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PWD Leaders Seek Change in Special Interest Groups Election Process

However, the Secretary for Masaka Disability Council John Bosco Lukwago argues that the process is marred by inconsistencies that do not provide a fair platform or even allow for equal participation of all persons with disabilities.
Some of the PWDs leaders of Masaka shortly after the meeting to forge way foward on challenges affecting their election process

Audio 3

Leaders of Persons with Disabilities in Masaka district are dissatisfied with the manner in which the elections of Special Interest Group representatives are conducted. They argue that the process is unfair to them. 

According to 2021 general elections roadmap, the Electoral Commission is currently conducting nominations for the election of councils for Special Interest Groups that include the Older Persons, Youth and Persons with Disability-PWD.

However, the Secretary for Masaka Disability Council John Bosco Lukwago argues that the process is marred by inconsistencies that do not provide a fair platform or even allow for equal participation of all persons with disabilities.

Lukwago, famously known as Nawandagala, explains that the election process of their councils is usually manipulated by the incumbent leaders who frustrate fair competition by either blocking the free flow of information or leveraging from mobility challenges of PWDs and the apparent low literacy levels amongst them.

//Cue in; (Luganda)“okwetabamu kw’abantu…  

Cue out…..toyinza kukimanya.”// 

Lukwago has asked the Electoral Commission to consider using appropriate channels of communication and facilitate the free flow of information among all persons with disabilities. 

He prefers that the commission adopts the use of community megaphones and independent civil society organizations as mobilization tools for Persons with disabilities as a way of enhancing their effective participation in the election process. 

//Cue in; (Luganda) “akakiiko k’ebyokulonda…

Cue out….tebategedde.”//   

Bruno Mugumya, the Masaka District Councilor for PWDs adds that the new electronic campaign mode as preferred by the Electoral Commission; to observe the COVID-19 guidelines will further disadvantage their candidates, due to the heavy cost implication.   

He argues that the PWDs will hardly meet the costs of securing airtime on the different media platforms to carry out their campaign, and asked the electoral commission to readjust and allow them to conduct town hall meetings.  

//Cue in; (Luganda) “embera eyo ejjakutunyigamu…  

Cue out….bwetunakuvaamu.”// 

Paul Bukenya, the Electoral Commission deputy spokesperson has asked the aggrieved leaders to use the official channels and notify the commission about their frustrations. He says that the Commission has established a national information and complaints desk to handle queries about the ongoing processes.