IEC boss Eng. Badru Kiggundu.

The Electoral Commission has warned against the creation of militia groups ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

The EC boss Eng Badru Kiggundu sounded the warning early today, in the wake of reports that a military officer and a politician are involved in the illegal recruitment of youths.

Over the past few weeks Major Roland Kakooza Mutale has been involved in the recruitment and training of youths under the Kalangala Action Plan (KAP), ostensibly to ‘protect’ President Yoweri Museveni’s votes in 2016.

Stories Continues after ad

Similarly, some time back the Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, also announced the formation of another ‘youth brigade’ code-named Truth and Justice, claiming it is to counter Mutale’s activities during elections.

But while launching a voter education module at Hotel Africana today morning, Kiggundu said enforcement of law and order is a preserve of the Uganda Police and that it is illegal for anyone to recruit militias.

Kiggundu said he would engage the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Police to ensure that such groups are disbanded and those responsible for their promotion prosecuted.

“I have been hearing about formation of youth brigades in the media but now that you have confirmed to me that they truly exist, I am going to engage the Police to ensure that this is handled once and for all,” Emg Kiggundu said at the launch of the 13th module on voter education that was prepared by UPIMAK in collaboration with (CECU).

In his remarks, the UPIMAC CEO Steven Nyabango said there was need for the different stakeholders to carry out voter and civic education in order to enable the citizens make correct decisions.

“As we go for party primaries, we want the people to choose the right leaders who can effectively represent them at different levels,” Mr Nyabango noted, while the Head of Programmes at Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) Ms Helen Mealins applauded UPIMAC for its role in ensuring voter education takes place throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the new National Identity Cards will be used in the coming elections, the EC has said.

“When you get the identity card, please keep it safely because currently there are no replacements and even it is made it will be at a cost,” Eng Kiggundu stressed and hastened to add that all Ugandans who registered will have the IDs by election time next year.

Mr Kiggundu also lauded the civil society organizations for partnering with the Electoral Commission to ensure voter education is carried out and also urged the media to be independent and accurate while covering the election process. He also warned against announcement of results without official clearance by the EC.

The 2016 presidential elections have caused excitement in the country, with many citing the entry of former Prime Minister and National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, into the race.

Similarly, the endorsement of NRM Chairman Yoweri Museveni by his party as ‘sole candidate’ and the return of former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) boss Col Dr Kizza Besigye has also excited some Ugandans, making the 2016 elections a highly contentious, unpredictable and electrifying poll.

Already, the political tempo has been put to test, with Dr Besigye taking on FDC President Maj Gen John Gregory Mugisha Muntu in a live television debate last night.

The first of its kind in Uganda, the debate saw the two former ‘Bush War’ comrades exhibit both tough and light emotions as they campaigned to become the FDC flag bearer, a position that will be determined this Wednesday.

+ posts