Here is the full message from the chairperson.
“My fellow students and activists for positive change, I must say am privileged and honored for the opportunity that I was given to serve in the position of chairperson electoral commission. The entire commission members went through thick and thin, from the time of their appointment, to approval and even during the execution of their duties but non the less, as commissioners we stood strong and fought battles for one another.
Justice does not segregate and it must always prevail under all circumstances. In this, I mean to say that it did not spare Mr. Ntambazi Imran who failed to meet the minimum requirements for the electoral commission due the undying involvement of some administrators in the students’ politics and I thank so much candidate Ntambazi for fighting for his right which had been denied.
I must also say that the electoral commission of 2019 was the best commission ever in the history of elections in Gulu University. Nominations were done in accordance with the principles in the constitution and election rules and regulation, several radio talk shows were held for candidates to the extent that one was quoted saying, “When is the Radio talk show ending, am tired of being asked hard questions”.
During campaigns, candidates were allowed to employ any tactic for their campaigns without interference. The voters register was displayed three times and complaints which arose from it where solved, in that missing names were included with proof and no name was deleted from the register. All candidates were given copies of all the three displays of the voters register.
On the day of voting, ballots were verified by all candidates, candidates’ agents were allowed to observe elections in all the polling stations upon presenting their introductory letter from their candidate stamped by the electoral commission and their identity verified. Presiding officers of all the Ten (10) polling stations were provided with result declaration forms which upon filling, were given to the agents of all candidates, one to police and one kept by the presiding officer and submitted to the tallying center for the overall declaration of results.
Despite shortages of ballot papers, especially for guild president in one or two polling stations out of 10 polling statios in the last 15 minutes of election, the entire process of the election was free and fair in that those who did not have voting requirements (University I.D or Admission letter with Registration card or log in students portal) were not allowed to vote.
Those who did not appear in all the displays of the voters’ register, including the one on voting day were also not allowed to vote, no name disappeared from the voters register, Less than 1% of voters were affected by the ballot shortage and this could not overturn the results and more so all presidential candidates agreed that the cast ballots be counted, tallied, and the winner declared.
The main cause of printing fewer ballots by the returning officer was just due to the budget shifts he made because the election budget was not funded effectively. His arrest was for safe custody but some opportunists saw it as an opportunity to bring him down due to their previous encounters. You can imagine that even after the elections, the office of the dean of students claimed not to be having money for the commissioners until when they demanded for what belongs to them on Thursday 18th April 2019 and were paid. Commissioners are yet to fight again for extra pay for the extension of election by one week from the dean of students’ office.”