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    2021 ELECTIONS MAY BREAK RECORD, 20 PEOPLE SO FAR WANT TO OUST M7: We Are Not Going To Block Anyone Because Of Tax Clearance Certificate – EC Boss Byabakama: EC To Display All Registered Voters Across The Country Starting Wednesday…

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    The Electoral commission (EC) chairperson Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama has said that all aspirants on different elective political positions will be welcomed by EC regardless of whether their tax payment status is poor.

    It should be remembered that on 7th February 2020, the URA Commissioner General Doris Akol, while addressing journalists said that all 2021 aspirants will have to first clear with URA if they are to contest for any political position.

    Akol added that whoever clears with them will be given a tax clearance certificate which will confirm that he/she is compliant with their tax obligations and hence eligible to stand.

    However, according to the EC boss Byabakama, the Electoral Commission is not an agent of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) but an independent commission specifically for elections.

    “We welcome all aspirants who are eyeing to become the next leaders in Uganda at different positions. I would like to make it clear that the EC is not connected to URA. We deal with the elections but not taxes, we cannot block an aspirant from aspiring because he or she did not pay tax, that is not our role our role is to organize a free and fair elections,” Byabakama said.

    “If the law is amended then we shall introduce it but as per now we don’t have that element,” he said.

    Byabakama made these remarks while launching the commencement of Display of the National Voters’ Register and Registers for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at the Electoral commission head offices along Jinja road in Kampala.

    He revealed that the Electoral Communication in preparation for the 2021 General Elections has appointed a period of 21 days (from 19th February to 10th March) as a period for the display of the National Voters’ register. The exercise is set to be conducted from Monday to Monday (8:00am – 6:00pm) at all polling stations throughout Uganda.

    The commission further appointed 19th – 28th February 2020 as a period for display of the voters’ Registers for Special Interest People (SIGs) including the youth, People With Disabilities and the old persons saying that this will enable persons comprising the special Interest Groups to check for the correctness of their particulars on their respective Voters’ Register.

    Byabakama added that the Display exercise will cost a total sum of 24.5 billion shillings to be carried out throughout the country at 34,344 polling stations in 135 districts. He further said that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to work together and facilitate the exercise.

    He said that over twenty presidential aspirants have approached the commission with interests of becoming the next president.

    “2020 presidential nominations may break the records with over twenty presidential aspirants. We have over twenty now and more are coming in day and night,” Byabakama said.

    He further urged all political aspirants to submit in their academic Qualification to the electoral commission at least two Months before the nomination day. He noted that the nomination period for various elective positions is indicated in a roadmap at the commission site www.ec.or.ug.

    He concluded by calling upon all stakeholders in the electoral process to participate in the exercise.

    BELOW IS THE FULL COMMUNICATION FROM EC:

    Commencement of Display of the National Voters’ Register and Registers for Special Interest Groups (SIGs), 19th February – 10th March 2020

    In preparation for the 2020-2021 General Elections, and in accordance with Section 25 of the Electoral Commission Act (Cap 140), the Electoral Commission has appointed 19th February – 10th March 2020 as the period for the Display of the National Voters’ Register.

    The display of the Voters’ Register shall begin at 8:00 am and end at 6:00 pm on each of the appointed dates including weekends, at all polling stations throughout Uganda.

    The Commission has further appointed 19th – 28th February 2020 as the period for display of the Voters’ Registers for the following Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at the village level: the Youths, Persons with Disability (PWD) and Older Persons.

    The purpose of this display exercise is to enable voters to:

    1. Check for the correctness of their particulars on the Voters’ Register;

    2. Confirm that their photographs appear against correct particulars on the Register;

    3. Raise objections to the inclusion and/or removal of a voter’s particulars from the Register;

    4. Report to the Display Officer, the following categories of persons (if they appear on the Register) for removal:

    a) Those who have died;

    b) Those who are under 18 years of age;

    c) Those who reside or originate from a parish other than the one they are registered in; and,

    d) Those who appear more than once on the Voters’ Register.

    5. In the case of Special Interest Groups, the Display at the village level is scheduled to take place from 19th to 28th February 2020. This will enable persons comprising the Special Interest Groups to check for the correctness of their particulars on their respective Voters’ Register: 

    a) In the case of Registers for Youths, the voters will be able to verify that the date of birth is correct. Eligible persons on the Registers for Youths must be aged 18 years and above but less than 30 years as defined by law;

    b) In the case of Registers for Persons with Disability (PWDs), the voters will be able to confirm that their particulars (nature of disability) were correctly captured on the Voters’ Register;

    c) In the case of Older Persons, voters will be able to verify that the date of birth is correct. Eligible persons on the Registers for Older Persons must be aged 60 years and above at the time of cut-off of registration of voters, that is, 23rd December 2019.

    During this exercise, the Electoral Commission will display lists of persons who were recommended for deletion from the National Voters’ Register during the Verification Exercise which was conducted at village level in October 2019.

    Please note that any eligible voter who applied for registration but whose particulars are missing on the Voters’ Register, will be able to present his/her case and seek to be included on the Register.

    After the display exercise, the lists of all persons recommended for deletion from the National Voters’ Register, shall also be displayed for a period of ten (10) days, that is, from 11th to 20th March 2020 at the respective Parish/Ward Headquarters.

    The purpose of this supplementary display exercise is to enable any person who may have been wrongly recommended for deletion to raise an objection to the Parish/Ward Tribunal.

    The Parish/Ward Tribunal shall consider and make the final decision concerning recommendations for inclusion, deletion, or correction made by the public.

    For avoidance of doubt, the Parish/Ward Tribunal is appointed by the Magistrate of the area, and is comprised of two elders (of 60 years and above) one male and one female, and three other members appointed in consultation with political parties and organisations participating in the elections in the area.

    At the end of the entire exercise, all returns will be retrieved from the field and recommendations effected by the Electoral Commission. A final National Voters’ Register for the 2020/2021 General Elections will then be produced.

    The general public should carefully note the following:

    1. This is a very important exercise, which could determine whether you vote on polling day or not;

    2. Fresh application for registration as a voter or application for transfer to another voting location shall not be accepted during this Display exercise;

    3. Persons who have applied and changed their particulars on the National Identification Register, for example, the names and/or date of birth, are required to notify the Electoral Commission in writing about the changes. Such persons will be required to provide relevant supporting documents to our Display Officers so that the changes are effected on the Voters’ Register.

    4. The display officers shall be physically stationed at the respective polling station, throughout the entire display period. This is to enable voters conveniently locate their polling station, especially those which might have been affected by the exercise of re-organisation of polling stations.

    5. In the case of display of SIGs Registers, Display Officers shall be physically stationed at a display centre in each Village, throughout the entire display period, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on each of the appointed dates, including weekends.

    6. The Registers for Special Interest Groups will be displayed for a shorter period because the elections for Older Persons, Youth and PWDs Committees will be conducted earlier than the others.

    7. The Display of Voters’ Registers shall be conducted with utmost impartiality and officials should allow any interested member of the public, including agents of political parties, to witness the exercise.

    8. As part of our awareness and mobilisation campaign, the Electoral Commission conducted stakeholder workshops in each of the twelve electoral regions of Uganda and met with respective district leaders to underscore the importance of participating in this exercise.

    The Commission is further conducting an extensive public awareness and mobilization campaign through print, electronic and digital media, as well as other public engagement initiatives to achieve high stakeholder participation in the cleaning of the National Voters’ Register and Registers for Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

    9. All complaints arising from the Display Exercise of the National Voters Register shall be addressed to the Returning Officers of the respective Electoral Districts and shall be handled in accordance with Article 61(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act, Cap 140.

    As at the commencement of the Display exercise, the electoral statistics stand as follows:

    1. Number of Districts in Uganda: 135

    2. Number of Counties: 257

    3. Number of Constituencies: 296

    4. No. of Sub Counties/Towns/Municipal Divisions: 2,062

    5. Number of Parishes: 10,029

    6. Number of Villages: 68,733

    7. Number of Polling Stations: 34,344

    8. Number of Registered Voters: 17,782,594

    A clean Voters’ Register is a cornerstone for conducting peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. The Display exercise gives the electorate an opportunity to particiapte in the cleaning of the National Voters’ Register.

    The Commission, therefore, calls on all stakeholders in the electoral process to participate in this exercise. Voters are particularly urged to go to their respective polling stations during this period and check for the correctness of voter particulars on the Register.

    Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon

    Chairperson, Electoral Commission

    18th February 2020

    By Josephine Kauma

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    NATIONAL

    THIS IS WAR! Don’t Think You Are Big Because You Are Wearing A Colonial Wig On Your Head – Bobi Wine Stings D/Speaker Tayebwa, Applauds Zaake…

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    NUP boss Bobi Wine (R) and D/Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (L)

    National Unity Platform (NUP) leaders have stung Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa noting that he is seated with his ‘idiotism and emptiness.’

    Their statements follow a scuffle that happened on Tuesday, 29th, November during plenary where Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Zaake fell out with Tayebwa.

    Appearing at the party headquarters in Kamwokya, Kampala, NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine furiously noted that they are not stupid and that history will tell.

    “Hon.Zaake, wherever you are I want you to know that me as an individual am proud of you, NUP is proud of you and all Ugandans. Thank you for not conforming to the nonsense of Parliament. Thank you for not shutting up. Thank you doing what exactly you were elected to do,” he said.

    Bobi Wine added, “To all of you leaders, we are elected to represent our people, stop this nonsense of talking about policy, there is no policy in Uganda. The only policy is to maintain the freedom of our people. We have been reduced to seeking rights to be human beings. We don’t have the right to be a human beings.

    “To you leaders, before you discuss anything else, before you talk about how much money they are going to give to Roko, before you discuss how much money is going to be stolen, before you discuss the increment of the Members of Parliament, let us discuss about the liberty and freedom and the human rights of our people.”

    Bobi Wine adduced that he was in shock of how he saw Tayebwa respond to Zaake’s issue that he raised during plenary.

    He divulged, “But on the other side, I shouldn’t have been shocked because this very Tayebwa Thomas, on the 28th, August, 2020, he was filmed torturing an employee of UMEME who caught him stealing power.

    “So to you Mr.Tayebwa wherever you are, we are not fools, you can pose off, you can feel so powerful, with that stupid colonial wig on your head. But we want to tell you that you are being watched and history will treat you exactly the way you treated Ugandans.

    “To all our fellow leaders, what should be priority now, are our leaders, they are abducting our people and killing them and you know that, that should be on your lips and all TV stations and radios.

    NUP deputy spokesperson, Waiswa Mufumbiro also sarcastically noted that now that Tayebwa is happy, he should take his family for holiday.

    “Some of you behave like you have habits of eating dead people. People like Tayebwa, I think you find fun because you beat up a person, I think you even eat dead bodies,” he said.

    Mufumbiro contended, “You give ultimatums because you are working for someone who compelled to cross from your former ideologies to necessitate yourself to feel comfortable in that small position of robbery and thuggery where you are seated with comfort of maximum idiotism and you think that your going to shape this country with your emptiness, Mr.Tayebwa. We know you have no respect for humanity but it is very unfortunate.”

    TAYEBWA SCOFFS AT ZAAKE

    During plenary yesterday, Zaake raised an issue of increased abductions where he cited Rule 78B and C, Rule 85 and part 5 of Appendix F of the Rules of Procedure.

    He said, “Mr.Speaker I raise on a procedurial matter under Rule 78B and C, Rule 85 and part 5 of Appendix F of the Rules of Procedure which requires us as MPs to base our conduct on full publication of the public interest.

    “The abduction of citizens especially here in the Central Region has reached a crisis level. The victims are mostly supporters of the Opposition.”

    He further cited cases of former presidential candidate, Joseph Kabuleta and Sheikh Ramathan Yahaya who were arrested on Monday in broad daylight by armed men.

    He added, “For 24 days now, NUP supporter, Kavuma Jamshid who also doubles as my president’s bodyguard was also abducted with three other youths and only this month alone, 100s of youths have been abducted and are nowhere to be seen.”

    It is here that Tayebwa stopped Zaake from speaking and asked him to sit down so he could be guided.

    Zaake however insisted and kept speaking until the microphone was turned off. He later caused commotion in Parliament.

    “If you (Zaake) want to do drama, go and do it in your constituency, you can’t do it on this floor. If you want pictures of people holding you up and how you were arrested to use during campaigns, we can organise for you, we are near national theatre,” Tayebwa warned.

    The Deputy Speaker later adjourned the session and ordered it to resume after 30 minutes.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    Parliament To Censure Minister Namuganza On Grounds Of Indiscipline…

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    The Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline Hon. Charles Onen (L) tables the committee report on Hon. Persis Namuganza (R)

    Parliament is set to censure State Minister, for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Persis Namuganza on grounds of indiscipline.

    Appearing before plenary today, the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline, Charles Onen tabled a committee report on the alleged misconduct and misbehaviour of Persis Namuganza.

    This comes after reports from the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline indicating that Namuganza attacked Parliament that it is powerless and does not have the powers to censure her.

    Namuganza’s attack came in relation to her involvement in the Naguru-Nakawa land allocations.

    Parliament indicted Namuganza in May 2022 following a report by the Adhoc Committee on Naguru-Nakawa land where she was faulted for falsifying a presidential directive that saw Uganda Land Commission allocate land to certain entities.

    MPs during the plenary that sat on 13th, July 2022, noted that Namuganza went on and ridiculed Parliament and its leadership in relation to the findings of the committee.

    Bukooli County Central MP, Hon. Solomon Silwany however noted that such an attack on the leaders of Parliament affects the integrity of Parliament.

    “She should explain her conduct to us on why she would go out on social media and TV and bash the way Parliament is working,” he added.

    Namuganza however denied allegations and tasked her accusers to table evidence pinning her.

    Mr.Onen informed Parliament today that it is alleged that Hon Namuganza also went on media questioning the powers and integrity of the presiding officers to form Adhoc Committees to investigate the Nakawa-Naguru land allocation.

    “In its observation, the Committee found that the conduct and behaviour of Hon Namuganza constitutes gross misconduct and misbehaviour and is not befitting of a Member of Parliament, more so a Minister,” he said.

    Mr.Onen further revealed that the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline recommended that the House invokes Article 118(1) (b) of the Constitution and Rule 106 of the Rules of Procedure to censure Hon Persis Namuganza.

    Efforts to reach Namuganza were futile as she failed to pick up our phone calls.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    EDUCATION

    KEEP YOUR MONEY; We Shall Not Accept Homosexuality, Lesbianism And Abortion – First Lady Slams European Funders Over LGBT…

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    Minister Kataha Museveni (L) and deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (R)

    First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni has slammed European funders over LGBT and asked them to keep their money if it is one of the conditions to fund Uganda.

    It should be remembered that during the recent 61st session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States Parliamentary Assembly and 42nd Session of the ACP-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) in Maputo, Mozambique on 31st October 2022, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, who represented Uganda warned delegates that there is need for the Contonou Agreement to broadly define human rights in relation to homosexuality.

    Tayebwa told members who attended that the agreement contained clauses promoting homosexuality and abortion, a practice he said Uganda will vehemently oppose.

    “We have discovered that with the Post Cotonou agreement, there are hidden clauses concerning human rights. Clauses to do with sexuality, promotion of LGBT/homosexuality and clauses to do with abortion,” he said.

    He insisted, “We are a society that is not ready for homosexuality and we are a society that is not ready for abortion. As Africa, we believe that the institution of the family is at the core of whatever we are doing.”

    Appearing at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds today, as the chief guest at the National Conference on Ethics and Morality, Hon. Janet Museveni noted that they must stand up and let the world know who their God is, what determines their perspectives and who they follow.

    She revealed, “Why do we say we will not allow homosexuality and lesbianism in our society, we follow a living God who gives us the moral perspectives to live by.

    “It does not matter, those who threaten us that they won’t give us money can keep their money, God will provide for us.”

    At the same conference today, Tayebwa recalled the contentious discussion on LGBT at the recent Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific states and European Union (ACP-EU) in Maputo.

    He disclosed that when he went to Maputo, he was shocked to find all kinds of people from everywhere, private jets had landed, the issue was to lobby ACP-EU to pass a resolution that to access the next European funding to African, Caribbean and Pacific states, they must acknowledge LGBT.

    Tayebwa propounded, “They were saying we must acknowledge LGBT and also amend our laws to allow it, they were also saying we must provide money for abortion in the budget, that if you don’t have money we shall provide it to you. That’s when some of us said no.

    “What is unfortunate is that some people look at our stand on LGBT as abnormal, a certain European MP said to me ‘we can see you are spreading hatred’. Then we have the problem of fear, some people warned me that I could be denied Visa to certain countries,” Tayebwa said.

    By Hope Kalamira

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