KAMPALA – The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has called for punishing of electoral officials found culpable of committing electoral reforms arguing that it is because of such actions that taxpayers have been left paying the price through repeated by-elections.
The Party made the remarks on Wednesday 18 while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on September 18 to present their views on the electoral reforms tabled by Government in July 2019 in which they called for enactment of the law that would provide for criminal liability of the Electoral Commission staff.
Julius Galisonga, Legal Officer at FDC said that many elections have been set aside as a result of illegal acts committed by the EC officials and it was about time the country sought an end to such actions.
He argued that reduction in illegal acts will reduce incidences of nullification of or setting aside of elections and consequently save taxpayers money invested in by-elections as well as endless disruptions noting, “Electoral officers will then appreciate the personal risks arising from participating in illegal acts under the electoral laws and for that accountability, they would desist from engaging in aiding and abetting the same.”
Nandala Mafabi, FDC Secretary-General also called for an omnibus electoral law that will encompass all laws instead of having repeated amendments arguing that all elections, irrespective of positions are equal and should, therefore, be treated as such.
Nandala also called for an annual audit into voters’ register and transfer of voters be made during general elections not by-elections saying the current trend has led to voters transferring from one polling station to another.
He also said that it was about time Uganda borrowed from Kenya and Tanzania where voters’ register is audited saying, “There should be an independent audit of the register annually.”
However, FDC’s proposal was questioned by NRM’s Alex Byarugaba who questioned the mischief FDC intends to solve with the said proposal, “Who are you suggesting to carry out that audit and when should this audit be done? Currently, the law provides that the verification of the register should be done by people in area, what more authentic audit do you want?