By Gilbert Akampa Kakurugu,
Mugisha Uthuman Mubaraka has been declared the winner of the by-election for District Chairperson in Hoima, after obtaining the largest number of votes, according to the Returning Officer, Kasande Merab.
Out of the 34,795 valid votes cast,the NRM candidate Uthman attained the highest number of votes with 18,353 followed by the independent candidate who garnered 12,020.
Aguuda Moses the NUP candidate did not perform as anticipated, he only ganered 3,972 votes followed by Musinguzi Patrick the FDC candidate who got 271 votes and lastly Mugume Lenox who was also an independent got only 179 votes.
The voting process concluded without major incidents, despite earlier anticipated tensions, however, there was generally low voter participation, which could have been due to the rainy weather disrupting the process.
The persistent low voter participation in Uganda’s elections needs to be addressed, with continuous assessment of barriers and developing targeted solutions, according to Crispin Kaheru, Commissioner of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).
He emphasized a multifaceted approach, such as ramped up efforts to educate and engage citizens, simplifying the voting process, combating any forms of voter suppression, and continuously building trust in elections through diverse means. Community leaders and influencers were also encouraged to promote voting, with the goal of increasing civic participation and addressing specific factors contributing to low turnout.
Reforming the electoral legislative and administrative frameworks may be necessary to implement these interventions, and addressing low voter turnout will have to be an ongoing effort that enlists collaboration among government institutions, civic organizations, and citizens themselves. Overall, it is essential to improve voter engagement and promote democracy in Uganda.