I know for some of you people this will blow your mind; some of you will tell I told you so. Other people will be like? How dare you insult my intelligence, well it depends on how you deem history and how you let the victors rewrite it. As President Museveni has been a victor and won over his predecessors like Yusuf Lule, Tito Okello and Milton Obote, even Idi Amin together with Milton Obote and the Tanzanian Army in late 1970s. So President Museveni has won the power through guns. At the same time as he has lingers he has tried to rewrite history as the people neglect certain fact.
We are supposed to see the people of Uganda to elect the 10th Parliament as this is the end of the 9th Parliament. I will not discuss that matter, as that is not important me. We could discuss if there only been 9 functional Parliament and representative government since independence in 1962, or should we also count the ones that we’re before this since the British introduced Parliamentarism in Uganda in 1882. Then it is with certainty more than 10 of them. If so is that based on the new constitution after independence or the newly written to fit NRA/NRM in 1995? Then so I understand the coming 10th Parliament. Still, this is also worth discussing and the matter of how we value the predecessors and the tools they left behind for the men of today who rule. Feel me?
This here is not a reflection on how Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) lost and got 4% in the 1980s and 1 seat in Parliament, as this was the first outfit for President Museveni. Museveni didn’t even get a seat as he lost to Sam Kutesa in the distric he was running in; that is a worthy side-note!
His first term – Overthrowing Okello in 1986:
But his first term started as he was sworn in and the New York Times described it like this:
“KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan. 29— Yoweri Museveni, whose National Resistance Army descended on this battered capital city last week and overthrew the military Government of Gen. Tito Okello, was sworn in today as the new President of Uganda” (Rule, 1986). Here is in my opinion his start of first term, as he took it by the gun. As he was sworn in as President of Uganda, which initial means he got the appointment of rule as he defeated his opposition at that time.
His Second Term – Election in 1989:
“The elections in 1989 also included elections for the majority of seats in parliament. Candidates for all these elections stood strictly as individuals and not as representatives for a party although several of them publicly were known supporters for one of the older parties – including the UPC. The Ugandan constitution was abolished in 1966, and no basic consensus has ever since appeared on the most basic issues like: how to elect a President and whether the country should be an unitary state or a federation including several kingdoms” (P: 40, 1994, Tidemand). “As already noted, the 1989 elections were held under strict anti-party rules since the NRM government had suspended all political party activities. Indeed, the Resistance Councils and Committees Elections Regulations, 1989, forbade all use of party symbols, sectarian appeals, and threats of force, the offer of food or drinks and the display of candidates’ posters. The absence of open campaigning made it impossible to discuss policies” (Bwana, 2009). “Out of a total of 278 seats, 210 members were elected without party affiliation” (African Elections).
This here election was one, and gave NRM time to rebuild and rewrite a new constitution. So this gave way for his second term in my opinion. Since the first term was from 1986 – 1989. From 1989 to 1996 is his second as there weren’t elections towards the parliament and presidential candidates, which means that the country was still controlled tightly by the NRM. Before the 1996 election there was election a Council for writing the new Constitution. That was put into place in 1995.
His Third term – 1996 elections:
“The presidential election was preceded by an aggressive electoral campaign which was dominated by intimidation, vote buying, bribery and promises of material benefits. These methods were employed by both the opposition and the incumbent government during the 39 days which were allowed for presidential campaigns. It would seem that the aggressiveness of the campaign was dictated to some extent by the limited time allowed for each candidate to cover all of the country’s 39 districts, which meant that candidates were allowed one day of campaigning in each district. Again, this arrangement favoured the incumbent, President Museveni who had been in power for 10 years and was therefore well known to the electorate, compared to his challengers. Moreover, the electoral law allowed him the continued use of his presidential privileges which made the 39 campaign days less problematic” (Muhumaza, 1997). “The I996 presidential election was deemed a ‘step forward’ by many Western diplomats, although before the election some diplomats privately questioned how the election could be fair because of the fact that political parties were not able to organise to compete with the political machinery of the NRM (Reuters, 6 May I996). Despite private reservations, the official donor attitude was that the losers of the election should not contest the results. When Paul Ssemogerere went to the European Union Parliamentary Committee on Development to complain about the unfairness of the election, the committee told him to accept his defeat (The New Vision, 3 June I996)” (Hauser, 1999).
