Postponement of Rukiga Elections Draws Mixed Reactions

2902 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Frank Besigye Kyerere, a voter from Kangondo in Rwamucucu Sub County welcomes the postponement of the exercise, saying it will help to stop confusion and animosity among residents, which has already started emerging.

The postponement of the Rukiga woman MP and LC V chairperson polls has drawn mixed reactions from voters and local leaders. Rukiga District is expected to start operating on July 1st, 2017 after being curved from Kabale district.
 
 
A number of aspirants had already started warming up for the polls. Section 8(5) (c) of the parliamentary Elections Act 2005 requires electoral commission to conduct election of District woman representative to parliament within sixty days after creation of the new district. The Local Government Act similarly provides for the election of the District chairperson under part X.
 
 
However, the Electoral Commission Secretary, Sam Rwakojo wrote to Kabale Chief Administrative Officer on June 14th, 2017, saying the Commission is unable to conduct elections in Rukiga district as required due to lack of money.
 
 
 "The Commission will however not be in position to conduct the universal adult suffrage election for the district woman representative to parliament and District chairperson due to non-availability of funds in the approved budget for the FY 2017/2018," reads the letter.
 
 
Rwakoojo said the Commission will on a date to be communicated in the near future, conduct elections for interim chairperson of Rukiga district. The failure by the Commission to organize the highly anticipated polls has drawn mixed reactions among voters and local leaders.
 

Frank Besigye Kyerere, a voter from Kangondo in Rwamucucu Sub County welcomes the postponement of the exercise, saying it will help to stop confusion and animosity among residents, which has already started emerging.
 
Jackson Muganizi, the Kamwezi Sub County LC V councilor, says the decision is most welcome since it is going to help the district to kick off peacefully. Muganize also says that that it will help the interim government to recruit staff for service delivery rather than concentrate on elections.
 

//Cue in: "if we happen…
Cue out: …good foundation."//
 

Geoffrey Byamugisha, the Bukinda Sub County LC V councilor, says there is no reason for wasting non polls since all the councilors are ready to elect the interim leadership to run the district.
//Cue in: "me I looked it…
Cue out: …good point."//
 

However, Eddie Mugisha, the Rwamucucu Sub County LC V councilor, says the decision to postpone the polls is one of the tricks to deny Rukiga voters a chance to elect leaders of their choice.
 
He is also worried that the failure to elect a woman representative will affect service delivery since the voters will lack a voice to articulate their views in parliament. Victoria Abigail Atukunda, a voter from Rwamucucu Sub County, says it is a constitutional right for voters in Rukiga to elect their like other districts.
 
 
She asks Electoral Commission to present a supplementary budget in parliament for approval so that it can conduct elections as soon as possible
 

//Cue in: "still believe…
Cue out: …in place."//
 

Willy Denis Nkwasibwe, a voter from Kashambya Sub County has threatened to drag the Commission to court should it fail to revoke the decision of suspending elections in Rukiga.
 

//Cue in: "I see the…
Cue out: …it is illegal."//
 

 

About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.


Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.


A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.