I am waiting to see Byabakama correct my wrongs - Kiggundu

Friday January 08 2021
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Mr Byabakama, the current EC chairperson (L) and Mr Badru Kiggundu, the former EC boss

By Misairi Thembo Kahungu

Former Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Badru Kiggundu has said he is waiting for his successor Simon Byabakama to address the mistakes  he made in his 14-year tenure at the helm of the election management. 

Mr Kiggundu, who oversaw the 2006, 2010 and 2016  General Elections, was replaced by Justice Byabakama in November 2016 as he went into retirement. 

Responding to questions about the management of the current election cycle by Justice Byabakama, Mr Kiggundu declined to give an assessment of the ongoing process. 

“I recall very well before he [Justice Byabakama] was even sworn in and you people [media] carried forward his pledge that he is coming in to correct what Mr Kiggundu has failed to meet. So, I am just on the lookout but of course he has never told me what those are,” Mr Kiggundu stated.

He added: “May be I should ask him but is this the right time? No. It is wrong. I shall ask him after the elections. What are those you came to address or redress and have they been addressed and which way have they been addressed?”

Mr Kiggundu was yesterday speaking at the Isimba Dam Bridge that connects Kayunga and Kamuli districts across River Nile. 

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He is the chairperson of the presidential select committee responsible for the supervision of the completion of both Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station and Karuma Hydroelectric Power Station.
Nearly a year after commissioning the 183MW Isimba Dam that cost $566 million (about Shs2 trillion), President Museveni was in Kayunga yesterday to launch the Shs24b Isimba bridge. 

Mr Kiggundu’s remarks come at a time when the EC is at the receiving end of both the ruling NRM and the Opposition about its management of events. 

The NRM presidential candidate questioned the EC’s decision to ban physical campaign meetings in Kampala and 15 other districts in a measure to curb the surging numbers of Covid-19 cases. 

Mr Museveni, who was yet to campaign in Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts argued that he has not been holding massive rallies but rather addresses with the recommended number of 200 people. He has since visited the areas in his capacity as President to commission projects and flag off construction works. 

Opposition candidates, especially NUP flag bearer Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, and his FDC counterpart Patrick Oboi Amuriat, continue to be blocked by the security agencies from accessing some areas that were not banned by the EC.
 
During his time, Mr Kiggundu’s EC was accused of overseeing  a flawed election process, something that he continuously denied. He was also accused of delayed delivery of electoral materials to some parts of Kampala and Wakiso districts.

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