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Kabale politicians want presidential powers to appoint electoral commissioners trimmed

Luke Twesigye,NUP party youths’ mobilizer in charge of Kabale district speaking (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A section of political analysts in Kabale district are advocating for the launch of a plan towards a succession of the incumbent Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as well as trimming of presidential appointment powers on the electoral commission chairman.

According to article 60(1) of the constitution of the republic of Uganda, the president has the authority to appoint the electoral commission Chairman, vice, and commissioners. However, political analysts in the Kabale district claim that the appointment of the commission chairman and other relevant members has reduced the fairness of elections in the country.

Bonny Tumuranze, the Kigezi region coordinator of the Alliance for National Transition (ANT) party says that because the electoral commission chairman is appointed by the president who is at the same time a candidate in an election, there is no way how such a chairman can lose an election.

According to Tumuranze, it is a shame for Ugandans to describe the electoral commission as an independent body yet it serves to please the person who appoints the top officials.

Speaking during acitizens’ engagement about elections on Friday afternoon at Heras Country Hotel in Kabale District, organized by the Non-Government Organizations Forum in conjunction with Kick Corruption Out of Uganda (KICK-U), Tumuranze suggests that unless electoral reorganization is done and the commission chairman is appointed by another authority that has no interest in the elections, Ugandan will never experience a free and fair election.

Tumuranze was backed by Luke Twesigye, National Unity Platform NUP party youths’ mobilizer in charge of Kabale district who explained that the 1995 constituency assembly which wrote Uganda’s constitution disappointed Ugandans by giving the president in power a lot of powers to appoint the electoral commission.

Tumwesigye suggests that electoral reform should be made so that the whole electoral commission be overhauled and citizens also participate in the appointing of the commission officials. According to Tumwesigye, when members of the public participate in their appointment, it becomes easy to appoint corruption-free ones.

Assistant Professor Meshach Katusiime, the Dean of the faculty of arts and social science at Kabale University says that Uganda risks runsning into a political crisis if the ruling government fails to plan for an effective and peaceful handover of power.

According to Katusiime, Ugandans are likely to experience political turmoil should the incumbent government continue to frustrate the electorates through denial of their constitutional rights.

But, Ronald Bakak, Kabale Deputy Resident District Commissioner argued that if the current electoral laws are not favorable to everybody in Uganda, there wouldn’t be any opposition leader in Uganda.



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