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Journalists election flops over ‘rigging’

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Vision Group’s Ali Waswa (L) and Radio One’s Ronald Muyinda (2ndR) try

Vision Group’s Ali Waswa (L) and Radio One’s Ronald Muyinda (2ndR) try to wrest a ballot box from police officers during the Uganda Journalists Association elections that flopped yesterday. There was a near fist-fight after members cited glaring irregularities in the process. Photo by Joseph Kiggundu 

By  ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Friday, December 20   2013 at  00:00

In Summary

The candidates agreed to pull out of an election they suspected was marred with irregularities .

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Kampala-Elections of journalists’ leaders to their umbrella organisation Uganda Journalists Association nearly ended in a fist-fight after members cited glaring irregularities in the process.

Five journalists had stood for the post of UJA president and each camp accused the other of manipulating the system to register people who aren’t journalists.

Mr Simon Kaggwa Njala (Radio One), Florence Apolot (Channel 44), Richard Kayiira (Bukedde TV), Martin Nsereko and Robert Kagolo (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) were vying for the presidency of one of the oldest journalists’ associations in Uganda.

All the five resolved to pull out of the race until the irregularities are sorted out by the administration. This caused confusion after the presiding officer, Mr Alex Luganda, insisted that elections must go on.

Mr Njala said: “We (candidates) have unanimously decided to step aside until the anomalies are resolved.”

Mr Luganda said the candidates didn’t have the powers to cancel the elections.
“No one has the mandate to halt this election. Now, we want new people to be nominated for the post of the president,” Mr Luganda said.

Mr Joshua Kyalimpa, the outgoing president, said he will continue leading the team until elections are held.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com