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Preventing Electoral Violence; A Civic Responsibility for All

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The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) applauds the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda for adding his voice on the campaign for a peaceful, free and fair 2016 general election through his Press Statement dated 5th January 2016 (titled, “Maintaining peace, unity and security during and after elections”).

CCEDU has noted with concern that electoral violence remains a serious threat to the February 18th 2016 elections as evidenced by some of the incidents that have so far happened during the on-going political campaigns (recent clashes between candidates’ supporters in Ntungamo and Gulu). These cases of election-related violence continue to create a sense of terror and uncertainty among voters. And should such incidents of violence increase, questions on whether Uganda is capable of holding free, fair, peaceful and representative elections will inevitably emerge.

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There is also worry that millions of nervous Ugandan voters could stay away from voting due to fear of violent attacks, threats or politically motivated intimidation.

CCEDU therefore calls upon parties and candidates to desist from acts that could orchestrate unnecessary anxiety and violence during the campaigning and voting period.

Election stakeholders including the Uganda Police Force must demonstrate professionalism and impartiality in maintaining electoral security during this period. The Electoral Commission must dispense its mandate in a balanced and professional manner, calling each of the candidates and stakeholders to fully account for their actions/inactions.

CCEDU urges all political parties and candidates to desist from mobilising youth groups and militias to fuel fears or actualities of electoral violence. In the same breath, CCEDU calls upon government to seriously rethink its decision to utilise informal outfits including: ‘crime preventers’, ‘polling detectives’ for the purpose of providing election related security as this could further raise anxiety and possibly invite conflict, violence and chaos in the country.

Ugandans have the right to vote in peace and all stakeholders are duty bound to take all necessary measures as provided in our laws to defend and protect that right.

Electoral violence and partisanship of institutions that should otherwise be guarantors of a free electoral environment are an obvious disincentive to participation in elections for both voters and those who wish to offer leadership. Ultimately, this undermines every effort at building a truly democratic country based on the supremacy of the people choosing their leaders. It also weakens state and non-state institutions that scrutinize elections, and hurt the legitimacy of the government of the day.

It is therefore, important that as the Prime Minister rightly points to opposition players in the election, government should equally urge its institutions to ensure utmost impartiality by working strictly within the ambits of the law.

Local, regional and international institutions should therefore intensify working towards (timely) prevention of electoral violence ahead of the February 2016 general election in Uganda.

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Former BigEye.ug writer Jonah Kirabo set to represent Uganda in Turkey

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By Staff Writer

Former BigEye.ug writer and journalist, Jonah Kirabo is set to represent Uganda in a Turkish annual leadership conference, this website has confirmed.

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Named LOCALINTERNational Conference, the programme gathers recent university graduates every year in Turkey’s capital city; Ankara as well as other cities in Turkey such as Istanbul among others to provide graduates with local governance training through instructions, practical governance and field visits including social activities and trips within Turkey and all expenses are covered by Turkey’s Union of Municipalities.

This will be the first time that a Ugandan is selected to attend this conference that happens every year since 2012.

An excited Jonah Kirabo took to his social media to announce the milestone saying that he owes his success to God as over 10 Ugandan’s applied for the opportunity but it was only him that was chosen.

“Proud to be the first ever Ugandan to be selected to attend the LOCALINTERNational Conference that is hosted annually in Turkey since 2012. Over 10 Ugandans applied this year but I was the only one who was selected to join the other 41 recent graduates from Europe, Asia, South American and Africa,” Jonah said in part.

He told this website that he hopes to use the skills from the conference to boast his journalism and leadership skills when he is back.

The conference will take place in Turkey between 18th – 29th August 2019.

*About Jonah Kirabo*

Aged 22, Jonah Kirabo is a recent graduate of Business Administration from Makerere University.

Despite pursing a business degree, Jonah has always had a passion for journalism and leadership. While at Campus, he worked as news reporter for several blogs and local websites including BigEye.ug and Campus Eye before joining the Nile Post where he is currently employed.

He is also a current student of journalism and media at the Kansanga based Media Challenge Initiative.

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Engineer Peterson Mwesigwa Is Once Again Overall Best Student at LDC

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By Staff Writer

Peterson Mwesigwa could be the most intelligent Ugandan alive today. He holds a Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Technology.

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Two years back, he was the first person to get a first class Degree at the Law School after over a decade of only second class degrees.

Now Mwesigwa is also the top student at this year’s graduating platform. He was awarded for topping everyone. He is surely an exceptional achiever.

A man standing at the interesection of the arts and sciences. An Engineer and now a lawyer.

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Andrew Mwenda on Loss of Mother: “I feel Empty and Lost”

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By Staff Writer

It has been a sad week as one of Uganda’s best journalists, Andrew Mwenda laid his mother to rest.

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While eulogizing his mother at All Saints Church, Mwenda described her as the most beautiful chic that ever lived. But one could not help but see the pain in his statements.

At 12 noon, Adyeeri Constance Muhangazima, was laid to rest in the great village of Kanyandahi.

Andrew Mwenda then took to Twitter to express his current pain and depression. He called it the biggest blow ever. He talked of feeling all lost and alone.

We can only pray for the best of comforting to the old man of the clan. Losing a mother is surely the hardest thing that ever happens to anyone in life. There is no hole deeper. It is a hole that cuts through a soul.

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