Interesting allegation about campaign money to Museveni in 1996:
“It was for instance alleged that one presidential candidate received funds equivalent to 600 million shillings (US$600,000) from certain foreign organisations while on a pre-election visit to Europe; and that another candidate had been funded certain Islamic countries. Similar insinuations were hurled against President Museveni who was alleged to have got financial contributions from the Indian community in Uganda” (Muhumaza, 1997).
The election results from the 9th of May 1996:
The results was: “Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: 74.33 %, Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere: 23.61 % and Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja: 2.06 %” (African Election Database).
This here was the official first term as he was this one. Even if he had already been ten years in power, that is why I am saying this is his third term, as he had the first one from 1986 to 1989, when the overthrow Okello, second after the parliamentary elections to the first presidential election in 1996. That lasted to the 2001.
Before the next election this was reports on the great democratic environment President Museveni was building:
“Political parties are prohibited from holding party conferences, a ban which severely hampers their own internal reform. Since this ban has been in place since 1986, reform in the structure and leadership of political parties has been virtually impossible. Attempts to hold party conferences have been met with strong and unambiguous warnings from the Ugandan government that they would prevent such meetings” (…)”Since coming to power, the NRM has used a state-funded program of political and military education called chaka-mchaka to spread its message that political parties are destructive sectarian organizations responsible for Uganda’s past woes, an argument that resonates given Uganda’s recent political history. Chaka-mchaka thus serves to rationalize the NRM’s denial of political rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Government leaders, including President Museveni, often refer to advocates of democratic reform as their “enemies.” Other structures of local government such as the local councils (LC) and the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) serve to ensure support for the NRM, and often create a hostile climate for advocates of pluralism” (Human Rights Watch, 1999).
Fourth Term – General Election in 2001:
“KAMPALA, Uganda, March 14— President Yoweri Museveni swept the hard-fought elections here today, in a victory that he called an acclamation of 15 years of peaceful rule but that his main opponent said was won only by extensive cheating” (…)”My votes are like Lake Victoria,” Mr. Museveni told tens of thousands of supporters this afternoon who marched to an airstrip downtown after the results were announced. ”They never dry up.” (…)”The main election monitors in Uganda said, however, that most allegations of cheating appeared to be against forces loyal to Mr. Museveni, estimating preliminarily that between 5 and 15 percent of the vote may have been won fraudulently. The fraud included people being forced or influenced to vote by election officials, intimidation and people being denied the right to vote” (Fisher, 2001).
The Election results from the 12th March 2001:
The results are: “Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: 69.33 %, Kizza Besigye: 27.82 %, Aggrey Awori: 1.41 %, Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja: 1.00%, Francis Bwengye: 31 % and Karuhanga Chapaa: 0.14 % (African Election Database).
Reactions to the election:
“Amnesty International (AI) agrees with the Besigye opposition that “the Presidential elections in Uganda have been marred by allegations of human rights abuses, both before and after the elections on 12 March 2001. An increasing number of human rights violations against opposition supporters, including illegal arrests and detention without charge, ill-treatment in detention, and alleged unlawful killings were reported by the Ugandan press in the weeks leading up to the elections. In some instances, supporters of President Museveni were also targetted.” (Afrol.com, 2001).
This here was the official second term, while I am saying it is the fourth one, that lead to him opening the Multi-Party elections in 2005. Also the referendum on term limits came into force in 2005. As the constitution made in 1995 gave the limit of the Executive Power and President had the ability to be elect twice. As he wasn’t elected in between 1986 to 1996; 10 years without accountability and still becoming a donor pleasant government as Structural Adjustment Program got eaten up by the Government of Uganda in that period. As President Museveni even met with U.S. President Clinton; as he was the new future leader of the “third world” development.
