How Kadaga Saved Opposition on Electoral Reforms


more about geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>President Museveni was expected to speak out on the reforms which are being popularised by opposition, civil society and diplomats.

Header advertisement

However, in his State of the Nation address on Thursday, Museveni decided to stick to addressing economic bottlenecks hurting the nation and preaching the gospel of commercial farming as one way of stimulating socio-economic transformation.

His speech did not discuss Uganda’s political path to the much-anticipated 2016 elections.

However, it was Kadaga, the Vice Chairperson of NRM in Eastern Uganda, that spoke out on the electoral reforms.

She called on Government “to work on electoral reforms early and avoid rushing them towards the 2016 general elections.”

The Speaker said that there has always been a delay in processing of the electoral laws in the lead up to elections.

“We urge government to bring the electoral reforms early to avoid stampeding Parliament,” she said.


Shortly after the address, opposition leaders including Wafula Oguttu castigated Museveni for keeping silent on the demanded political reforms such as disbanding the electoral commission, computerisng the voters’ register and streamlining the security forces’ operations during electoral processes.

“This is the most important subject of debate in Uganda (electoral reforms) yet he decided not to talk about it. The opposition want electoral reforms,” said Oguttu.

In a statement to Chimpreports on Friday, Presidency Minister, Frank Tumwebaze said opposition groups led mainly by Dr Kizza Besigye are using the “electoral reforms” as one of the scapegoats to cover up their “their glaring political weaknesses.”

“They (opposition) are vigorously trading in the so called electoral reforms campaign. Ideally that would mean that they have a set of proposals suggesting either policy or legal reforms. And these would be specific with clear justifications for the different mandated arms of government to look at and consider. Unfortunately these so called reforms are not anywhere articulated,” said Tumwebaze.

“It’s all about one and only one obsession of theirs: Museveni and Museveni nothing else. To them electoral reform means removing Museveni. One wonders whether beyond their anti-Museveni agenda, they have anything else crucial to offer to Uganda’s development trajectory. This eventually renders their whole crusade illogical,” the Minister added.

Tumwebaze said the opposition insists on disbanding the Electoral Commission yet they know the body was created by the Constitution and appointed with the approval of parliament.

“One wonders how and who will disband a constitutionally provided for body? If they want to amend the Constitution and perhaps propose a diffident procedure or criteria of appointment of members of the Electoral Commission let them come up with concrete proposals contained in a formal bill to Parliament such that their proposals are subjected to rigorous scrutiny as is always the procedure,” the Minister observed.

“But to dream and push for unconstitutional methods to bring about what they want is not only unreasonable but also unacceptable. When you ask them for a better frame work they clamour for, nothing substantive and serious is put forward. Yet the political frame work we are running is part and parcel of our constitutional order that Dr Besigye and others participated in making during the CA.”

Tumwebaze wondered why the opposition are opposed to “genuine reforms” like the national identity card registration exercise that will put to a complete stop all cases of multiple registrations and therefore multiple voting.

“Why are they vehemently opposed to such initiatives that will help to build an irregularity proof-electoral system, if they are serious political actors of integrity?”

The opposition recently said a law should have been put in place to guide the national identification registration exercise.

Government says the ID registration will ease work of authorities to crack down on crime and boost Uganda’s dignity. The IDs will as well be used for travel in the region.


Header advertisement
To Top