Uganda has lessons to learn from the recent Kenyan election process
Posted Monday, March 11 2013 at 02:00
The political maturity expressed by the candidates during their campaign trails and open debates, the transparency and independency of the IEBC,
We must commend and congratulate Kenyans, the candidates, the Independent Electorate and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the security agents and the local media for the political maturity and level of democracy they exhibited during the just concluded elections.
The political maturity expressed by the candidates during their campaign trails and open debates, the transparency and independency of the IEBC, the free electoral process, free from intimidation and harassment, the impartiality of the local media that gave equal coverage to all presidential candidates and above all, the role they played in calling upon all Kenyans to remain calm, get back to work as the IEBC was doing its work, there is a lot for Uganda to learn from this Kenyan experience.
To start with, a free, impartial and independent Electoral Commission ought to be instituted such that all Ugandans and political parties can have confidence in it. Politicians ought to articulate issues of what they intend to do through open campaigns without insulting one another, making unpleasant exchanges or promoting divisionism among the masses.
The local media need to give all aspiring candidates equal coverage and also sensitise the masses about the need and the importance of exercising their rights to vote basing on issues and ideas or good manifestos presented by candidates as opposed to gifts.
Security forces, the police and the army need to protect Ugandans and their property as opposed to being used as a political force to intimidate and harass opposition supporters.
Perhaps, Uganda needs to draft a new Constitution that will put strong and fair systems, structures and procedures in place where the Electoral Commission is independent of political influence, the army and police belong to the government and not a political party, the judiciary is independent and people have faith in its process and outcomes.
Term limits should be reinstated to avoid overstaying in power and abuse of office. Presidential powers need to be checked to empower other government bodies execute their duties without directives from the President.
This way, Uganda will move to greater heights and peace will prevail.
Jacob Masanso Gebukoba,