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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.

RDC: Lettre – “Objet: Requete en expartation de Moise Katumbi pour des raisons de soins medicaux en Afrique du Sud” (20.06.2017)

SPLM/A-IO refutes attacking foreign soldiers and denied abducting people in Uganda territory (26.06.2017)

Press Release.

The Juba government claimed that its forces captured Kaya town on 23/06/2017 after coming from Yei. That convoy included Uganda People’s Defence Force that returned from their base at the border of Central Africa Republic and South Sudan. Juba Militias just found a way out with the presence of the UPDF. The SPLA IO does not attack foreign soldiers on mission not related to destruction of South Sudan.

According to IO deputy spokesman, Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA IO also strongly refutes the accusation circulating on media that its forces abducted some people and raided hundreds of cattles from around Moyo in Uganda. This is a base less allegation aimed at derailing the good relationship that the civilians of Kajo keji has with the people of Moyo. The government of Juba has got two bases at the border of Moyo; Jale and Bamure. Its unfortunate that the forces from these two bases always enter with their weapons to Moyo. They should be investigated for the abduction and the raid other than wasting time pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

Furthermore, there is no any negative effect of the fake peace of those of Yakani and Governor Lokonga in Yei state. Yakani deserted already and is in Kampala seeking asylum while Yuma Sabastian is under detention in Yei by government securities for not providing the 6000 soldiers they claimed to have. The struggle continues.

RDC: Communique du Rassamblement (26.06.2017)

Burundi: Resolution Issue de la Rencontre des Reponsables des Partis Politique Agrees et des Leaders Politiques (27.06.2017)

A look into how little the Wakiso Vote mattered to President Museveni in General Election 2016!

You would think on a day like this as the final rallies in Kyadondo East, which is part of Wakiso District, that the National Resistance Movement and the Police Force would bring peace. But they didn’t, they created chaos and moved independent candidates, as well as detaining them for interfering in their campaign rallies. This is the proof of vicious ruling regime and how the basic freedoms are limited for others, than the NRM elite and the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, rallying for his candidate in the district. But it seems strange that he cares, since with all due respect. He didn’t care about their votes in the General Election of 2016, as these areas have been a stronghold for opposition party Forum for Democratic Change and because Dr. Kizza Besigye reside in Kasangati, which is a vital part of Kyadondo East.

In Kampala and its adjacent districts, the Group observed voting delayed by as much as two to four hours and subsequently observed polling locations where voting was delayed by as much as six to nine hours. Anecdotally, in Kampala, there were several polling stations located within minutes of the premises of the Electoral Commission that did not receive voting materials on time” (…) “The voting hours were subsequently extended in Kampala. However, it appeared that this information was not extensively communicated, as voters and polling officials appeared confused and uncertain of the process. The EC announced that polling would continue in a number of constituencies in Wakiso and Kampala districts the following day. Turnout, however, was low on the second day – which was a working day – and it is possible that many potential voters decided not to attempt to vote, after having waited for many hours the previous day”(Commonwealth, P: 13-14, 2016).

Furthermore, eight teams across the country reported that polling stations could not open before 10 AM. A number of polling stations, notably in Kampala and Wakiso, had not opened within six hours. Significant delays and a lack of effective communication by the EC fuelled frustration and tensions among voters, with EU EOM observers and media reporting about large crowds protesting against being deprived of their right to cast the ballot. In at least four cases, the police used teargas to disperse voters at polling stations. Only shortly before the official closing of the polling stations at 4 PM did the EC chairman announce the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso district. This was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas, and EU EOM observers reported polling stations being closed at first and only after some hesitation did the polling staff improvise and try to re-open voting sites” (EU, P: 29-30, 2016).

