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Post Election Analysis | UNAA’s Free and Fairly Fraudulent Elections – By Daniel Kawuma

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Posted September 23, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 996 views

     

By Daniel Kawuma — After the announcement of the election results in Miami, as a candidate for UNAA President, my responsibility was to honor the will of the people and shake the hands of my opponent. That is the script I intended to follow no matter the election outcome but as the Chairman of the Electoral commission continued to read the numbers, it became clear that something wasn’t right. Mr. Franco Wantsala the E.C Chair announced that the election was conducted from a voter list of 594 members but the published list of registered members prior to the election had 400 members. The first question on my mind was where the extra 194 eligible voters came from.

In early august, I received numerous messages from community members who stated that they were given free membership registration offer. All they had to do was forward their demographic information to the UNAA Executive Secretary. Armed with this evidence, I submitted a petition to the UNAA E.C on August 7th asking them to review the voter register to make sure every registered member had supporting proof of payment.

Following the registration deadline, the UNAA Executive Secretary Mr. Peter Mukunya submitted a list of 800 registered members to the E.C. UNAA treasurer Mr. Arthur Nantamu was requested to conduct an audit verifying that all the individuals on the submitted list had proof of membership payment. The audit found 300 names that had been fraudulently added to UNAA’s membership database. UNAA director of finance Mr. Kimbugwe had acquired a list of community members from Dallas, California and Seattle and manually added them as eligible voters without membership money being deposited in UNAA’s bank account.

Manipulation of the voter register violated UNAA’s constitution, election bylaws and Section 7-302 of Maryland’s Criminal law where this fraud was committed. Use of a computer in a scheme to commit fraud, exceeding the scope of the user’s authorization and improper use to modify UNAA membership data in quickbooks. I was assured by the UNAA Board of Trustees and Electoral Commission prior to the elections that the voter register will be cleared of all fraudulent names. The Director of finance and Candidate for UNAA treasurer Mr. Kimbugwe was asked to resign after these revelations. In a statement to the membership on Sept 20th, the Chairman of the UNAA BoT stated that: “Mr. Kimbugwe’s actions resulted in: a) some UNAA-affiliated persons receiving Quickbooks Receipts from UNAA without proof of deposits or actually depositing funds in UNAA Accounts, b) this also increased the numbers of potentially “eligible” voters, and c) this also potentially caused financial loss to UNAA as an organization.” — Dr. Joseph Buwembo Chairman UNAABoT

Hours after the polls were closed, my election observers indicated that individuals whose names were not on the voter register were allowed to vote if they presented a quickbooks membership receipt. It’s important to note that the membership receipt alone doesn’t prove that one actually paid. The 300 members that were fraudulently added to the register by the Director of Finance also had receipts. When these concerns were raised, the UNAA E.C stated that they had multiple voter lists that were incomplete. The UNAA treasurer Mr. Arthur Nantamu who was tasked with auditing the fraudulent voter register confirmed that he emailed the final copy of eligible voters to the UNAA. E.C which they allegedly never received. One can only wonder how the E.C can conduct an election without a certified voter list.

The above cluster confusion and failure by the UNAA Electoral Commission to execute their mandated task explains why there it’s still a mystery if all voters were UNAA members in good standing. The UNAA. E.C published a list of 400 voters on September 2nd to the public, they added voters to that list on election day and upto now have failed to produce the register they used of get 594 members. The Secretary of the UNAA. E.C Mr. Peter Simbi released a statement on Sept 12th asserting that: “Voting lists are only for viewing and cannot be sent out to the membership or former candidates, including the petitioner. Anyone who wants to see the lists, including the petitioner, should come in person to the BOT Chair or the EC Chair.”— Mr.Peter Simbi (UNAA E.C Secretary)

The petition is currently in the hands of the UNAA Board of Trustees who find themselves doing the work that had to be done prior to the election. On sept 18th the Chairman of the UNAA BoT wrote to me asking for more time: “As you know the BOT received the information from the UNAA Electoral commission on Tuesday September 12 2017. The BOT is busy with the verification process of all individuals who voted as to whether they are members in good standing. This process will take some time. We shall report to you as soon as we complete the task.” – Dr. Buwembo (Chairman UNAA BoT)

They UNAABoT is tasked with verifying if all voters were paid up members. This implies that we had an election where members of the Executive fraudulently added 300 voters violating UNAA and State laws, by adding members to the published voter register – the UNAA E.C went beyond their constitutional mandate by determining who was a member in good standing, election observers were dismissed during vote counting and tabulation and the UNAA BoT has confirmed that the election was conducted without knowing if all the voters were paid up members.

In Spite of the above major irregularities, the Secretary of the UNAA E.C in response to the petition had the courage to state that “the EC conducted the elections as planned and would like to declare that the elections were free and fair.” Electoral Commission mistakes and incompetence undermine the credibility of our elections and should never be swept under the rug. Our members will not tolerate election fraud being normalized in UNAA and I will go the extra mile if necessary to get to the bottom of what happened. When organized greed takes advantage of disorganized democracy in UNAA, the solution is to rebuild our institutions.

Sincerely,
Dr. Busuulwa Daniel Kawuma
Email: busuu001@gmail.com


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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