“A fair election is a common good,” outgoing Uganda Electoral Commission Chairperson Eng. Badru Kiggundu, said recently during an #AskEC2016 online session.
He added: “We can always work towards it [fair elections].”
Kiggundu who was awarded an independence medal for outstanding national service, praised the media for standing the test of time in the recently-concluded February 2016 elections.
After 14 years at the helm of the Electoral Commission, Kiggundu is retiring as chairman this month [November 27, 2016].
Matembe tipped for the job
Meanwhile, Women under the Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) have already petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and President Yoweri Museveni to appoint women in the leadership of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The petitioners are; UWONET, Action for Development (ACFODE), Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), ISIS, WICC, and FIDAUganda, Akina mama wa Africa and Centre for Women in Governance.
In the petition given to Kadaga by the Executive Director of the FOWODE, Patricia Munabi, the women suggested former Ethics Minister, Miria Matembe, to be given a juicy seat at the EC committee.
Also suggested are; former deputy secretary general of the East African legislative assembly, Beatrice Kiraso, the chairperson of Uganda Women’s Network, Tezira Jamwa, Irene Ovonji from Fida –Uganda, Solome Nakawesa from, Christine Lawoka, Dr.Zahara Nampeewo and Prof Florence Ahikire, the dean school woman and Gender at Makerere University.
The activists want at least four women in the new commission.
Kiggundu speaks on dream of fair elections
Kiggundu told The Observer in an interview that he never expected to be appointed as EC boss although he learnt a lot through his job.
“The comfort I take is the bedrock of the legal framework in both the Constitution and the polling laws; reading and understanding the provisions of the constitution and the other enabling laws,” he told the newspaper.
Asked on 2006 and 2016 elections, Kiggundu said the judgment of free and fair is relative to everyone.
“I do respect the judges but someone may look at those elections and judge them differently.”
He suggested voter education to end issues of voter bribery and election violence.
“Elections are the most complicated civil undertaking in any country. Running elections is not easy even in very developed countries.”
He dismissed as unfounded rumours those who suggest that the 2016 elections were a sham and that he favoured President Yoweri Museveni against his opponents.
“I don’t think the 2016 elections were a sham. People are saying the delay in delivery of materials was extensive but this was at about 40 polling stations compared to the 28,000 polling stations across the country where all materials were delivered on time. So, the question of judgment is in the mind of each individual.”
Kiggundu also said he is not responsible for people that get killed during election violence.
On about 30 MPs have so far lost their seats in parliament, Kiggundu blamed other institutions that cleared the said MPs.