Friday, 7 February 2014
THE WISH FOR AN INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION IS NECESSARY BUT NO SUFFICIENT CONDITION
The Uganda opposition is looking to various changes prior to the 2016 General Elections; among these, an Independent Electoral Commission. To those proposing these changes, it is as if an independent commission can do miracles. The truth is different. The people who fix things in the electoral commission are relatively junior people who enter data that commissioners may never know about. This is so, not only for the electoral commission but also in UNEB and UBOS. These areas need a fundamental approach. Merely changing Board leadership is not enough. When you look at schools, the results for a number of ‘the best’ don’t reflect what is expected in actual life free of cheating. One time, I was told by a highly placed person at a level of a Principal Officer in Government that one of these schools that has got a boom due to strategies used prior to students sitting for finals; it so happened that they received a final paper whose questions were different from what had been leaked. What the school did was to put in 30 minutes explaining to students how to go about it! No body ever caught them! This is just part of the rot we have to go on with for so long until the people get sense in their heads that things should be done the right way.
In conclusion, it is good to get an independent electoral commission, but be sure that someone is still capable of influencing the final results by using the ‘junior cadres’ who actually enter the figures and your independent commission will still not deliver to the expectation.