Here are the issues in 2005 with the abolishment of term limits:
“Museveni and his supporters, who pushed a controversial constitutional amendment rescinding presidential term limits through Parliament this month, are urging an overwhelming “yes” vote while the weak and fractured opposition want the country’s 8,9-million eligible voters to boycott the polls” (…)”Under current rules, political parties are allowed to exist but may not have branch offices and may not field candidates in elections. The only fully-functioning political entity is Museveni’s own “Movement” organisation to which all Ugandans theoretically belong” (Mayanja, 2005).
As it was voted in by the public he was allowed to be the Presidential candidate in yet another election. The one that happen in 2006!
Fifth term – 23rd February 2006 Presidential Election:
As some context and pretext over the other issues written in between 2001 and 2006; this here is following the close and tense contest that was held in 2006; as the NRM was weaken over time, as the fatigue of running the country since 1986. As the fourth term was already showing how much they tried to continue to work under the Movement System, instead of giving way to Multi-Party Democracy, as people voted in the second referendum poll. Here is some things happening right before:
“A spokesman for the ruling National Resistance Movement told New Vision that the government had complained to the U.S.-based Web server which hosts Radio Katwe, Brinkster Communications Corporation, claiming that the site was publishing “malicious and false information against the party and its presidential candidate.“ (…)”Local journalists have expressed fears that the government could similarly block The Monitor’s Web site on election day, when the newspaper plans to keep a running tally of votes from across the country. “Our Web site has been going offline every day for the last three days” for several hours at a time, Monitor Group Managing Director Conrad Nkutu told CPJ. He added that while the problem appeared be a technical glitch, “we are also suspicious it might not be.” (CPJ, 2006).
Election results from 2006:
The results are:
Number of Votes
|% of Votes|
|Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (NRM)||4,109,449||59.26%|
|Kizza Besigye (FDC)||2,592,954||37.39%|
|John Ssebaana Kizito (DP)||109,583||1.58%|
|Miria Obote (UPC)||57,071||0.82%|
(African Election Database)
Aftermath after the first Multi-Party after NRM got into Power:
“The multi-party elections of 2006 saw only slight improvements from 2001, notably in the area of media freedom. Dr Besigye ran against President Museveni for the second time, but now as the leader of a new political party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and garnered 37.39% of the votes, as against Museveni’s 59.26% majority. Dr Besigye’s Supreme Court case regarding the 2006 elections has become famous due to the ruling that Museveni was the rightful winner despite the Court’s acknowledgement of widespread electoral malpractices and vote rigging which were considered not to have substantially affected the results of the elections” (…)”For any engagement with these political parties a number of issues need to be taken into consideration, these include the multi-party system and the fact that the political playing field remains un-levelled in favour of the NRM. As such, donors operating in Uganda need to be cognisant of the implications of this, for the ruling party and for opposition parties. International donors have and continue to play a significant role in financing and monitoring Uganda’s elections. In the 1990s, the UNDP was the lead institution for donors who wanted to co-finance Uganda’s elections. The UNDP’s mandate involved managing a donors’ basket fund, and recruiting and supervising specialised technical assistance to support the EC and civil-society organisations to carry out tasks allocated to them” (Sekaggya, 2010).
