Uganda opposition forms joint tallying centre for Jan 14 poll

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye pose for a photo on May 3, 2019 in Magere, Wakiso District, in Uganda. PHOTO | COURTESY

Opposition political parties and independent presidential candidates have agreed to form a joint tallying centre to compute results in the January 14 General Election.

They, however, declined to reveal where the tally centre will be stationed or how it would work.

The opposition forces are the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), National Unity Platform, Justice Forum (Jeema), Democratic Party, Alliance for National and Transformation, Lt Gen (retired) Henry Tumukunde’s Renewed Uganda platform and Dr Kizza Besigye’s People’s Government.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday at Hotel Africana in Kampala,  the opposition teams resolved to use technology and party structures to collect and relay results from polling stations across the country.

Technology and resources

“To set up a joint oversight platform, use joint technology and resources to ensure vote protection and transparent tallying process across the country. In so doing, all agents, task teams and voters shall be encouraged to use their mobile phones and other related technology during polling and tallying processes to facilitate information gathering in this regard,” the statement reads in part.

Daily Monitor was unable to speak to the Electoral Commission on the matter.

The National Resistance Movement recently said they would have their private tallying centre in Kampala.

Dr Besigye, who was the first to sign on the statement, warned that there would be a lot of work to be done if results are to be realised.

Burn candles in the night

“What we are doing now should have been done long before. I think we must burn candles in the night to realise what we intend to have. Where is the time? We are talking about 145 districts and that is a gigantic task that needs a lot of resources and effort,” Dr Besigye said.

“My worry is that we still appear to be contented with what we are doing individually. The effort and task is huge. There are huge challenges in places like Karamoja and the cattle corridor that have people with illegal arms. Getting a DR [Declaration of Results] forms from Karamoja is a huge task,” he added.

The chief convener and leader of the coalition, Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, condemned the heavy involvement of the army in politics.

“You are holding Uganda in your hands and representing powerful forces to make Uganda progressive, comfortable and safe for all Ugandans now and in the future,” Dr Ssemogerere said.

On December 16 last year, the opposition through their representatives resolved to, among others, accord President Museveni an honourable retirement and also have a peaceful transition of power.

They also agreed to uphold constitutionalism and democratic process.