By Damba Rogers
Local electoral observers are calling on the Ugandan govt to fully involve citizens in the whole process of the coming 2021 general elections.
Speaking in a three days meeting on strengthening citizens engagement in elections going on in Entebbe, the executive director, NGO Forum, Richard Ssewakiryanga says, the programme is strongly aimed at reminding state departments that free and fair elections are always a true reflection of full citizen participation and the 2021 exercise should be a true representative of this.
However, the national coordinator, CEDDU, Chrispy Kaheru is already challenging the electoral commission for not engaging citizens in the process which started in April this year by demarcating electoral areas.
Kaheru warns that if all heads the same direction, then the whole process will end up losing meaning as a big number of citizens are likely to miss out on the final exercise.
The chairperson Uganda parliamentary forum on youth, Hon. Adeke Anna Ebaju is tasking Ugandans to pile pressure on govt to see that it tables the long awaited electoral reforms before the country hold the 2021 general elections.
Basing on the electoral cases filed in court by various candidates among them being, Hon. Patrick Amama Mbabazi, Male Mabirizi with the final judgments ordering govt to come up with electoral reforms as a means of averting the misconducts that marred the 2016 polls, it still not clear whether govt is willing to have the reforms before 2021.
Addressing a meeting strategizing for the 2021 exercise today, Hon. Adeke reminded the citizens that the current regime seems not to care much about what the citizens want but only cares about what it wants so long as it is kept in power.
She says, many policies that are pro govt are tabled and passed in time but those that are anti govt are always waiting on the shelves and hence the need to put pressure on the justice and constitution affairs ministry to have the reforms tabled.
Meanwhile, the executive director, great lakes institute, Godber Tomushabe reveals that there is s need to help govt departments and agencies get out of captivity as the only way Uganda will get the desired electoral results out of a free and affair process.
At the three days meeting, a number of CSOs and NGOs advocating for democracy, free and fair elections across the country will deliberate on how they are to re-energize the masses to get involved in the 2021 polls.