The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde has explained that the decision to call off the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) elections was agreed with all stakeholders after a recent meeting.
“I have received a number of concerns from different stakeholders on operations of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry including a petition on the forthcoming elections. Similar concerns on the forthcoming election have also been received by His Excellency the President,” said Kyambadde.
Kyambadde told journalists at Uganda Media Center on Wednesday that stakeholders including executive members of the chamber, representatives of the business community and relevant government agencies met to review concerns raised by a section of members with respect to the forthcoming elections of the chamber.
To ensure free and fair elections, Kyambadde said, government decided to postpone elections until identified gaps are addressed, form an interim committee comprising of stakeholders to appraise the constitution, develop the voters’ register and constitute an electoral commission.
Kyambadde added that among the concerns raised by some members are to do with the electoral process, specifically on the number of delegates, the polling venue, candidates’ credentials and eligibility of voters.
She said government is committed to having a National Chamber of Commerce that is well constituted, transparent, predictable and embracing teamwork to lead the country to middle income status.
An interim committee is to be instituted comprising of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, the Attorney General and Solicitor General, Private Sector, Electoral Commission and Uganda National Registration Services Bureau to appraise a new constitution.
She adds that the committee will also develop a delegates voter’s register, constitute a committee to organize and conduct what is considered a free election. She said the current chamber executive is not allowed to transact any further business until a new executive is in place.
The election of a new chamber president pits the current president Olive Kigongo against Andrew Rugasira the Chief Executive Officer of Good African Coffee.