EC Clears Air On MPs Controversy Over Maiden Names

  • by Mary Ociiti
  • September 18, 2020

Legislators are concerned over the Electoral Commission’s position not to nominate candidates whose names do not reflect what is on their academic documents.

Speaking on a matter on national importance, Soroti District Woman MP, Hon Angelline Osegge said that the electoral body will not consider candidates whose names are different from those on the academic documents.

Osegge says that the Electoral Commission is relying on a High Court case between former Kibanda North MP, Hon Sam Otada and the current area MP Taban Idi Amin.

“They are quoting the Court of Appeal which nullified the election of Taban Idi Amin because his academic qualifications were at variance with his national identity which has Taban Idi Amin Tempo. The EC is considering to nullify the elections of women who acquire their husband’s names after marriage,” Osegge said.

Osegge said that the move is going to cause confusion among the intending candidates.

“My plea is, you implore the Electoral Commission to explain or declare the position of the law and to help all intending candidates to know what is expected,” she added.

Bugiri Municipality MP, Hon Asuman Basalirwa said that while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the issue was brought to the attention of the EC but he had that there was no uniform position on the matter.

“Whereas they are quoting the Otada case, there is a case I argued up to the Court of Appeal involving Hon. Cissy Namujju. She also had different names, I won the case in Masaka High Court and I lost it in the Court of Appeal over the differences in names,” Baslirwa said.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who chaired the House on Tuesday, 15 September 2020 said that Minister for Justice should present a position on the matter.

“The matter is very important and not based on the law. The people who change names are the women when they marry. This is actually targeting the women in this election,” Kadaga said.

Nominations for parliamentary candidates for the 2021 general election is set to take place between 12 to 14 October 2020.