Sixth Term – General Election in 2011:
Some Pretext: “The 2011 Uganda elections have attracted a record 8 Presidential candidates from seven political parties and one Independent candidate. All the Presidential Candidates have been on the campaign trail marketing their manifestos to Ugandans and have dispelled earlier assertions that some of them, seen as weak, will pull out of the campaigns that like in 2006 were expected to majorly be between incumbent Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement and Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change” (Rulekere, 2011). “FGD respondents said that this happens mainly on the election eve whereby candidates and/or their agents carry gifts and money in vehicles which have had number plates removed and they pack somewhere in the village and then walk from door to door giving money and/or gifts” (…)”Daily Monitor of Friday 7, January 2011 carried a lead story that President Museveni gave out $2.15 million (USh5 billion) in cash and pledges between July and October 2010 but the opposition is charging that such patronage is giving the incumbent an unfair advantage in the February 18, 2011 vote. Mr Museveni always conducts a countrywide tour before each election, during which he makes pledges and donations Critics say this is a disguised campaign that allows him to offer inducements to potential voters out of the public purse, a privilege unavailable to other candidates” (…)”Incumbent candidates have readily used their access to state resources to provide an unfair edge when running for re-election. This includes cash payments from the state treasury, use of state owned property and vehicles, as well as the fulfilment of campaign pledges during the campaign period. Voter have given up on their elected officials to fulfil campaign promises and seek to extract as much benefit as they can around the campaign period” (DMG, 2011)
The results are:
|Candidate (Party) [Coalition]||Number of Votes||% of Votes|
|Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (NRM)||5,428,369||68.38%|
|Kizza Besigye (FDC) [IPC]||2,064,963||26.01%|
|Norbert Mao (DP)||147,917||1.86%|
|Olara Otunnu (UPC)||125,059||1.58%|
|Beti Kamya (UFA)||52,782||0.66%|
|Abed Bwanika (PDP)||51,708||0.65%|
|Jaberi Bidandi Ssali (PPP)||34,688||0.44%|
(African Election Database)
The Commonwealth Observation Group noted this:
“The main concern regarding the campaign, and indeed regarding the overall character of the election, was the lack of a level playing field, the use of money and abuse of incumbency in the process. The magnitude of resources that was deployed by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), its huge level of funding and overwhelming advantage of incumbency, once again, challenged the notion of a level playing field in the entire process. Media monitoring reports also indicated that the ruling party enjoyed a large advantage in coverage by state-owned radio and TV. The ruling party in Uganda is by far the largest and best-resourced party and following many years in power, elements of the state structure are synonymous with the party. Further, reports regarding the “commercialisation of politics” by the distribution of vast amounts of money and gifts were most disturbing. Indeed, the „money factor‟ and widespread allegations of bribery and other more subtle forms of buying allegiance were key features of the political campaign by some, if not all, the parties. By all accounts, the 2011 elections were Uganda‟s most expensive ever. It is therefore important that for the future serious thought be given to election campaign financing and political party fundraising. This is more so given that there are virtually no checks on the levels of campaign financing and expenditure due to the cash-based nature of the campaign and the lack of stringent campaign financing regulations, both of which facilitate the use of illicit payments to voters as inducements and has the potential to undermine their free will” (Commonwealth Observers Group, 2011).
Important how President Museveni could run in the 2016 Election:
The Kyankwanzi Resolution of 2014 – President Museveni’s right for Sole Candidacy in the NRM:
“RESOLUTION ON PARTY COHESION AND GOVERNANCE
We, the undersigned members of the NRM Caucus attending a retreat at the National Leadership Institute(NALI) Kyankwanzi (6,February 2014); Fully aware of our Country’s historical past and the need to consolidate and sustain the Milestones registered over the years since 1986; Cognizant of the fact that there is still a lot more to be done in order to realize our ideological vision of uniting Uganda(Nationalism), Pan-africanism, transforming our country from a poor peasantry society to a modern economy and upholding democracy; Conscious of the fact that what has been so far achieved over the last 28 years needs to be guarded jealously and improved upon to realize our vision; Aware that when individuals engage in personal scheming, party cohesion is undermined, development efforts aredistracted and the population is diverted from work to early politicking;
DO here by resolve;
- To support H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni tocontinue leading and facilitating our country on its take off journey to transformation”
Afterthought –Run in to General Election 2016.
1986-1996: First and Second Term!
