Uganda News

Justice Forum to hold grass root elections

The Justice Forum-JEEMA says it will have regional grass root structure tours in October that will climax with elections to elect new leaders in those structures before end of this year.

The Justice Forum-JEEMA says it will have regional grass root structure tours in October that will climax with elections to elect new leaders in those structures before end of this year.

In an interview with URN on Thursday, JEEMA Secretary General Muhammad Kateregga said that after grass root elections, the party structures will be fully constituted for the National Delegates Conference planned for 2023.

Kateregga said the National Council held last year extended the mandate of the current leadership for two years after failing to hold the National Delegates Conference due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The party has also set up a constitutional review commission to amend some provisions in the party constitution, which some members say deprive them rights to compete for some positions. For instance, the party secretary general being chosen by the party president. Such positions whose holders are appointed by party president will be up for competitive election.

Muhammad Kateregga said the party will front him as a candidate for East African Legislative Assembly-EALA, and he is confident that other opposition parties and the ruling National Resistance Movement will support his candidature.

Regarding 2021 general elections, Kateregga says that they had hoped to reap big from the previous elections. The party fielded 19 candidates on different parliamentary seats but managed to win only one, that is Bugiri Municipality by the party president Asuman Basalirwa.

Kateregga says that in 2021 elections, they performed better compared to 2016 general elections, though they were disadvantaged by commercialized politics.

JEEMA also blames their poor performance on the National Unity Platform-NUP wave that swept across mainly in Buganda where they had fielded many candidates.

Kateregga told URN that they tried to sign a memorandum of understanding with NUP to be reserved some positions, but they were tossed on several occasions.

Kateregga thinks that NUP betrayed them yet they were part of the initial stages of the party when it was still people power pressure group.

JEEMA however managed to win one district youth chairperson seat in Bukomansimbi, won by Ssuuna Samuel and 12 councilors in different councils around the country.

In an interview with URN, Ssuuna Samuel says that to win, his competitor was ruled out of the race by court in Kampala on grounds that he had changed his National Identity Card illegally.

This was to reflect that he was below 30 years as required by the law to contest on the local council youth position, yet he was 34 years old. Ssuuna thereafter emerged victorious unopposed.

Unlike NUP, JEEMA will continue being part of the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) if the new memorandum of understanding favors them.

Kateregga reasons that dialogue is a process, not a one-day event, and he hopes that the organization can deliver something good to Ugandans and political parties anytime.

He has challenged NUP also to quit parliament too, since it also looks like a forum for getting money, that nothing fundamental can be got from parliament.

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