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Chaos Stall Election of Arua City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leadership

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The slated election for the leadership of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Arua City, scheduled for November 1, 2023, collapsed amidst controversy and disputes.

The election was derailed due to a disagreement over the composition of the chamber members who also acted as voters.

The contention arose between the factions supporting chairpersonship contenders, Dr. Ronald Debo and Trinity Caesar Draecabo, who engaged in heated debates regarding the legitimacy of the members enlisted as eligible voters.

Jobel Ayiko, the Acting Arua City Commercial Officer and also the Ayivu Division Commercial Officer, cautioned that proceeding with the elections would potentially lead to legal repercussions due to the failure to adhere to required procedures.

Ayiko expressed, “This election may face legal consequences due to its failure to meet technical requirements. Other members might be deemed unqualified because they did not meet the necessary criteria. Moreover, I haven’t been adequately prepared by the headquarters to oversee these elections.”

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Consequently, the team from the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, arriving from Kampala, had no choice but to postpone the election to a later date due to the impasse.

However, Dr. Debo disapproved of the decision to postpone the election, regarding it as an unfortunate development.

He emphasized, “I am not in favor of chaos. We are aspiring to serve the business community. The Chamber’s primary objective is to promote and protect businesses and entrepreneurs against adverse policies and other challenges. It is not for personal gain but for the betterment of the business community and to combat poverty.”

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Dr. Debo further stressed the importance of unity over tribal or ethnic conflicts within the business context, urging the people of Arua to embrace solidarity.

He added, “Let’s grow up! Business knows no tribe or religion. We are talking about unity and yet, here we are divided. Our team remains steadfast, urging our supporters to remain calm and wait for the rescheduled elections. The opportunities the chamber holds for local businesses are substantial.”

The failed election aimed to introduce a new team to replace the current Arua chamber leadership led by Jackson Atima Lee Buti, the incumbent Arua Central Division MP.

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