The EC failed to communicate and declare final results of presidential and parliamentary elections in a comprehensive, timely and transparent manner. The announcements of the presidential election’s preliminary results started while voting was still ongoing in parts of Kampala and Wakiso. The final results were declared within the legally binding 48-hour deadline, but they did not contain data from seven per cent of all polling stations, and therefore excluded some 675,000 votes cast. The EC delayed the publication of the final results broken down by polling station till 25 February and uploaded them on its website in a manner that did not allow for easy access or use. The EC also did not publish the scanned copies of the DRFs online although they were readily available in electronic format, thus further reducing voters’ access to information of public interest and in contravention of the principles outlined in the ICCPR” (EU, P: 3-4, 2016).

The 2016 Elections witnessed a number of violations of the right to vote, most notably due to late delivery of materials in Kampala and Wakiso districts, described by the Supreme Court as evidence of incompetence and gross inefficiency by the electoral management body. A number of potential voters we’re disenfranchised during the voting exercise, in particular persons who turned 18 between May 2015 and February 2016, detainees, including some pre-trial dententions and Ugandans in the diaspora” (FHRI, P: 25, 2016)

So both, the Commonwealth report, FHRI report and the European Union Observer Group saw the same vast indifference for the votes and voter turnout in Wakiso, the same was seen in capital, but that isn’t where the By-Election is happening now. This proves the lack of care and common sense as President Museveni drives Tuk-Tuk and talk of importance of electing people who serves him. He might say he wants to be challenged in Parliament, but everyone knows that is a lie. Therefore, he detained Bobi Wine earlier in the day and moved him to Gyaza town, so his presence could be in Kasangati and at Szasa Grounds. Not like he could be more ruthless, but surely he would rig these election like he did in 2016. Nothing new there, if the turnout would be meager and lack-lusting that would hurt the old-man. Since he cannot show 90-100% turnout, when there would be no lines of people showing up. Harder to rig just a bunch of paper compared to buck-load, which can be pre-ticket into ballot boxes and look legit. That is how they do, especially under President Museveni. The man who made himself a revolutionary by claiming UPC rigging in 1980s. Such a class-act the President, becoming worse than the ones he toppled! Peace.

Reference:

Commonwealth – ‘Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group Uganda General Elections – 18 February 2016’ (18.02.2016)

COMESA – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’

EU – ‘Final Report – Uganda Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections 18 February 2016’ (April 2016)

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’ (June 2016)

Kyadondo East By-Election: EC Letter to Apollo Kantinti – “Re: Supplementary Campaign Programme” (19.06.2017)

Kyadondo By-Election: Chaos as the President intervenes in the election!


Bobi Wine: “In order not to cause a presidential embarrassment, we have agreed to hold our rally in Gayaza” (at Kiira Road Police Station after release, 27.06.2017),

Today is the final days of campaigns for the candidates of the Kyadondo By-Election in Wakiso District on the outskirts of Kampala. There is three main candidates as the DP Candidate pulled out in support of the FDC Apollo Kantinti, the ones previous election bid who got canceled by the courts. Therefore, he is running again to win his seat back. While the independent candidate Robert Kyagukanyi aka Bobi Wine, was blocked today from having his final rally at Szasa Grounds in Kasangati, because of Police interference his final rally will be in Gayaza town.

This proves the ability of the Police Force to threat the opposition candidates in favor of the ruling regime, as President Museveni comes to rally for the NRM Candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, who has buses upon buses with voter-tourism sponsored by the party. Because of the hesitation and importance of this election, they had to detain without charges the Independent Candidate Kyagukanyi at Kiira roads, until he found another venue for his final rally. President Museveni doesn’t like to pushed or dishonored, as the prospects of slap in-the-face of a new politician wasn’t in the cards.

So when they released after a done deal at the Kiira Police Station, Bobi Wine went-on to another venue, than the planned one in Kasangati, but has instead to be in Gayaza town. Proves the powers of intimidation and control of the NRM in favor of Sitenda Ssebalu and President Museveni. This is a-typical and Modus Operandi of the NRM regime. The ironies of it all, was that before President Museveni put his shovel into the By-Election, the Independent had followed procedure and warned about his campaign rally in Kasangati. This proves there is two classes of political classes in Uganda. Yet, again by the way!

