Your Excellency,

I am sorry I have no pleasantries to offer this afternoon because I am sure you are so alive and well today. If you weren’t it would be heard, really loudly on the streets.

I write to you Ssebo to appreciate that you and your team (government) have taken into consideration and plan to conduct elections in the newly created districts in this county of Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kwani, Kapelebyong, Kasanda, and Kikuube (mpozi how many districts do we have already, Ssebo? Do you know?); also other planned elections are to fill vacancies in about 264 of approx. 1,403 sub-counties in Uganda. Then you also want to have Parliamentary and Local Government by-elections, as well as possible Local Council I and II elections alongside the possibility of a National Referendum.

You guy! You are on fire Ssebo!

But Ssebo where are the electoral reforms that are supported to deliver a cost-effective democratic electoral process that enlists my confidence and those of my kind. We the young people and those you likely call wananchi would like to participate unimpeded in the different electoral processes but without these electoral reforms, you are wasting our time and money that would buy us medicines for the general hospitals in the country.

I think you are an understanding man of progressive political reforms, Your Excellency. And that is why you rightly campaigned on the platform of instituting a constitutional review process. Because Sir, the 2001, 2006 and 2016 presidential elections culminated in court disputes while in 2011, elections ended in violent public demonstrations.

This is why I am wondering, despite your policy direction, concerns about your government’s commitment towards a transparent and accountable electoral framework persist. Since 2001, election observers, political organisations, civil society organisations and private individuals have proposed electoral and constitutional reforms that would guarantee credible, free and fairer elections in Uganda.

Ssebo, your government’s reluctance to consider popular progressive electoral reforms, in order to address electoral deficits that have afflicted previous elections, has dented the credibility of electoral processes.These persisting challenges undermine commitments in the NRM Manifesto, Vision 2040 (Middle income status – I am working hard to attain this status) and the NDP II and continue to paint elections as mere rituals that are incapable of translating the will of the citizenry into genuine democratic choice.

Do you believe in democracy? What is democracy even, Your Excellency? Is it something we have to say so that the world doesn’t turn its guns on us because then we will be a dictatorship? Oba, we stand for it?

Do you know that violence, bribery and vote-rigging have been a constant feature of Uganda’s elections at different scales across the country? But you know this, you have that state house TV that my taxes brought you, you watch the news.

It is important to recognise that the recent 2016 electoral process was marred by avoidable legislative, administrative and logistical failures, the impact of lack of trust in the independence and impartiality of the EC, questions about the impartiality of security agencies and the use of money in electioneering.

The Supreme Court ruling on the Presidential Election Petition No.1 of 2016 (Amama Mbabazi v Museveni & Ors) acknowledged electoral reforms as a prerequisite for free and fair elections in Uganda.

Kakati ssebo, the recommendations of the Supreme Court were clear.
— The time for filing and determination of a presidential election petition be increased from 30 to at least 60 days;
— the use of oral evidence in addition to affidavit evidence be accepted in Court;
— time for holding a fresh election where the previous elections has been nullified be increased from the currently prescribed 20 days;
— the use of technology in elections be backed by law;
— sanctions against any state organ or officer who violates provisions of the law with regard to access to state-owned media be provided;
— election related law reform be undertaken within two years of the establishment of the new Parliament;
— laws be enacted to prohibit the giving of donations (during campaign periods) by all candidates including a President hehe yourself), who is also a candidate;
— laws prohibiting public servants from getting involved in political campaigns be made more explicit;
— laws be amended to make it permissible for the Attorney General to be made Respondent in a Presidential election petition where necessary;
— and that the Attorney General be the authority to follow-up with the Supreme Court’s recommendations.

Your Excellency, let me stop here but I could go on. Also, that Middle Income Status will not achieve itself. I am hoping for a positive response ssebo on this. Work on it now. Make us great again, not the shithole we are now.

Should I really sign off, kubanga my name is already up there, also I am at my office you can come and pay me a visit.

Patricia Kahill

is a Social Media, Content Creator and Marketer at Kahill Insights. A Development Practitioner who has no self talent but is driven by curiosity and passion; in a nutshell she is a Multipotentialite. She believes in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which makes her a Christian.

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