CCEDU’s Kaheru Scoops AU Top Job

By Venenscias Kiiza

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) H.E Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has nominated the Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) coordinator Crispin Kaheru to form part of the expert election mission to Ghana in the upcoming general elections scheduled for December 7 2016.

“The Chairperson of the Commission would like you to be part of the said mission,” a letter from the AUC dated October 3rd, 2016 to Kaheru, reads in part.

Kaheru together with experts from other 14 African countries were scheduled to land in Ghana On Tuesday this week.

There are a total of 14 experts drawn from: Kenya, South Sudan, Zambia, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

Reacting to his appointment, Kaheru said this is a sign of confidence by the continental body in the capabilities and passion of Ugandan expertise towards the advancement of democracy and good governance.

“This is a clear testament that individuals and institutions in our country that are committed to the advancement of democratic practices are being recognized and affirmed by local and international bodies in their own right,” Kaheru said.

Part of the team’s assignment is to meet with relevant stakeholders including election authorities, political parties, government representatives, civil society and security agencies to assess and report on the pre-election political environment and all aspects of the electoral process for and on behalf of the AU.

The experts will also assess, and report on the effectiveness and impartiality of the election administration during the pre-election period, on polling day, and in the days following the Ghana election.

Kaheru has previously handled various sensitive election-related assignments on behalf of the AU; in Egypt (2014), Namibia (2014), and Lesotho (2015). This is in addition to managing various local and international election assignments in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the U.S and Europe.

During the December polls, Ghana will elect the president and 275 members of parliament.  The Presidential race has so far attracted four (4) candidates including: Mr. Ivor Greenstreet (Convention People’s Party); Mr. John Dramani Mahama (National Democratic Congress/current president); Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo (New Patriotic Party/main opposition leader); and Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah (Independent candidate).

Kaheru’s appointment comes at the heels of the recently released survey, where majority members of the 10th parliament are strongly against the elimination of age limits for presidential candidates.