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Gov’t Urged to Fast-track Constitutional and Political Reforms as FABIO Engages Stake Holders in Busoga Region

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Stakeholders from the political, business, religious and among other fraternities converged at Ci’ Sand Suites in Jinja and deliberated on constitutional, legal and political reforms that can make elections in Uganda better, fair and credible. These were brought together by the First African Bicycle Information Organization (FABIO) which has been holding several stake holder consultative meetings on reforms that will better the democratic scope of Uganda.

Busoga EC Boss Natukunda Deo(with Mic) along side other panelists at the event.

FABIO over the last 6 months has taken the meetings to all the 12 districts of Busoga where stake holders brought forward several recommendations which they say if implemented will make elections in Uganda very credible, fair and ease tensions involved in the process.  Among the key presenters at the event was former Member of parliament for Kagoma constituency and scholar Dr Frank Nabwiso who presented a paper where he challenged president Museveni’s government to consider building democracy in Uganda with all the efforts needed.

According to Nabwiso this can’t be achieved if other stake holders are left out like politicians, academia, political parties, the electorates among others who shape up the requirements for a better democracy which would be hailed country. He suggests a constitutional review commission should be instituted, move around the country and report in 12 months before he advised the president’s son to follow the law in all his political dealings.

RDC Sebyala Badiru Speaking At The Event

Present at this event also were Residential District Commissioners, politicians from the ruling party, FDC, NUP, Democratic party, Independents among other parties who all agreed in unison that the country really needs constitutional and political reforms which are good for the entire not just an individual like it has been in the previous amendments.

Multipartyism in 2005 was re-introduced in Uganda for the good of the democratic processes in Uganda but term limits and removal of age limit from the constitutional have greatly been in favor of one person president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa.

Speaking at the event, Dr Frank Nabwiso wondered why as other politicians are denied chance to meet their electorates and mobilize their supporters for the general election. Museveni’s son who is a serving army general goes around the country campaigning and making political promises and no one questions his engagement in politics which is criminal until he retires from the army.

Participants Pose for a Group Photo

Nabwiso says even president Museveni has also started campaigning in the guise of Parish Development Model tours but when the bottom line for his visits is mobilizing for 2026 the same way his son is actively doing and busy recruiting electorates in his MK movement.

“It’s only two people in this country who have already indicated that they will run for presidency in 2026, that’s Museveni and his son Muhoozi. No political party has nominated any presidential candidate for 2026 but it’s obvious Museveni has started campaigning in the guise of regional PDM tours”-said Nabwiso

Getting to the regional level, FABIO started with grassroot community consultative meetings which happened in the districts of Jinja, Kamuli and Iganga before these proceeded to the district level. Of all these, key recommendations where re-echoed and were adopted by the same stakeholders at regional level.

These included emphasizing civil servants to resign before taking part in elections, parliament should now consider restoring term limits and the age limits which were struck from the constitution in 2005 and 2017 respectively. These suggest terms should be trimmed to atleast two terms to give chance to a new breed of leaders to compete and take up leadership offices.

The stakeholders also urged electoral commission and police to take police constables deployed during elections to be equipped with enough knowledge on how to handle different situations during elections as tempers normally flare at polling stations.

Among other recommendations agreed upon was having in place and enforcing a campaign financing regulation that will stipulate a standard expenditure limit. This will curb the commercialization of elections where a winner is defined by how much they’ve spent before elections, during elections and at the finishing towards declaration.

Another key recommendation made was increasing the education bar for different political offices where a president, members of parliament should hold a bachelors degree from the current senior six or it’s equivalent which has brought poor quality leaders who spend the entire five years being inducted and end up saying nothing in the house. LC3 chairpersons and councilors should atleast have a senior four certificate while LC5 and mayors of municipalities should posses the same academic requirements with the MPs and president.

It was during this that Electoral Commission was tasked to do more of voter education through all the available means of information dissemination and government was also urged to revise the process under which judges and electoral commission bosses are hand picked and appointed without inclusive participation of the stake holders in the elections.

While reacting to issues rained on points, the electoral commission boss for Busoga sub-region Deo Natukunda highlighted the need for every body to be part of the efforts to improve the quality of elections by attending voter education engagements. Natukunda also hinted at a possibility of holding LC1 elections by lining up since government says resources aren’t always available to handle secret ballot polls for LC1 chairpersons like it was the case in 2018.

FABIO now prepares to present these recommendations to the necessary institutions to consider them ahead of the next general election which opposition is yet to focus on despite Museveni and his son Muhoozi enjoying the stage without fear or favor but with flavor as Museveni seeks to extent to 45 years at the helm of presidency in Uganda.

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