So I have now gone through the Elections since 1986 until today in 2016. That is thirty years in Power for the Executive Power and being President Museveni. 1986 to 1996, he didn’t really become elected as President as he did a coup d’état in 1986 to bring down regime at the current time. So the period from 1986 to 1996, there was an election in 1989 a Resistance Council elections which barred the Parliament with elected men and woman from the NRM/A, but was not an ordinary election to bring the people’s will in full effect and not even electing President Museveni, but securing polls to validate the rule of NRM at the time, also in my consideration to shut-up the donor-community; so they see the “democratic” vision of President Museveni. He even made a stunning Constitution in 1995. President Museveni had set the standard with two term limits and other regulatory tools to secure accountability that was new in Uganda, together with swallowing the Structural Adjustment Program to secure massive amount of funding to rebuild the country and secure Universal Preliminary Education. Something the citizens of Uganda got excited about and also gave him praise abroad.
Third Term 1996-2001:
After the 1996 Presidential Election was his third term elections, and the official first term (which I can’t take serious) as he had already ruled for a decade, and you can’t shuffle that off that easy. Even with the bodies and violence to get the power in 1986, it cost so much suffering to gain that power; so to eradicate that and call this his first term, is to neglect the first ten years of power. Something we should be to damn wise to not. There we’re still not a Multi-Party Democracy or Elections as President Museveni doesn’t really believe in that; as the nation had to after this go through two referendum polls before initiating the hassle of letting people be controlled by other party functions then the NRM.
Fourth Term 2001-2006:
So when the fourth term came in 2001, he had already been long enough in power to already using up the constitutional rights as the Executive Power and President of the land. He was still popular and gained a lot of support. Even if the election was rigged and had a massive malpractices; the initial issues is how he pleaded and mixed up with referendum terminating presidential term limits to fit himself and rewriting the constitution of 1995 in 2005, so he could run off a third time. The second score of joy for the people was the second vote of the polls for Multi-Party Democracy, meant that the public could vote for other parties then the NRM during the 2006, as much as they could still as ever; vote for the old man with the hat! After 20 years in power he still used sufficient tools to be able to get voted in. And also stifle the completion in his favor, as the man who took power himself in 1986.
Fifth Term 2006-2011:
Set for the fifth term in 2006. The NRM and President Museveni at the time was re-introducing of multi-party election and continuing to go as the candidate, to secure the total tally of 25 years; when the term would be done. He fixed the 1995 constitution one year advanced so he could run again! This time the third official campaign and polls, though still, with the 10 year as ruler before an election means, initially fifth. This here was the start of the down-turn as he now showed more and more the authoritarian leader and totalitarian state, compared to donor-friendly character he was when he first was sworn in 1986 and steady ship he hold while elected in 1996.
Sixth Term 2011- 2016:
As his sixth term in 2011, there was already starting to crack with the NRM leadership and the people, as they we’re ready for new leaders and a new executive. As the Kampala Riots and ‘Walk to Work’ demonstrations; proves that the leadership is in a fatigue state where the public is tired of the NRM and their ring leader President Museveni. Even still with well rigged machinery the NRM “won” again the election. To finish of this one, he had to swallow a few scalps to secure his sole candidacy, he had to break of Gilbert Bukenya his loyal fellow, he had to push of cliff Amama Mbabazi who wished to take his seat in the NRM, which is not a possibility unless you are the clone of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; something Amama Mbabazi is not! In early 2014 he had to set up his machinery ready and get his party in line so that he could get the spot again with the Kyankwanzi Resolution in February 2014 and set his goals on the 7th Term as the Executive and President of Uganda, in the 10th Parliament. That is another timeline I am not sure of, I am sure there are more then 10 elected or appointed Parliaments and sessions in the great republic of Uganda. It is just a a way of rewriting history as the NRM is famous for.
