Kyadondo East By-Election: Heavy deployment and reported electoral malpractices before the polling stations opens!
Just as the 10 Armored Personnel Vehicles have come to the district and the Police has dispatched over a 1000 Police Officers in the Kyadondo East constituency, as the National Resistiance Movement, the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are afraid for his candidate loosing. He has to spread fear and bring the brigades to prove his worth and value in the district. That could be all lost to an independent, a former musicians, who has no quarrels to attack the old-man and his legacy. Neither is the will of Forum for Democratic Change to stand-down in Kasangati and their heartland. In the land of Besigye and his loyalist. Therefore the NRM has used voter tourism and they also closed schools so there was someone attending the rallies. Certainly, the NRM doesn’t wanted to have a slap on their wrist by some Wakiso population.
That is why Rogers Mulindwa, has to claim foul play by the opposition candidates and their parties, while the NRM controls the Police and also the Electoral Commission. Clearly, if any rigging going-on, the skills of pre ticketing ballots and stuffing ballot boxes is something the NRM have done for decades and would easily do again. So not that I believe the NRM, but let just give you their meat.
NRM warning the public a day ahead of the polls:
“The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), has learnt of a plan by opposition camps in Kyadondo East Constituency of torturing voters on the voting day and in the night before. The plan to be reportedly implemented by opposition agents wearing NRM T-shirts or yellow shirts is intended to portray the ruling party as being non friendly to the people it serves. The main target behind this is to win sympathy from the voters. The opposition plans to use the same mission to scare away voters especially in NRM dominated parishes. Our party members and the entire public is therefore warned against these groups. Please note that donning NRM yellow attires is not necessarily an assurance that one is a party member. Those reportedly planning to steer these actions are also warned to desist from such unconstitutional behaviour. The party further advises that such cases should be reported to police or any other relevant authorities for timely actions” (Rogers Mulindwa, 28.06.2017).
It is ironic that the ones sending 1000 Police Officers to the Constituency to interfere a day ahead in the polls, but there are some reports of 500 Crime Preventers there. This with the report of the 10 APC’s as well. Certainly, the NRM doesn’t play around and wants their man in the slot from the Constituency, so there is another friendly voice to Museveni. Another one he can corrupt and know that he will loyally follow every whistle.
In Kasangati alone today, the Police themselves intercepted 6 boxes of pre-ticked ballots in favor of the NRM candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, which shows the per-determined mind of Museveni who is all in stick it where it hurts for Besigye.
CCEDU already stated this on the 21st June 2017:
“Voter Bribery: Under section 68(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005, bribery is an offence in the electoral process; and upon conviction one can be liable to “seventy two currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both”. The act of bribery is defined by the Parliamentary Elections Act, as providing money or gifts to influence voters. CCEDU has noted with concern acts of voter bribery involving: candidate William Sitenda Sebalu (NRM), Apollo Kantinti (FDC) and Robert Kyagulanyi (Indep). The three candidates have been observed giving out money and other material gifts during their respective campaign events. On June 17th for instance, candidate William Sitenda Sebalu gave voters at Kyetume Gayaza to share sh200,000 immediately after his campaign. CCEDU implores the Police to remain keen on such acts that violate provisions of the electoral laws as well as bring the culprits to book” (CCEDU, 21.06.2017).
So it is not like there been proven ill practices by all three parties on the campaign trial, as the independent and observing organization CCEDU has seen. And can also show forward evidence of electoral malpractice. Clearly for all main-parties and candidates, they are risking everything to seal the Declaration Form in their way and with their name.
On the 27th June CCEDU statement said this:
“On June 17 for instance, NRM candidate William Sitenda Sebalu gave voters at Kyetume Gayaza Ushs 200,000 immediately after his campaign. Most candidates were observed giving out food and refreshments to potential voters during their campaign meetings. In addition it was difficult to draw a line between the government and the ruling party at the local level: despite the bar against partisanship of civil servants, Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and agents of various security services were omnipresent, occasionally taking a proactive role in the Constituency’s electoral process” (…) “Whilst the pre-electoral environment was generally peaceful, some stakeholders expressed anxiety with regard to the role of unidentified persons in Nangabo and Kiteezi sub counties who were seen photographing voters’ Identification cards, distributing between Ushs 2,000 and 50,000 per person and asking those that had received the money not to turn up for the voting exercise on 29 June. The motive and persuasions of the unidentified individuals could not be established. The occurrence was confirmed to have intimidated and concerned residents in the respective areas” (CCEDU, 27.06.2017).
So even if the laws bar the RDC and other Civil Servants from interfering the election, they do so for the mercy of the National Resistance Movement, as well as most likely the unidentified persons are collectors and people of the NRM paying people to not vote. To make sure the stakes are more controlled or in their best. As they are also tightening the security apparatus with Police Officers, Mambas and Crime Preventers. This all to make sure the citizens know that they should vote for the NRM candidate.
However, the NRM fear for Bobi Wine is understandable, also as they lost it even when they did everything in their power to stifle the election in February 2016 in Wakiso, when Apollo Kantinti won the first time. Therefore, all sort of tactics this time around would be seen as precautions from the President. So that he can get rid of a FDC MP at the same time. That is a double win for the old-man. If he cheats or rigs to do so. It wouldn’t surprise anyone.
So let see how the tricks of trades goes tomorrow, when the ballots and people show-up to cast their votes in Kyandondo East. But be warned, the NRM are working hard to stall and make sure anyone else who get in their way will have issues tomorrow. Make sure that some opposition members and leaders who pass by polling stations might be detained. That is just what they do. Peace.