Justice Simon Byabakama has pledged his Commission will deliver a credible, free and fair election process ahead of general elections in Uganda 2025/26.
Byabakama made the remarks at the swearing in ceremony for newly appointed EC commissioners today at the High Court in Kampala, following the renewal of his contract by president Yoweri Museveni last month.
All seven members of the Electoral Commission; Simon Byabakama (chairperson), Aisha Lubega, Stephen Tashobya, James Peter Emorut, Sallie Simba Kayunga, Caroline Beinamaryo and Anthony Okello were sworn in by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo for a new term of five years.
“First and foremost, with less than two years to elections, we want to pledge to Ugandans that we will do everything to ensure secure, free and fair elections. Secondly, I promise that we are going to work with all people regardless of their affiliations to make sure that the elections are peaceful, and elections do not create disharmony in the country” Byabakama said.
“I commit myself as chairman, together with all other commissioners, that we are servants of the people, and we are going to serve our country such that it moves forward without any disruption” He added.
Earlier, the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo raised concern over inadequate civic/voter education provided to Ugandans prior to elections, which undermines the credibility of the electoral process. Justice Byabakama appreciated the CJ saying that lack of funds to undertake certain activities has always been a challenge yet elections are an important factor for a stable and democratic country.
He however noted that a free and fair election process is a shared responsibility, and appealed to stakeholders including political actors, security agencies, the media and citizens to work together for credible, free and fair elections in 2026.
On fair and equitable access to the media by candidates as enshrined in the law, Byabakama admitted that there have been challenges but also reassured Ugandans that the commission will do it’s best to see that the law is implemented to provide a level ground for all.
As for the by-election for Dokolo Woman MP following the demise of Hon Cecilia Ogwal who passed on while the commission’s term of office had expired, Byabakama acknowledged the delays to organize the election but also affirmed that his commission will immediately embark on the process to ensure that the by-election in Dokolo is organized within the stipulated time as per the Parliamentary elections Act.