Gov’t Urged to Prioritize Voter Education as FABIO Engages Stakeholders in District Constitutional Consultations

Participants listen As Panelists Make Presentations At The Meeting

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Different stake holders both in government and from the civic space have urged government to adopt new approaches if democracy and the rule of law are to be achieved moving forward. These say, the existing establishment needs improvement to match the ever-changing society.

They made these suggestions and call during a district stakeholder district constitutional consultation forum organized by the Jinja- based First African Bicycle Information Organization (FABIO) and Uganda National NGO Forum which have been organization several of these meetings in areas of governance, policy, democracy, health, education across the country.

According to FABIO and UNNGOF, the purpose of these and other forums are organized to harmonize, own, make contributions, and buy into the issues raised by the people stakeholders at the district level and this time they were in Kamuli district at the Sunday Kyemba Gardens.

Stakeholders include religious leaders, technical staff, the political wing with councilors, LC3, LC5 chairpersons who directly and indirectly deal with the communities who are beneficiaries of government programs.

Participants listen As Panelists Make Presentations At The Meeting

Speaking during this stakeholders meeting, Kamuli district RDC Ms Birungi Hellen highlighted the need for early voter education prior to elections such that the electorates are guided to make informed decisions and have knowledge on their rights to vote, who to vote and the responsibility each office comes with.

Birungi during her speech shared how one candidate whom she never revealed had lost an election because his voters were misguided to put a star alongside his name on the ballot which resulted into very many invalid votes.

Birungi Hellen the RDC Kamuli District Speaking At The Event

The RDC also underscored the need for police and other sister agencies to keep law and order and avoid being partisan something that end up being used in courts of law during election petitions. She further suggests that information channels should not be limited to radios but also gramophones commonly known as mukalakasa could easily disseminate information.

Speaking at the same engagement with stakeholders was Kamuli district Electoral commission boss/ District Registrar entirely agrees with the citizens that Electoral commission carries the burden to curry out voter education before elections are conducted, Mr Talame Daniel also emphasized the need to include gramophones for effective information dissemination and highlighting that this will enable the message to reach the grassroots person who doesn’t own a radio.

Talame Daniel The Kamuli district Electoral Commission Administrator.

It was also through this engagement that the education vis avis the quality of leaders was put to a test. Reverend Kifuse Fredrick suggests there should be changes in the education requirements for leaders contesting. He for example suggests that MPs should at least have a degree in any field as opposed to the senior six requirement, LC3 and councilors to at least obtain senior four qualification, LC5s and Mayors of municipalities to have senior six qualification.

Reverend Kifuse encourages these to go back to school and this will eventually improve on the quality of leaders that will directly impact into effective representation of those who vote for them.

Rev Kifuse Fredrick

“You can never have the led that are highly educated than the leaders themselves. Leaders should go back to school and indeed LC3s and Councilors should have senior four qualification, LC5s and Mayors should have senior six qualifications, and Mps should at least have a degree as opposed to the basic education. This will reduce on the number of leaders who cannot effectively represent their people”- Rev Kifuse Fredrick advised.

The Kamuli district speaker however lashed at elected leaders for misusing offices and suggests that there should be a system that doesn’t allow this vice to crop up during the tenure of office when one is serving.

“Incumbents should resign at all levels. Much as the people of Kamuli think that this important, Ugandans must acknowledge that the economy can not exist without a government”-suggested the district speaker.

Speaker also suggests that Uganda should ditch the current multiparty system which was adopted in the 2005 referendum. He says this is just used to hoodwink Ugandans but almost non-existent going by the happenings in the country. The speaker further suggests that Ugandans should instead resort to a one party system.


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