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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid