For Immediate Release: 13th January, 2016

THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Theme: “Working Together for Peaceful and Violence-Free 2016 Elections”

On the evening of 15th January 2016, Ugandans will gather at the Serena Conference Centre to witness the first ever Presidential Debate in the history of Uganda. The debate will be a joint platform for all Presidential candidates to share their vision and Manifestos to the people of Uganda.  It aims at providing a balanced space for all presidential candidates to sell their agenda to all Ugandans and to make a commitment to peaceful and violence-free 2016 general elections. The debate will include all the eight presidential candidates and be moderated by a team of media professionals.

The main objective of the debate is to demonstrate the collaborative efforts for an equal, tolerant, and harmonious society necessary for a peaceful elections in Uganda. Further, the debate will provide the public with a platform to engage their leaders on their political manifestos and vision for Uganda, thereby creating accountability on leadership as well as the public. It is our belief that tolerance for diverse views, exemplified through this debate, is an indicator for political maturity which is a cornerstone for sustainable development of Uganda.

Expected outputs and outcome

  1. Increased clarity on the manifestoes and visions as presented by the presidential candidates
  2. Increased sense of national unity and peaceful coexistence;
  3. A more enlightened electorate more focused on key issues than political ‘handouts’;
  4. Increased sense of tolerance, love and patriotism;
  5. Deepened democratic governance in Uganda.

Venue, Date and Time

The debate will be held on Friday 15th January 2016, at the Serena Conference Centre, in Kampala. The debate will last 3- 4 hours starting at 7:00pm to 12:00 midnight and the debate time is structured to be equally shared among the candidates.  .

Sponsorship

The Presidential Debate is funded by the United Nations Development Programme, on behalf of the United Nations in Uganda, under the Peace Architecture for Peace and Conflict Transformation Framework Project.

Organizers

The presidential debate is organized by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), The Elders’ Forum of Uganda (TEFU) and the National Consultative Forum (NCF).

Audience

The live audience at the debate will include political parties and independents, Civil Society, Religious leaders, Electoral observers, Academia, Private sector, Ambassadors, Government, Development partners, the UN family in Uganda, the East African Community, Cultural leaders, retired leaders, Electoral Commission, debate societies in selected secondary schools, representatives from University Students’ Guilds, representatives of persons with disability, business Community, women representatives, and youth representatives, trade unions, media and others.

Debate Topics

This debate will be themed on the economy, social service delivery, governance, peace and security. A second debate is envisaged to take place on the February 10, 2016, focusing on trade and investment, foreign policy, regional integration, currency and foreign reserves, population and demographic issues.

Moderation

The debate will be managed by a team of two experts, a Ugandan male and female namely Alan Kasujja and Nancy Kacungira currently working with BBC and KTN, Kenya, respectively. They will be supported by a team of research experts who will ensure quality control on the content. A code of conduct has been developed and shared with all candidates and their agents prior to the debate.

Procedure of the Presidential Debate

Each candidate shall be allocated specific time to make an opening and closing statements. Questions will not be shown to anyone in advance of the debate. Candidates shall be given specific time for answers and rebuttals.

Structure

The debate will be run on the principle of equity and equality, making care to give equal opportunity to all candidates to articulate their vision and views, and answer questions put to them.

We are confident that all candidates will show up for the debate and all Ugandans will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this debate.

Justice James Ogoola

Chairperson, Organizing Committee of the Presidential Debate-2016

Chairperson, The Elders’ Forum of Uganda (TEFU)

Joshua Kitakule

Secretary, Organizing Committee of the Presidential Debate-2016

Secretary General, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU)