Retired Tanzanian President, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, will lead the East African Community (EAC) election observer mission to Kampala to observe the February 18, elections.
Uganda will be choosing a leader from the eight candidates; former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Museveni’s fierce opposition Dr Kizza Besigye, former Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Pastor Joseph Mabirizi, Bwanika Abed, Maureen Kyala and Maj Gen Benon Biraaro.
EAC secretariat in a statement said its mission’s mandate is to observe the overall electoral environment, pre-election activities, the polling day, the counting and tallying of the general election results.
According to The East African Business Week, a pre-election assessment team is already in the country for the exercise since last week and will assess the level of preparedness by key stakeholders and prepare a report that will inform the short-term election observation mission.
Members of the EAC election observer mission have been drawn from the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala), the five member countries in the bloc: Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda, EAC Youth Ambassadors, Mission Leader, Mission Coordinator, one EAC Executive Staff and technical officers from the Arusha headquarters.
Retired President Ali Hassan Mwinyi is the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania whose term was from 1985 to 1995.
Benjamin Mkapa took over until 2005 when Jakaya Kikwete assumed the Presidency, in which he handed over to President John Magufuli last November, 2015.
Kenyan activists to observe too
Meanwhile, Kenyan [Busia] Senator and former Attorney General, Amos Wako, has been appointed to the team of Commonwealth election observers for Uganda’s elections.
The Citizen Kenya reports that Wako will be the vice chairperson of the team that will be headed by former Nigerian President Olusegon Obasanjo.
Kenya’s civil society activist John Githongo has also been appointed to the 13-member team which also brings together South African Commissioner for Human Rights Lindiwe Mokate, former UK MP Mark Robinson, former Director of the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa Patrick Hayford, former Australia Electoral Commissioner Paul Dace among others.
Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, says the body chose to send a team of observers following an invitation from the government of Uganda.
The group will issue an interim statement of key findings shortly after the election.
A final report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and sent to local stakeholders before being made public.
The group is supported by a staff support team from the Commonwealth Secretariat.