The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has faulted last week’s FDC delegates’ conference citing various irregularities.In its seven-page observation report issued on Thursday, CCEDU cited electoral malpractices like character assassination and vote buying.
By Moses Mulondo
The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has faulted last week’s FDC delegates’ conference citing various irregularities.
In its seven-page observation report issued on Thursday, CCEDU cited electoral malpractices like character assassination and vote buying.
“Claims of vote buying were received by the observers. Allegedly, some camps were sending delegates mobile money in a bid to secure their votes. These claims were not verified. A pledge by one of the candidates vying for the position of Secretary General to supply smartphones to districts secretaries general and another candidate for the post of Treasury General to contribute Shs10m to a party Savings and Credit Society were interpreted by some as an effort to induce support,” CCEDU stated.
During campaigns, Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi promised to give smartphones to district secretary generals if voted as party’s secretary general and Tororo county MP Geoffrey Ekanya pledged sh10m for the party if he is voted as treasurer general. Both candidates won the elections.
“The campaigns run generally smoothly save for incidents where candidates descended into character assassination of opponents and use of foul language. Observers are concerned about the effects of character assassination during campaigns. This could raise the anxiety of the delegate voters and lead to violence,” CCEDU observed.
In a veiled attack at Nandala Mafabi, newly elected FDC Vice President for the eastern region Alice Alaso compared FDC to Noah’s ark which haboured wild animals and warned the wild animals not to devour Noah (the party president Gen. Mugisha Muntu)
While campaigning for the position of secretary general, Terego county MP warned members against voting Nandala as secretary general arguing it would lead to the collapse of the party.
“There is no way a person who doesn’t recognize the leader of the party can take over the office of Secretary General and the party does not collapse,” Wadri said.
Amidst heckling from Mafabi’s supporters, Wadri also warned that if the position of Secretary General does not go to someone from the Northern region which was the original stronghold for FDC, it would mean the region has been marginalized in key positions of the party.
Wadri’s fears indeed came to pass at the end of the delegates’ conference as none of those elected into national positions is from the northern region except for the automatic regional positions of vice chairman for the north (John Baptist Okello Okello) and deputy president for the north (Reagan Okumu).
The organization however commended organizers for conducting transparent and credible elections.
“Voters were called into the hall district by district. The FDC-EC team was announcing over speakers who they were letting in, which district and number of voters, which made the process more transparent. The whole event ended peacefully without any major incident, which is a sign of good preparation of both the party security team and the national police,” says the report.
The Observer team stated it “wishes to recognize the cooperation and commitment exhibited by the FDC party towards the bigger picture of good governance and democratic elections.”
CCEDU also applauded the logistical support by Electoral Commission Uganda to the FDC Party commission through contribution of polling material.
Responding to the reports, FDC spokesman Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said, “There will always be shortcomings in a large exercise like we had but what should excite everybody is that those shortcomings were not institutional. Those unfortunate things are regrettable but they are individual mistakes. If brought to the attention of the party, they will be addressed.”
CCEDU cites loopholes in FDC delegates’ Conference