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UNAA Electoral Commission | Declares Mr. Daniel Busuulwa Kawuma duly elected in the UNAA Repeat Elections held on February 9th

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Posted February 14, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in UNAA EC REPEAT ELECTION RESULTS ~ 1,511 views

     

Ugandan Diaspora News today received the results of the repeat UNAA Elections held online between February 9th and 12th 2018. A total of 373 ballots were sent via email and the number of votes cast were 217 in total. Mr. Busulwa received a total of 181 votes while Mr. Atigo got 33 votes. The position for South Pacific II was unopposed there by having Mr. Alex Semwanga duly elected.  Below is the full report of the election results and the background to the the petition that led to the repeat elections as presented by the EC Chairman. If and whether the UNAA fraternity will embrace these results is constant only time will tell. Whatever side of the divide we fall lets strive to make UNAA great again!!

February 13th, 2018

To: Ugandan North American Association Members and Community
From: UNAA Electoral Commission

Subject: Official 2017 Repeat Election Results

The UNAA Electoral Commission (EC) appreciates the UNAA Board of Trustees, UNAA Executive, UNAA Council, and UNAA members for the opportunity and trust bestowed upon us as we conducted the repeat election for the positions of UNAA President and UNAA South Pacific II Region Representative.

We especially want to thank the candidates and all members of the association who worked with the EC to ensure that the election is conducted smoothly and fairly. Your participation contributed immensely to the success of this election and we hope that your faith in the dignity and integrity of UNAA’s electoral process will continue.

This election was conducted solely online and based on the participation and feedback, we are pleased to note that this is a historic and monumental achievement for UNAA as we move towards enhancing and modernizing our electoral process.

The official results from the repeat election are tabulated as follows:

Members and Voters:

Total number of ballots sent: – 373
Total number of ballots cast: – 217

POSITION: PRESIDENT: NUMBER OF VOTES: WINNER:
1. DR. BUSUULWA DANIEL KAWUMA 181 DR. BUSUULWA DANIEL KAWUMA
2. MR. MONDAY S. ATIGO 33

POSITION: SOUTH PACIFIC II REP: NUMBER OF VOTES: WINNER:
1. MR. ALEX SEMWANGA — UNOPPOSED MR. ALEX SEMWANGA

In the powers vested in me as the chairman of UNAAEC, I would like to congratulate and declare Dr. Busuulwa Daniel Kawuma and Mr. Alex Semwanga as the validly elected UNAA President and UNAA South Pacific II region representative, respectively.

Approved and Signed By:

francomwantsala
Franco Mukhwana Wantsala
Chairman, UNAA Electoral Commission

ELECTORAL COMMISSION TEAM
Chairman Mr. Franco M. Wantsala
Vice Chairman Dr. David Irakiza. PhD
Commissioner Prof. Johnson Makoba. PhD
Commissioner Mr. Peter Matovu
Commissioner Mr. Joseph A. Kazinduka (Although he abstained from the process, he agrees to the release of the results)


Background to the Repeat Election 2018

The special election was sanctioned and endorsed by UNAA Board of Trustees in their November 12th, 2017 directive to UNAA Electoral Commission. The directive for repeat election came as a result of a Petition filed by Dr. Daniel Kawuma who was one of the contestants for UNAA Presidency in Miami elections 2017.

Dr. Kawuma petitioned UNAA Electoral Commission challenging the validity of the voters register, a register of 594 UNAA members that was used for voting in Miami election, and where 358 members voted and gave Mr. Atigo a win.

Upon receiving Dr. Kawuma’s petition, UNAA EC members held a meeting and reviewed the content of his petition and they concluded that as far as the Electoral Commission was concerned, there was nothing new that they could do about it, and for that reason, they referred the petition to UNAA Board of Trustees for further investigation in the matter as per the constitution.

The UNAA Board of Trustees investigated it and wrote back to UNAA EC and to the UNAA Executive about their findings where they requested the UNAA Executive to provide evidence for over 110 UNAA members who voted in Miami election without proof of membership payment.

Since the UNAA executive did not provide proof of those members’ membership payment, and neither did they challenge the findings, UNAA Board of Trustees wrote back to UNAA Electoral Commission stating that those 110 listed members voted in Miami Election but were not members in good standing and could have influenced the election results, and as such, they directed that EC conducts repeat election for the positions of Presidency and UNAA South Pacific II Representative. The two positions were singled out because of the slim margin difference in the votes of UNAA presidency that was only 23, where Mr. Atigo got 189 votes and Dr. Kawuma got 166 votes respectively, and 3 for UNAA South Pacific Region, where Mr. Alex Semwanga got 44 votes and Mr. David Kabukuru got 41 votes, so 110 unpaid voters could have impacted the results. Otherwise, the rest of the positions in were unopposed.

