The photo taken by Daily Monitor photojournalist and posted on social media yesterday, two days after President Museveni named Joyce Ssebuggwawo as State Minister for Information clearly show that the then acting FDC President pointed her pen on the lower end of the ballot while FDC candidate Amuriat was the first on the ballot.
photo that seems to indicate that Joyce Ssebuggwawo, the Forum for Democratic
Change -FDC Buganda vice president who was acting party president during
campaign and election period never voted for her party presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat, has stirred a flurry of questions around protection of the secrecy of the ballot.
photo taken by Daily Monitor
photojournalist and posted on social media yesterday, two days after President
Museveni named Ssebuggwawo as State Minister for Information clearly
show that she pointed her pen on the lower end of the ballot while FDC
candidate Amuriat was the first on the ballot. Because of the large number of candidates, 11 in number, it was rather easy to tell if a voter had picked the candidate on top or at the bottom of the long ballot paper.
are a number of issues that the photo raises. First, the photo could be open to
interpretation: for instance, what if Ssebuggwawo was just moving around
the pen and later moved up and ticked Amuriat?
Second, there was breach of her
privacy by the journalist.
Third, she herself was not extra careful to guard her
Fourth, to what extent can voting using a basin as a booth as Ugandans
have been doing guarantee privacy? And most importantly, how to apportion the
blame of negligence.
Kaheru, an independent elections observer says the blames goes to all parties:
the photographer who was unethical in breaching a voter’s privacy, the voter
who was not extra cautious and elections manager who did not ensure strict
implementation of privacy guidelines. The Electoral Commission, Kaheru says need to
think about moving from voting in basins to voting in booths that offer total
in: “voters must be…
out:…as a country.”//
Bogere of Uganda Project Implementation and Management Centre (UPIMAC), an
organization that conducts voter education thinks the blame goes to the voter
and the polling assistants at the polling station who did not implement
guidelines on protecting privacy that had been issued by the Electoral Commission.
a two-way responsibility. It’s a responsibility of the voter, who is in the
booth and those who are outside to allow you exercise your right to privacy. Because
the other party (EC) put in place parameters to ensure privacy and you (voter
and those around polling station) did not implement them.”
Electoral Commission Spokesperson Paul Bukenya says they put
in place mechanisms to guarantee privacy by banning cameras and recorders
inside polling stations. But Bukenya declined to comment on the photo saying he
hasn’t confirmed its authenticity. He also declined to comment on what will be
the implication of this privacy breach in the coming elections.
//Cue in: “we guided on…
Cue out:…at the moment.”//
photo has triggered debate, as some FDC supporters question loyalty within the
party given that Museveni recently said he started talking to some people
within the Forum for Democratic Change, FDC, which before the January 14, 2021
general election, was the biggest opposition party in parliament.
Muhinda who is Personal Assistant of Dr. Kizza Besigye, FDC founding president
and four-time presidential candidate seemed to indicate the photo had already
circulated within the FDC inner circle. “Out of anger, someone told me
recently he would release this photo showing acting FDC president not voting
FDC presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat during presidential election,”
Muhinda posted on Facebook yesterday.
Muhida added; “I tried to plead with him not to cause the
embarrassment and he said 'that woman must be exposed. I know how complicated
politics is. While I already knew the Acting FDC President had not voted the FDC
Presidential Candidate, I knew if released it would cause embarrassment.”
The party President Amuriat in a statement confirming that
Ssebugwawo has accepted Museveni appointment and consequently cease to be a party
vice president and party member appealed to friends to desist “from unnecessary
attacks on the person of Owek. Joyce Naboosa Ssebugwawo as this does not add
any value to our political mission and is not in our culture as FDC.”
Joyce Ssebugwawo herself now finds herself in a Catch 22 situation; to deny the said voting or not to deny it! If she denies it would mean she is ashamed of her new camp. If she accepts it would be admission of treachery, seeing as she was such a senior member of the party, actually its topmost official during the time of voting.