FIDDLING WITH ELECTIONS? Incumbent UNAA president Monday Atigo

“Uganda remains Uganda no matter where you find it!!!” one Muzeyi Vicent remarked about the upcoming Ugandan North American Association – UNAA presidential elections. This is after one of the candidates Daniel Kavuma suspended his campaigns citing irregularities, allegedly occasioned by the UNAA Electoral Commission and incumbent association president Monday Atigo.

“After receiving contradictory information from the UNAA Electoral Commission and consultation with my team and some supporters, I have made the decision to suspend my campaign for UNAA President immediately,” Kavuma announced yesterday.

“I will not legitimize a fraudulent election process unless we return to the regulations that were agreed upon at the beginning of the campaign,” he added.

Kavuma accuses the UNAA EC chairman Franco Wantsala of arriving at a decision to eliminate absentee voting just 30 days to the Election Day without consulting the concerned stakeholders, arguing that the decision was only intended to benefit his opponent.

“Some members of the UNAA EC are saying they were not present when such a vote was conducted and one member is in Uganda. Who is making the decisions in the UNAA EC? Many questions and not enough answers. This is not a sign of a free and fair election.”

Some Ugandans in the US supported Kavuma’s move. One such person is Herman Mawanda.

“The UNAA offices are virtual hence operated in “absentia”. The communication was done via email in “absentia” payments for membership and other fees have always been done via online in “absentia” The many from Uganda who have always wished to attend the UNAA conventions have paid for registration fees in. “Absentia” recently we discovered that the President was lobbying for funding at a restaurant at Twegaite by simply swiping the card meaning the emoney was applied in “absentia” of liquid cash. What is so complicated with members voting for their President in “absentia” when campaigns have also been done in “absentia” via social media” moreover the electoral commission indeed requested the candidates to present their campaign videos, another “absentia” technique,” Mawanda wondered.

Son Muhwezi: When a Ugandan lizard goes to America, it doesn’t turn into a crocodile. Ugandans remain Ugandans wherever they go.

Reacting to his opponent, the incumbent president Monday Atigo laughed off the allegations, saying: “In the famous words of former first lady Michelle Obama, ‘When they go low, we go high’. Leadership is more than cheap shots to gain political mileage. UNAA has travelled a long journey with substantial gains in the last 4 years. We simply have to continue building onto what we have started.”

Meanwhile, Kavuma’s protest has prompted Wantsala to come up with a hasty statement on the matter.

“Dear Members of UNAA Community, many of you have reached out to me reacting to the Press Release regarding our voting process that was sent out from UNAA Electoral Commission last night. The UNAAEC position is that this document was still being reviewed and pending input from all stakeholders including candidates before it could be shared with the public. It’s easy to say that this document was sent out prematurely, and as the chairman of the UNAAEC, I apologize for any inconveniences it may have caused,” reads part of the statement issued yesterday.

The UNAA presidential elections are to be held during this year’s UNAA convention scheduled to take place between September 1-5 in Miami.

Founded in 1988, UNAA is the oldest and largest Ugandan diaspora organization. But following a conflict within the organization, a faction broke away to form a parallel organization, the UNAA Causes.