News / Africa

    Ugandan Judge Laments Lack Of Electoral Reforms

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Douglas Mpuga

    A retired Ugandan Supreme Court Judge has decried the excessive use of money in the ongoing campaigns and warned that the country cannot have free and fair elections when votes are for sell.

    Prof George Kanyeihamba told VOA that the election might go to the highest bidder unless the voters take the money but vote for the right candidate.

    Uganda will hold presidential and parliamentary election on February 18 and President Yoweri Museveni is running for his fourth consecutive term.

    “It is grotesque,” Justice Kanyeihamba said, adding “it is unbelievable - the elections in Uganda have become commercialized. We can no longer talk about free and fair elections but the most expensive votes and the highest bidder most likely will be elected.”

    The retired judge described as a bribe the money given to members of parliament last week to allegedly monitor government projects.

    Last week Government deposited to every Member of Parliament’s bank account 20 million shillings to oversee the National Agricultural Advisory program in their constituencies which the Opposition has also called a bribe from President Museveni for favors in next month’s election.

    “It is a crime,” said Kanyeihamba, “If you can connect people being given rewards to influence how they vote. It is a criminal act under our constitution and our laws.”

    He said if it was the opposition who had been caught doing [bribing] that most likely there would be a prosecution but “if they are supporters of the government or the ruling party you can be assured that no action will be taken.”

    The retired judge said the campaigns are peaceful so far but the problems usually come on election eve, on voting day and during the counting of votes.
    He said this year’s election is not likely to be different from the previous two elections (2001 and 2006).

    “The same problems, the same scenario we encountered in those last elections is likely to reoccur,” he said.

    Kanyeihamba noted that the ground is not level and the electoral reforms recommended by many people and institutions have not been implemented.

    “Even the police seem to be partisan, he said, “Some of the acts they have been involved in such as stopping rallies of some of the opposition candidates and the way they have tolerated activists of the ruling party indicate the police are partisan – supporting the ruling party. Fortunately there is no evidence the army is doing the same.”

    Having abolished the limit on the number of terms he can serve in 2005, Mr. Museveni – who earlier this year became East Africa’s longest-ever serving head of state after 24 years in power – will face off against seven competitors.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora