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The Weekly Observer | Uganda Electoral Reforms — How MPs Voted!

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Posted August 17, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 2,492 views

     

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After three months of public consultations and a final heated debate on Tuesday, August 11, Parliament voted 277 to six to pass the controversial Constitution (amendment) Bill 2015.

Key amendments included one on article 83 (1) (g) that allowed independent MPs to switch political loyalty a year ahead of the next elections. MPs further agreed to amend article 60 (1) to rename the electoral body, the Independent Electoral Commission. They also voted to keep the president as EC’s appointing authority.

However, the legislators rejected a requirement for independents to get 1,000 signatures before nomination. Parliament also ignored opposition calls for the Judicial Service Commission to appoint and disappoint commissioners of the Electoral Commission.

The MPs further rejected a proposal to raise the retirement age of justices of the Supreme court and Court of appeal from 70 to 75 years and from 65 to 70 years respectively.

OPPOSITION IN DISARRAY

From the onset, the opposition lost its resolve to block the government bill or to push through its own reforms which included restoration of presidential term limits. Some opposition figures led by Wafula Oguttu, the Leader of Opposition, accused parliament of “ignoring” the views of many Ugandans as gathered and submitted by the opposition.

During Tuesday’s debate, the opposition failed to present a united front. Some opposition MPs led by Wafula urged parliament to reject the entire bill but others rejected that proposal. Consequently, Oguttu led a group of less than four MPs in a walk out of parliament after MPs voted 290 to 33 to take the bill to the committee stage against the minority that wanted it killed at the first reading.

At that stage, four opposition figures: Abdu Katuntu (FDC), the shadow attorney general, Paul Mwiru (FDC), Deo Kiyingi (DP) and Gilbert Oulanya abstained. After losing round one, Oguttu declared that he wasn’t ready to be “party to a group of people committing an illegality.”

He said the opposition was storming out in protest. But again, to his dismay, the majority of his MPs remained seated in the chamber, ready to join NRM to debate the bill. And when it came to voting, all opposition MPs who had abstained voted with government to pass the bill.

After hours of debate, the final House vote was 277 to six with one abstention.

WHY OPPOSITION MPS SUPPORTED THE BILL

Key opposition figures who voted with NRM included Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru, a key author of the minority dissenting report, and Bugweri MP Abdul Katuntu.

Interviewed separately for an explanation, Mwiru said: “He [Wafula Oguttu] had ordered us to vote no such that the bill doesn’t go to the committee stage, but it didn’t make sense for me and I went and informed him that I am going to abstain because you have taken a wrong decision and he will tell you if you ask him.”

Katuntu said: “There was no reason why I should have voted NO on all the proposals passed because all of us including the authors of the minority report agreed that we shall support [some of the proposals].”

Contacted at the weekend, Oguttu said: “By time the bill was passed, all peoples’ proposals had been rejected emphatically. What government wanted was to divide us [opposition] and get some opposition MPs voting for the bill. They succeeded and now the Prime Minister [Ruhakana Rugunda] is telling the world that both sides unanimously voted for the ‘stupid,’ empty bill.”

Earlier on Wednesday, a day after the bill was passed, Oguttu told journalists that some of his MPs could have been compromised by NRM.

“We have been talking about dirty money in parliament to influence MPs’ voting. This time, I saw it and even touched it as the lady MP sat strategically in the opposition lobby with a big hand bag full of Shs 50,000 notes. There must have been hundreds of millions,” Oguttu said.

He added: “When I asked her why she was carrying so much money, she said she was a businesswoman. I went back to the house where voting was taking place.

Later, I was told that some MPs were expecting some money for ‘voting wisely.’ I am yet to find out whether there was any connection. But the voting of some of my colleagues [opposition MPs] was mind boggling to me.”

THIS IS HOW YOUR MP VOTED?

GOVERNMENT

A proposal by government to amend the constitution to make it automatic for an expelled MP by his/her party lose his/her seat
Increase of the retirement age for judges of the supreme court and the Court of Appeal from 70 to 75 and from 65-75 respectively
Creation of corporate status for the Inspectorate of Government and the established city land boards
A requirement by independents to raise 1000 signatures before crossing before nominations

OPPOSITION

Disbandment of the current Electoral Commission
To make a selection of commissioners and staff of the Electoral Commission to be subjected to the open process of open application, public hearings and scrutiny conducted by judicial service commission
Commissioners to serve for a guaranteed one, non-renewable seven-year term

Removal of a commissioner to follow the same criteria applied in the removal of a High court judge.
Restoration of presidential term limits

Provision of a running mate for the president
Empowering of voters to challenge the presidential outcomes
Increasing of time allocated to challenge the presidential elections from 10 to 21 days
Delivering of judgments by Supreme court to be revisited.

PASSED

Allowing Independent MPs to cross to political parties of their choice a year ahead of elections
Change of the name of the electoral body into Independent Electoral Commission

AYES

AbduL Katuntu (FDC, Bugweri)
Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo)
Betty Amongi (UPC, Oyam)
Benson Ogwal (UPC, Lira)
Bernard Atiku (FDC, Ayivu)

Gilbert Oulanya (Independent, Kilak)
Winfred Kiiza (FDC, Kasese)
Paul Mwiru (FDC, Jinja Municipality East)

Ibi Frolence (FDC, Kaberamaido)
Santa Alum (UPC, Oyam woman representative)
Kevinah Taaka (FDC, Busia)
Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga)
Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central)

Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East)
Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga East)
Gilbert Bukenya (NRM, Busiro North)
Odonga Otto (FDC, Aruu)
Jesca Ababiku (Independent, Adjumani)

Christine Acayo (NRM, Nebbi)
Ruth Acheng (UPC, Kole)
Achia Remegio (NRM, Pian)
Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo)

Achile Manoah (Independent, Aringa)
Lilly Adong (NRM, Nwoya)
Ajok Lucy (UPC, Apac)
Jimmy Akena (UPC, Lira Municipality)
Alengot Proscovia (NRM, Usuk)
Margaret Aleper (NRM, Kotido)

Allen Andrew (Independent, Bugabula North)
Jesca Alupo (NRM, Katakwi)
Caroline Okao (Independent, Amolator)
Suzan Amero (NRM,B Amuria)
Amoding Monicah (NRM, youth)

Cyrus Amodoi (Independent, Toroma)
Jacqueline Amongin (NRM, Ngora)
Hellen Aporu (NRM, Kumi)
Charles Angina (UPDF)
Arinaitwe Rwakajara (NRM, workers representative)

Aronda Nyakairima (UPDF)
Hellen Asamo (NRM, PWD)
Wilson Mpongo (NRM, Busiki)
Atim Ongom (Independent, Lira)

Auru Anne (NRM, Moyo)
Ahmed Awong (NRM, Koboko)
Margaret Baba Diri (NRM, Koboko district)
Vincent Bagiire (NRM, Bunya West)

John Bagoole (Independent, Luuka)
David Bahati (NRM, Ndorwa West)
Martin Bahinduka (Independent, Ntoroko)
Stephen Baka (NRM, Bukooli North)

Bakaluba Mukasa (NRM, Mukono South)
Moses Baryeku (NRM, Jinja Municipality West)
Anifa Kawoya (NRM, Ssembabule)
Henry Banyenzaki (NRM, Rubanda West)
Beatrice Rusaniya (NRM, Kiruhura)
Andrew Baryayanga (Independent, Kabale Municipality)
Ignatius Besisira (NRM, Buyaga East)

Jalia Bintu (NRM, Masindi)
Stephen Biraahwa (NRM, Buliisa)
Ephraim Biraaro (NRM, Buhweju)
Medard Bitekyerezo (NRM, Mbarara Municipality)
Emma Boona (Mbarara District)
Victoria Businge (NRM, Kabaroole)

Mary Okurut (NRM, Bushenyi)
John Byabagambi (NRM, Ibanda South)
Nulu Byamukama (NRM, Kitagwenda)
Alex Byarugaba (NRM, Isingiro South)
Benjamin Kadet (Independent, Bunyaruguru)

Lydia Chekwel (NRM, Kween woman)
Abdi Chemaswet (NRM, Kween)
Phyllis Chemutai (Independent, Kapchorwa)
Emmanuel Ddombo (NRM, Bunyore East)
Martin Drito (NRM, Madi-Okollo)
Janepher Egunyu (NRM, Buvuma)

George Ekuma (NRM, Bukedea)
Peter Eriaku (NRM, Kapelebyong)
Margaret Eriama (NRM, Moroto)
Rose Eriama (Independent, Nakapiripirit)
Evelyn Kaabule (NRM, Luuka)

Olivia Kwagala (NRM, Iganga)
Flavia Kabahenda (NRM, Kyegegwa)
James Kabajo (NRM, Kiboga East)
Kabakumba Matsiko (NRM, Bujenje)
Naome Kabasharira (NRM, Ntungamo)
Michael Werikhe (NRM, Bungokho South)

Robert Ssekitoleeko (Independent, Nakifuma)
Boaz Kafuda (NRM, Busongora South)
Helen Kahunde (NRM, Kiryandongo)
James Kakooza (NRM, Lyantonde)
Kamanda Bataringaya (NRM, Bwamba)

John Nzeyimana (NRM, Bufumbira North)
Jovah Kamateeka (NRM, Mitooma)
Elizabeth Karungi (NRM, Kanungu)
Matia Kasaija (NRM, Buyanja)
Mathias Kasamba (NRM, Kakuuto)

Freda Kase-Mubanda (NRM, Masaka)
Kasule Lumumba (NRM, Bugiri)
Janet Museveni (NRM, Ruhaama)
Sarah Kataike (NRM, Budaka)
Hatwib Katoto (NRM, Katerera)

Hood Katuramu (NRM, PWD)
Oliver Katwesigye (NRM, Buhweju)
Sarah Kayagi (NRM, Manafwa)
Justine Khainza (NRM, Bududa district)

Khiddu Makubuya (NRM, Katikamu South)
Margaret Kiboijana (NRM, Ibanda)
Ronald Kibuule (NRM, Mukono North)
James Rwebembera (NRM, Bugahya)

Florence Kintu (NRM, Kalungu)
Aboud Kitatta (NRM, Bukoto West)
Godfrey Kiwanda (NRM, Mityana North)
Kenneth Kiyingi (Independent, Mawokota South)
Crispus Kiyonga ((NRM, Bukonjo West)

Asuman Kiyingi (Independent, Bugabula South)
Margaret Komuhangi (NRM, Nakasongola)
Peace Kusasira (NRM, Mukono)
William Kwemara (NRM, Kyaka)

Freedom Kwiyucwiny (NRM, Zombo)
Eddie Kwizera (NRM, Bufumbira East)
Amelia Kyambadde (NRM, Mawokota North)
Haruna Kasolo (Independent, Kyotera)

Xavier Kyooma (NRM, Ibanda North)
Sarah Lanyero (NRM, Lamwo)
Ruth Lematia (NRM, Maracha)
Peter Lokii (NRM, Jie)
Micah Akasile (NRM, Upe)

Godfrey Lubega (Independent, Kassanda North)
Kenneth Lubogo (Independent, Bulamogi)
Amos Lugoloobi (NRM, Ntenjeru North)
Samuel Lyomoki (NRM, workers representative)

Julius Maganda (Independent, Samia-Bugwe South)
Raphael Magyezi (NRM, Igara West)
Margaret Makhoha (NRM, Namayingo)
Joseph Matte (Independent, Bughendera)
Michael Mawanda (NRM, Igara East)

Stephen Dede (NRM, Bukooli South)
Fredirick Mbagadhi (NRM, Kagoma)
James Mbahimba (NRM, Kasese Municipality)
Kezekia Mbogo (Independent, Budaka)
Robert Migadde (NRM, Buvum Islands)

Beautrice Mpairwe (NRM, Buliisa)
Dorothy Mpiima (NRM, Buikwe)
John Mubiito (NRM, Budiope)
Martin Muzaale (NRM, Buzaaya)
David Muhumuza (NRM, Mwenge North)
Vicent Kyamadidi (NRM, Rwampara)

John Mulimba (NRM, Samia-Bugwe North)
Patrick Mulindwa (NRM, Kasambya)
Simon Mulongo (NRM, Bubulo East)
Yona Musinguzi (NRM, Ntungamo Municipality)

Florence Mutyabule (NRM, Namutumba)
Milton Muwuma (NRM, Kigulu South)
John Muyingo (Independent, Bamunanika)
Sarah Mwebaza (NRM, Kibuku)
Adolf Mwesige (NRM, Bunyangabu)

Robinah Nabbanja (NRM, Kibaale)
Rosemary Najjemba (NRM, Gomba)
Theopista Nabulya (NRM, Workers’ representative)
Patrick Nakabaale (NRM, youth representative)
Gertrude Nakabale (NRM, Lwengo)

Nakato Kyabangi (NRM, Gomba)
Sarah Temulanda (NRM, Mpigi)
Mariam Nalubega (Independent, Butambala)
Richard Todwong (NRM, Nwoya)
Ruth Nankabirwa (NRM, Kiboga)

Ann Maria Nankabirwa (NRM, Kyankwanzi)
Rosemary Sseninde (NRM, Wakiso)
Chris Baryomunsi (NRM, Kinkiizi East)
Idah Nantaba (NRM, Kayunga)
Alex Ndeezi (NRM, PWDs)
Florence Nebanda (NRM, Butaleja)
Barbara Oundo (NRM, Busia district)

Ronah Ninsiima (Independent, Kabale)
Hariet Ntabazi (NRM, Bundibugyo)
Annet Nyakecho (NRM, Otuke)
Vicent Nyanzi (NRM, Busujju)
Sarah Mateke (NRM, Kisoro)
Peter Nnyombi (NRM, Nakasongola)

Jacob Oboth Oboth (Independent, West Budama South)
Denis Obua (NRM, Ajuri)
Peter Ogwang (NRM, youth representative)
Anthony Okello (NRM, Kioga)
Julius Oketta (UPDF)
Amos Okot (NRM, Agago)

Felix Ogong (NRM, Dokolo)
Sam Okuonzi (Independent, Vurra)
Huda Oleru (NRM, Yumbe)
Omara Geoffrey (NRM, Erute North)
Kenneth Obote (NRM, Kilaki)
Richards Opolot (NRM, Pallisa)

Okello Oryem (NRM, Chua)
Sam Otadaa (Independent, Kibanda)
Fredrick Ruhindi (NRM, Nakawa)
Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Municipality)
Mwesigwa Rukutana (NRM, Rushenyi)
Nelson Sabila (NRM, Kongasis)

Issac Ssejjoba (NRM, Bukoto Mid-West)
William Ssempala Mbuga (NRM, Nakaseke South)
Baker Ssali (NRM, Buikwe West)
Anthony Ssemmuli (NRM, Buwekula)
Vincent Ssempijja (Independent, Kalungu East)
Samuel Ssemugaba (NRM, Kiboga West)

John Ssimbwa (NRM, Makindye East)
Sylivia Namabidde (NRM, Mityana)
Sanjay Tanna (Independent, Tororo municipality)
Stephen Tashobya (NRM, Kajara)
Everline Chelangat (NRM, Bukwo)

