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EC to Crackdown on Presidential Candidates Making Donations During Campaign Period

According to the Electoral Commission, the Presidential Elections Act (Amendment 2020) clearly prohibits candidates from donate to voters during campaign time. The amendment arose from the Supreme Court's command to ensure that even the incumbent president does not make donations during campaign time under the guise of conducting presidential activities.
Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni in Luweero

Audio 5



The Electoral Commission -EC act on presidential candidates making donations in the ongoing election campaigns.

According to the Commission, the President Elections Act (amendment 2020) is very clear about candidates not to donate to their electorate during campaign time. 

Paul Bukenya, EC Acting Media and Public Relations manager says they are going to issue a statement on the donations as the the law stipulates in line with the 2020/2021 campaigns. 

\\ Cue in “the law is…

Cue out …is coming out.”//  

This comes as some presidential candidates accuse incumbent National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni of donating to people during 2021 election electoral campaign, an accusation government spokesman Ofwono Opondo dismisses saying whatever the president is giving out is in fulfilment of old pledges.

Among other the president's recently fulfilled are 10 heifer cows that were handed to women in Budaka, 150 million shillings to Ikwera Girls secondary school in Kwania district and a double cabin pick-up vehicle for Catholic Women Guild in Lango.

Nancy Linda Kalembe, an Independent presidential candidate says the donations are illegally given out because of the moral decadence of the current government, that even with the laws in place, the structures in Uganda favor an incumbent presidential candidate.   Kalembe, says that despite running an unfair race in the presidential campaigns the 14th January 2020 results will determine who emerges winner. 

 

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24 – year – old John Katumba, another Independent presidential candidate says it is time for Ugandans to solve the issues affecting them because of the current government, with the help of a problem solver. Katumba says he needs Ugandans to work along with when things have  to get back to the basics solving issues like corruption, embezzlement and donations in the campaigns. 

 

\\ Cue in “all along when…

Cue out …to work with me.”// 

Willy Mayambala, another Independent presidential candidate says the incumbent NRM candidate Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni should be disqualified for his illegal campaign acts if at all the EC is independent. 

\\ Cue in “his giving out…

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But Ofwono Opondo, the Government spokesperson says the NRM candidate as an incumbent is fulfilling previous pledges he promised his electorate.   

\\ Cue in “for he is fulfilling…

Cue out …making new donations.”//   

The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Act 2020 was amended in section 64(9) of the 2005 Act by deleting from what constitute fundraising “donations given by the President” in his official capacity. This amendment is to be understood in the context of prohibition of presidential candidates (or their agents) carrying out fundraising and giving donations during the campaign period (under section 64(7)) and its categorization as an illegal practice (under section 64(8)). 

It is partly a response to the seventh recommendation of the Supreme Court in Mbabazi v. Museveni case, where the Court observed that the President may, in course of official duties give donations, even during campaign period and the supreme court recommended the prohibition of donations by all candidates, including an incumbent President, so as to create a level playing field for all. 

11 presidential candidates are contesting to become resident after the 14 January 2021 elections.  THey are incumbent Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni (National Resistance Movement), Patrick Oboi Amuriat (FDC), Norbert Mao (Democratic Party), Maj. Gen (rtd) Gregg Mugisha Muntu (Alliance for National Transformation), Independents Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde, Fred Mwesigye, Joseph Kabuleta, John Katumba, Nancy Linda Kalembe, Willy Mayambala and National Unity Platform's  Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. They were nominated on 2rd and 3rd  November, 2020 to contest in the 2021 presidential elections, whose campaigns started this week, to run for  65 days.