Bobi Wine has been arrested. He was meant to campaign in Kyadondo but police blocked him from accessing the grounds” (NTV Uganda, 27.06.2017).

As the final rallies are on, the Police presence is intense and at all venues. The Police are deployed at all venues to intimidate and silence opposition. There are many going from Kasangati to Gyaza as the rally shifted that way. Since the President Museveni and Ssebalu rally are held in Kasangati. Police has even interfered on the roads around Kasangati to get taxis to ferry people to the NRM rally. They really need their propaganda shots and the pride of the sensitized crowds in their favor. Since the NRM cannot win in a free and fair fight.

FDC Candidate was acting swift on arrest of Bobi Wine, stopped his rallying, went to Kiira Road and demanded the release of his competition. Apollo Kantinti didn’t do this because he had too, but proved his stance of vigilance as he as opposition has seen the cost of being so. Just by trying to figure out a way of making the NRM look better or alike it competitor.

The Communication Officer of NRM Rogers Mulindwa informed the public with this:

NRM wishes to inform its supporters in Kyadondo East Constituency and the public at large that its Candidate Hon Sitenda Sebalu has this Tuesday afternoon been arrested by police on unclear circumstances. He was arrested together with the district NRM chairperson Hajji Abdu Kiyimba from Wampeewo playground, a second venue for today’s rallies. Police could not tell the motive behind this act but the party continues to seek a clear explanation. The venue was also later invaded by the FDC supporters rendering it impossible for our rally to take place. As an exemplary political party, we have therefore taken a decision to shift our rally to Sir Appolo Kaggwa Church of Uganda in order to avoid causing nasty scenes.We call upon our party members to remain calm and focus on the victory within our sight” (Mulindwa, 27.06.2017).

Pardon me, NRM, but this seems staged, since you arrest the Independent Candidate for campaigning in your area and than blaming FDC for having their campaign rally. This is all knowledge the Electoral Commission should have sanction on behalf of the candidates and accepted previous of the Election Road Map for the By-Election. Therefore, I am buying that the Police arrested Independent Candidate Bobi Wine for his rally in Kasangati, as President Museveni weighed in his support in the election, but that Sebalu suddenly behind bars. Seems more like play for the gallery. There is also reports that the lack of crowds around the NRM, they have not only ferried people from afar, but also closed near-by schools so the students has to attend the rallies of their candidate. A real disgrace of the NRM.

While the FDC leadership stands strong on their final rally for Apollo Kantinti where Ingrid Turinawe, Mugisha Muntu and Kizza Besigye shows up at their rally in Wampeewo. So the solidarity for their candidate is there. While Museveni needed the Police Force to clear Bobi Wine away from the venue and have control of the area, because he knew he doesn’t have the natural crowd support anymore. There are also reports of clashes in Wampeewo, as the NRM and FDC are both campaigning on the site. The FDC supporters even tell the NRM to leave the official grounds as it’s supposed to be FDC Official rally site. Certainly, the Electoral Commission has done something wrong, since both parties says there rallies are being hold there. Seems like the NRM will detain some FDC leaders and FDC supporters today, so they can hold their voter-tourism rally there. Since they have already pushed Bobi Wine to Gayaza town. Even if NRM Communication call them exemplary party, they should explain that to Bobi Wine’s supporters and barred rally, especially when all news are about the Wampeewo Play Ground rally for NRM, as the FDC are still already there. It wasn’t an invasion, they we’re already there! 

So if there will be more detained opposition leaders, I wouldn’t be shocked, as this the NRM M.O. and that is what they do. Especially, since the President Museveni and his candidate for the district will arrive in the area and doesn’t want to have fair competition, certainly he will use the Police Force to get rid of the FDC in the area. Even if the FDC has followed protocol, as the Bobi Wine candidature also did in Kasangati earlier in the day. Peace.

SPLM-IO letter to TGoNU National Dialogue chairman – “Re: Request for Appointment” (24.06.2017)

Burundi: CNARED Welcomes the Report by the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi Presented at the 35th Human Rights Council (25.06.2017)

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