Challenges:

Upon receiving that directive, the UNAA Electoral commission of the then 15 members on the commission became divided on whether to implement the directive or not. Several meetings were held and most members decided that the fresh election should be held in Seattle at the AGM while others took to it that the constitution does not give the EC an option of where to hold a special election of this nature. Secondly, their unilateral decision was made without interfacing with the Petitioner and other affected parties. In this process, the secretary of the EC became erratic and as a consequence he was fired by the Board of Trustees for misconduct during meetings with stakeholders, so he is no longer a member of UNAA EC and does not speak for the Electoral Commission anymore.

The 14 members who remained were still divided up to the run up of the repeat election where 2 of the EC members abstained, 7 were opposed and did not participate in the process, the rest decided to carried out the election as directed by the BOT.

New Process:

Unlike the last register that was used in Miami where two member lists were used, one from the Executive secretary with 781 names and the other from the Executive Treasurer with 426 names, the one used in Repeat Election was signed off by both the Executive treasurer to affirm payment of members in good standing and eligible to vote, and the BOT to affirm its validity and accuracy.

Voting System:

The system used for voting was first used in Miami elections where both options of Onsite voting and online voting were carried out successfully. The System is ELECTIONBUDDY and can be accessed at Electionbuddy.com.

How the Voting was done:

Each voter was assigned and emailed a unique identifier that they used to access their ballots and cast their votes. Each ballot cannot be re-used once a vote has been cast or once an identifier is shared on more than one devise (e.g. through an email forward), that associated ballot becomes invalid, and also no email can be used for more than one ballot.

Why the Repeat Election is different from that of Miami:

  1. This time EC was given an ample time to thoroughly verify and scrutinize the documents that were given to the commission to make sure such irregularities that happened in Miami don’t happen again. It’s by this scrutiny that EC found out that Mr. David Kabukuru who was a contestant for UNAA South Pacific II was not a member in good standing during Miami election. He was therefore disqualified from the repeat election after EC communication to him and where he acknowledging the oversight.
  2. To ensure confidence in this process, the voters’ register was signed off by both the Executive treasurer and the Board of Trustees
  3. Voters’ register was first sent out in a draft form to all UNAA membership to ensure that all members in good standing were indeed included and no one was left out.
  4. Guidelines were also sent out asking for documents such as government IDs and personal utility bill for proof of North America residence.
  5. Final clean register of 377 members in good standing was send out to all eligible voters at least a week in advance as opposed to one day display of a partial register in Miami
  6. EC members got 373 voters’ documents and so 373 ballots were email to their respective emails for voting, and out of 373, 217 or 58% voted in repeat election where Dr. Kawuma got 181 votes, Mr. Atigo got 33 votes, and Alex Semwanga was unopposed for UNAA South Pacific II Regional Representative.

What Next:

The UNAA Board of Trustees will be informing the next step as far as adopting the results is concerned. Otherwise, it has been an interesting process that has had UNAA steadily and surely taking on tough questions or issues, one at a time. EC’s work is to protect the integrity and fairness in the electoral process, but not against or for anybody or party. EC is encouraged that members came out in big numbers to vote and made a statement seeking accountability, but against any sort of fraud and irregularities if any in UNAA.

Sincerely,

Franco M. Wantsala, Chairman – UNAA Electoral Commission

Disclaimer — As a diaspora news blog we shall CONTINUE to bring you the developments as they unfold please note that the press release above in its entirety was supplied by the UNAA -EC.


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.

2 Comments


  1.  

    “The 14 members who remained were still divided up to the run up of the repeat election where 2 of the EC members abstained, 7 were opposed and did not participate in the process, the rest decided to carried out the election as directed by the BOT.” – Chairman UNAA EC- Frank Wantsala.

    That statement above is a sad quote for the event that took place at the Hilton Hotel. Why didnt the aggrieved sides agree on full interpretation of the UNAA by- laws on the nature of the repeat voting per se?

    It now appears that the Electoral commission wasn’t fully constituted with such adquancy that its actions would survive any future contestations. Since a failure to respect the actual interpretation of by law definition of an eligible voter gave rise to the repeat election, why won’t lack of a fully constituted EC not ignite another stormy appeal to reverse everything to square one?





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