Frank Tumwebaze (NRM, Kibale)
General Elly Tumwine (UPDF)
Mary Paula (NRM, Rubabo)
Jeremiah Twa-Twa (NRM, Iki-Iki)
Kyewalabye Majegere (NRM, Bunya East)
Ignatius Wamakuyu

Jacob Wangolo (NRM, Bunyore West)
Wilberforce Yaguma (NRM, Kashari)
Tom Aza (NRM, West Moyo)
Rose Akol (NRM, Bukedia)
Michael Ayepa (NRM, Labwor)
Mabel Bakeine (NRM, Bugangaizi East)

Fred Ebil (UPC, Kole)
Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe North)
Stephen Kangwagye (NRM, Bukanga)
Robert Ssebunya (NRM, Kyadondo North)
Kasiriivu Atwoki (NRM, Bugangaizi West)
Stephen Kagwera (NRM, Bukanga)

Hood Katuramu (NRM, PWD)
Yorakamu Katwiremu (NRM, Sheema South)
Lowila Oketayot (NRM, Pader)
Betty Mbabazi (NRM, Rubirizi)
Amos Mandera (NRM, Kooki)
Sezi Mbaguta (NRM, Rukungiri)
Mbogo Kezekia (Independent, Budaka

Jennifer Mujungu (Independent, Ntoroko)
Muruli Mukasa (NRM, Budyebo)
Irene Muloni (NRM, Bulambuli)
Rose Mutonyi (NRM, Bubulo West)
Patrick Mutono (NRM, Butebo)

Maria Mutagamba (NRM, Rakai)
Henry Musasizi (NRM, Rubanda East)
Sarah Mwebaza (NRM, Kibuku)
Agness Nabirye (NRM, Jinja)
Flavia Nabugere (NRM, Kaliro)

Jim Muhwezi (NRM, Rujumbura)
Rukia Nakadama (NRM, Mayuge)
Nalule Safia Jjuuko (NRM, PWDs)
Mary Tunde (Independent, Workers’ representative)
Stella Naome (NRM, Napak)
Carolyne Nannyondo (NRM, Kalangala)

Benny Namugwanya (NRM, Mubende)
Grace Namara (Independent, Lyantonde)
Wilson Nokrach (NRM, PWD)
Patrick Nsanja (Independent, Ntenjeru South)
Dorothy Nshaija (NRM, Kamwenge)
Rose Nyakikongoro (Independent, Sheema)

Zerubabel Nyiira (NRM, Kisoro)
Ochwa David (NRM, Agule)
Okello Anthony (NRM, Kioga)
Stanley Omwonya (NRM, Okoro)
Kenneth Omona (NRM, Kaberamaido)
Geoffrey Omara (NRM, Erute North)

Jim Oweyesigire (UPDF)
Bright Rwamirama (NRM, Isingiro)
Edward Ssekandi (NRM, Bukoto Central)
Lyndah Timbigamba (NRM, Kyenjojo)
Elioda Tumwesigye (NRM, Sheema North)
Fred Omach (NRM, Jonam)

Idi Isabirye (NRM, Bunya South)
Yahaya Gudoi (NRM, Bunghoko North)
Tophace Kaahwa (NRM, Hoima)
Sam Engola (Erute South)
Nyombi Thembo (NRM, Kassanda South)

Fox Odoi (Independent, West Budama North)
Innocent Oula (UPDF)
Deo Kiyingi (DP, Bukomansimbi)
Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum)
Betty Ocan (Gulu)
Kaps Fungaroo (Obongi)

OPPOSED

Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West)
Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kyadondo East)
Brenda Nabukenya (DP, Luweero)

William Nzoghu (FDC, Busongola North)
Joseph Ssewungu (DP, Kalungu West)
Betty Nambooze (DP, Mukono Municipality)

ABSTAINED
Reagan Okumu
walusimbideo@gmail.com

Source — Weekly Observer.


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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