The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda approved that Local Council (LC) Elections could be held, once again, by people lining up behind their respective candidate of choice. Parliament approved this in 2015 and a bout time it was. And, yes, the implementation of it is long, long overdue.
Here is an extract from an opinion: “Why are we quiet about local council elections?” that was published in the Daily Monitor in 2014, which articulates why the conducting of LC elections is why overdue:
It is a constitutional requirement to have LC elections every five years. That they have not been conducted in 13 years (now over 15 years) is a gross violation of the Constitution of Uganda; and this has happened during the term of office of President Museveni. I do not buy the pretext of not holding these elections on account of no money.
“In the beginning we did not use secret ballot for these local RC elections, we just asked people to line up behind the candidates of their choice. People were very happy with this for the simple reason that it eliminated cheating – which goes to show how much the practice of elections had been perverted in the past”, writes President Museveni. So what has changed now?
We need to question the motives of all those frustrating LCI and LCII elections. Why are they averse to a simple and cheap method that gives instant results?
Apparently, wives will be beaten and tenants will be thrown out if they do not line up behind the right candidate – you think that the results of a secret ballot will not reveal the voting pattern? Then again, apart from central region where there is mailo land – omutaka-kibanja holder relations – how many rural Ugandans actually live in rented houses or on rented land?