCPR . [7] But in practice what does the right to freedom of speech and expression including the media mean?

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[1] Francis Fukuyama End of History and the Last Man (London: Penguin Books, 1992) xi.

[2] Samuel P. Huntington   The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).

[3] Jon Roper Democracy and its Critics: Anglo-American Democratic Thought in the Nineteenth Century (London: Unwin Hyman Ltd, 1984) 204.

[4] Roper op cit note 3.

[5] A New Era for African Media ‘available at https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/august-2016/new-era-african-media [accessed 30 April,2019].

[6] Ibid.

[7] Adopted on 16 December 1966, UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI), 21 UN GA0R Supp (NO.16) at 52, UN Doc A/6316,999 UNTS 171, entered into force on 23 March 1976.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day' theme speaks directly to Uganda’s current context. The 2021 general election is approaching; and already, journalists are being targeted; in some cases harassed, attacked or restricted from doing their jobs. Our journalists work under critical conditions and in a stressful environment. Such a context makes it difficult for the media to ensure effective transparency and accountability during political processes including elections - the way it should.

The media needs both access to information and the freedom to freely and safely communicate that information. In Uganda, that space seems to be getting more and more constricted.

 This is the moment for the media to decisively stand up for itself, fight fake news, disinformation and report fairly without fear or favour. Whereas civil society reiterates its unwavering commitment to free press, the media itself is going to be its own savior.

 I wish the entire media fraternity, a rewarding World Press Freedom Day, 2019.

------------------------

Crispin Kaheru

Coordinator,

Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU)

 

There doesn’t seem to be much interest on the side of government to support democratic electoral processes in Uganda, lately:

1) There has been reluctance of the executive to cause or effect electoral reforms – as recommended by Supreme Court, the Election Observation Missions; and other government bodies including Electoral Commission (EC), National Consultative Forum (NCF), Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations since as far back as 2016 and even before;

2) Government seems to be dragging its feet on funding the implementation of the electoral roadmap to 2021 general elections;

3) Government appears averse towards facilitating the process of holding elections in the new districts created on 1st July 2018.

All these cast a doubt on government’s commitment to hold democratic elections in whatever form and fashion. It is less than two years to the general elections; and there’s little or no publicity around on-going or upcoming electoral milestones.

It is difficult to believe that government cannot simply afford a budget for priorities relating to elections; yet the same government has of late been spending lavishly on some seemingly vanity projects that seek to benefit only a few people.

Previous elections have had a weak legal and administrative framework and the consequences have been clear: violence, corruption, tech-based manipulation of elections, unbalanced media coverage of political parties and candidates, use of state resources to run individual political campaigns etc.

Therefore, 2021 elections may not be any different if we do not reinforce the existing legislative and administrative framework for conducting democratic elections.

It is frustrating that we seem not to have learnt from our past election experiences.