That rewriting history comes in the sense of saying NRM and President Museveni is contesting for the 5th Term, I am saying his fifth term was between 2006-2011 his most turbulent ruling period after his first term in 1986-1989 when he still struggled to keep the whole country into peace, as there was still guerrillas and militias wanting to unsettle the new regime in Kampala. As we have seen, and we can see, there is a pattern and there is a reason why I am saying “we could really see his democratic wish” as the elections and malpractices seems like the same as when he took power. The rigging he claimed he wanted in the 1980s and why he lost as the UPM front-man, it seems to be same as it was under Dr. Milton Obote, the only difference is that he has been able to be stable and keep a strong army to spread the fear so that nobody has tried to really use a coup d’état against him. There been allegations in the past, and even persons been alleged in court for treason against the state, but they have been more political motivated then actual forces or militias in the sense they went to the bush to get rid of President Museveni. Though LRA and ADF has gone after his head, but failed.
President Museveni is now trying his best to get into his 7th Term, and we should not be surprised by election rigging, malpractices to destroy level playing-grounds for political parties, paying for votes and using both government institutions and government funds to be re-elected; Even supress the court to secure the validation or dismiss the allegation of election fraud in the 2016 election. I fear for the public response this time and how the security agents of the state will address them. As the Gen. Katumba Wamala of the UPDF will surely do what he can to impress President Museveni and Police Boss IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura follows orders blindly made by the Executive, as if he wants to shut down demonstrations and revolts against the totalitarian regime that the NRM has evolved into. As they are used to stealing the elections and taking the people for ransom to gain riches while the average people toil in poverty. There is time for change with a government with transparency, accountability and good governance; as the government now is famous for not caring about this issues and becoming dependent on feeding the cronies and loyal men of Museveni instead of serving the people. Peace.
African Elections Database – ‘Elections in Uganda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/ug.html
Afrol.com – ‘”Uganda needs to re-affirm human rights commitment” (17.03.2001) link: http://www.afrol.com/News2001/uga006_hrights_reaffirm.htm
Bwana, Charles – ‘Voting Patterns in Uganda’s Elections: Could it be the end of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) domination in Uganda’s politics?’ (2009) – LES CAHIERS D’AFRIQUE DE L’ N° 41
Commonwealth Observer Group – ‘UGANDA PRESIDENTIAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS’ (24.02.2011)
Committee to Protect Jorunalist (CPJ) – ‘Critical website Radio Katwe blocked on eve of presidential election’ (23.02.2006) link: http://www.ifex.org/uganda/2006/02/23/critical_website_radio_katwe_blocked/
Democracy Monitoring Group (DMG) – ‘Report on Money in Politics – Pervasive vote buying in Ugandan Election’ (January 2011)
Fisher, Ian – ‘Final Count Has Uganda President Winning 69% of Vote’ (15.03.2001) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/15/world/final-count-has-uganda-president-winning-69-of-vote.html
Hauser, Ellen – ‘Ugandan Relations with Western Donors in the 1990s: What Impact on Democratisation?’ (Dec. 1999) link: http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/Hauser%20Uganda%20donors.pdf
Human Right Watch – ‘Hostile to Democracy The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda’ (01.10.1999) link: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45dad0c02.html
Manyanja, Vincent – ‘Ugandans face paradox in referendum’ (25.07.2005) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2005-07-25-ugandans-face-paradox-in-referendum
Muhumaza, William – ‘Money and Power in Uganda’s 1996 Elections’ (1997) – African. Journal. Political Science (1997), Vol. 2 No. 1, 168-179
Rule, Sheila – ‘REBEL SWORN IN AS UGANDA PRESIDENT’ (30.01.1986) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/30/world/rebel-sworn-in-as-uganda-president.html
Rulekere, Gerald – ‘Uganda Elections 2011: The Presidential Candidates – Early Predictions’ (17.02.2011) link: http://www.ugpulse.com/government/uganda-elections-2011-the-presidential-candidates-early-predictions/1207/ug.aspx
Sekaggya, Margaret – ‘Uganda: Management of Elections’ (01.01.2010) link: https://www.eisf.eu/library/uganda-management-of-elections/
Tidemand, Per – ‘The Resistance Councils in Uganda A Study of Rural Politics and Popular Democracy in Africa’ (1994) –PHD Dissertation at Roskilde University, Denmark.