As the day has gone and some first results is coming. I will not comment on them now, as they are not as interesting as the reactions and violations of democratic values and vile display of disgrace of the public will from the authorities and the ruling party in Uganda.
As the Uganda Communication Commission together with Electoral Commission banned Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook, even mobile-money transfers services. As this could give biased news and dangerous bribing of voters, as the voters has not been bribed during the pre-election period at all. Well, the public found other ways of finding the social media and avoid the issue with Uganda Telecom (UTL/Mango), MTN and Airtel. As they download different VPN services on their phone and still got in to the social media outlets. The actual numbers of downloads this day was staggering 1,432,653. By my reckoning also the apparent ghost that will also in total vote in the election when the tally is done.
At one point of the day the Special Forces Command took control of Nakasero Referal Hospital as it had a technical and importance for the authorities as the Presidential guards needed to secure the premises.
In Gaba a suburb of Kampala the public first waited for hours. This happen:
“In Gaba at St Dennis church a full box was brought with ballot papers already ticked in favor of the incumbent who triggered a riot by locals. Military, Police and black mamba security in tinted cars without number-plate were seen patrolling the place. Voting has ended”. As well as the actions contained this as well: “The voters set fire on all the ballots boxes brought”.
Even early in the day there we’re little or no voting material in vast amounts of polling stations in Wakiso District and Kampala Capital City as the Electoral Commission hadn’t delivered the ballots-papers to the stations. As people came early as the voting starting 07.00 and was to end with the new time 16.00 but with the late arrival nearly at 13.00 or 14.00 even as late as 14.54 that gave the long waiting ques simmering anger at the incompetence or deliberate plunder of time of the people in the area. Even the with the UCC and Telecom bans the Electoral Commission wanted people on Social Media around 14.00 to tell that the Polling stations in the affected areas would be officially open to 19.00 as the people should be able to do their civic duty.
In Kajanisi, Kampala a Police Officer was arrested and taken away as he held over 600 ballots-papers pre-ticket for the NRM and President Museveni. Radio One report that Kajjansi B health center polling station in Kampala closed after 3 boxes with pre-ticked ballots in favor of President Museveni and Peter Sematimba were found in a car. Live Bullets in Namuwongo Taking Place. Police and Military Have Intimidated Voters hence forcing them NOT to cast their votes, remember, voting had just begun late at 2:03pm
As of Makindye:
“9:18PM Voting at 22 polling stations in Makindye affected by late delivery of voting materials postponed till tomorrow: Electoral Commission” (NBS TV, 18.02.2016).
In Fort Portal:
“At public library polling station in south division, Fort Portal, 450 ballot papers were received yet the number of registered voters is 429, an excess of 21 ballots. And yet Nyakagongo parish Headquarters in East division received less ballot papers than the number of registered voters. They received 10 booklets some containing 46 ballots, some 50 and others 49 instead of all containing 50 each booklet. There was a total of 500 ballot papers. They have 471 registered voters. They started voting at 7:15am Report: Scovia Atuhaire & Felix Basiime (Daily Monitor, 18.02.2016).
“Polling agents in Kizungu, Masaka Sports Club have confirmed to Kampala FM that they were not given basins where voters will tick from. This has therefore delayed the voting process since they (agents) too can not afford buying basins” (Kampala FM, 18.02.2016).
More about elections in Masaka:
“Unindentified people have been with fifty Museveni pre-ticked ballot papers at Kaboyo Primary school polling station in Lwengo. The voters who were present at the polling station did not allow police to take the culprits and instead resorted to caining them. They were later on told to go back home and the pre ticked ballots were burnt”.
“Karamojong tribeswoman casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential elections in Kaabong in Karamoja region”.
“NRM’s Evelyn Anite slips her ballot paper into the ballot box in Koboko Municipality in northern Uganda”.
Early in Apac Town today:
“Voting in Apac town area commenced by 07.10 am. Most polling stations have not had chaos yet, as they voted, Police are all round in Polling stations. Most of the busiest business centers are closed. The number of people in town has also gone down and a few petty businesses are going on” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).
“Last evening, 170 polling officials in River Oli Division in Arua district threatened to boycott work unless Electoral Commission increases their allowances. They include polling assistants and presiding officers. Geoffrey Drani, one of the affected presiding officers, told URN during their recruitment Electoral Commission promised to pay presiding officers Shillings 60,000 and 40,000 for polling assistants. He however, says they were shocked yesterday to receive appointment letters showing that they will receive Shillings 20, 000 each day. According to Drani, as a result, they have declined to sign the appointment letters until Electoral Commission increases the money”.
“No incident has been registered while in Alebtong, Amolatar, Otuke and part of Lira districts by 9:00am the voting have not started despite the fact that many electorate turned up to cast to their votes. “You cast you votes and you come back and continue with your business,” said Betty Akello shorting after voting at VH primary school polling station. Patrick Okello of Omoro Sub County in Alebtong said at Onyeroiye polling station business is going on well and the turned up was overwhelming. “We think the turned up will be 80% because people are voting seriously,” he said” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).
“Elections of the MP kween district have been postponed until further notice reason the symbols for the candidates didn’t match instead vice versa I mean interchanged for FDC was in independent and for independent in that of FDC”.
The Woman Parliamentary MP Vote for Yumbe was cancelled today! (88.7 Arua ONE FM, 18.02.2016).
If you ever thought Kahinda Otafiire would go away silent as the audio-tape of his bribing tactics as he tried to buy the seat from his opponent that beat him in the NRM Primaries during 2015. 2016, has not been his year and continues as he has been jailed today as he has been distributing bribes of UGX 20k to voters in Mitooma (theInsider.ug, 18.02.2016). Doesn’t seem that the UCC bribe act with stopping mobile-money service stopped Otafiire from acting up! (I was not supposed to write that or think that, my bad!).
“The shame of Kiruhura, after yesterday all night harassment, detention and forceful eviction of opposition supporters in Kiruhura. Today what we are witnessing is, because of fear instilled on our supporters by the security and armed militias last night, they have stayed away from the polling stations”.
“Police was forced to fire teargas to disperse hundreds of Apollo Yeri Ofwono’s supporters who had threatened to set a blaze the home of the prime minister of Iteso cultural union Paul Sande Emolot in Tororo municipality. Ofwono’s supporters raided Emolot’s home on suspicion that it was used to bribe residents to vote for the incumbent Member of Parliament Sanjay Tanna” (New Vision, 18.02.2016).
Later in the day Dr. Kizza Besigye arrested:
“Besigye was arrested when he joined his supporters and they stormed a house in Naguru, a Kampala upscale suburb arguing that there is alleged vote rigging taking place”. Kizza Besigye have after the arrest by the Police in Naguru, been taken to Kasangati Police Station. That is currently detained.
“Video footage of an FDC raid on a reported safe house in Naguru being used to allegedly tick ballot papers led by Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye in which he was also later arrested for trespassing” (NBS TV Uganda, 18.02.2016).
Shawn Mabiru says this about the detaining of Besigye:
“He was in his home district where he voted when he got information that there was an illegal tally centre manned by the NRM and police” (…)”He walked in and saw them pre-ticking ballot papers. They arrested him and took him to an unknown place”.
In Lira yesterday:
“Lira Magistrate Court today released on Court bail seven people who were arrested over the weekend on allegation of defacing posters belonging to NRM Presidential Candidate Yoweri Museveni. Willy Omodo Omodo the GO Forward Candidate for Oyam North MP, Ibrahim Olong who is contesting for Lira Municipality Mayor and Abura James Walter Youth Councillor for Lira Municipality. Others are Mungu Richard Jakisa the News Editor at Radio North, Otim Innocent , Tile David and Patrick Awongo (Radio Wa 89.8 FM, 17.02.2016).
In Kihihi yesterday:
There was reports that the locals “delivered” and got a 100 Rwandan nationals ferried to vote in the election the 18th had come to Kihihi district to vote for President Museveni. They all stayed in Kihihi Police Station. As they wanted them to ship them home and let Ugandans vote in their election.
In Kayunga County yesterday as the government was kind yesterday:
“Kayunga District distributed more 66 heifers worth 102 million shillings to farmers under the Luwero Rwenzori Development Programme” (17.02.2016); the Government all of sudden share their funds just the day before the election, nothing suspicious about that at all…
The magic is that President Museveni has gotten over 3000 votes while the original papers from the Electoral Commission are saying the total voters are 2098!
Rushere Primary School:
The tally shows another magical result for President Museveni he got 760 votes, Kizza Besigye 2 votes. The magical part is that the School and Polling station has 437 votes!
Fear level at certain places:
As the results are pouring in and the tallies are counted. The Army is deploying heavy forces in Luwero and Nakaseke!
Amama Mbabazi message during the elections today:
“I ask all voters in this election to keep vigilant and report any suspicious incident. I would like to thank the team from Karamoja that is vigilant and have reported the following anomalies. In Abim district, the District Registrar is withdrawing a Presidential booklet (50 ballots) from each polling station and taking to unknown destination claiming that some polling stations were in short supply/under served. We question this logic because it is not only President being voted for today but all Members of Parliament as well. There are 60 polling stations in Abim and this amounts to 3000 votes being taken away. South of Amudat in a place called Karita subcounty, our agents with polling agent letters and supervisors have been chased away by Crime Preventers who are armed. Tell us what is happening at your polling station” (Mbabazi, 18.02.2016).
There will come more in the coming days as the ministers, local council men and all the elections results will come and people will react to the new 10th Parliament and who will become the new president in Uganda, as the results hopefully get rid of President Museveni as his rigging time should be over and let the people’s will shine. Peace.
Today the Go-Forward Group and the TDA Joint Presidential Candidate have been in hot water all day. Yesterday in Northern Uganda there we’re rumors and reports about booing him and making mockery of him while on stage because of his deliverance in NRM government. That is not something I will focus on, because with his history in mind. It is understandable, wish they would do the same to Mzee though! But then they the Police and Crime Preventers would make issues so understand their silence when he entered the town in Karamoja. I wish I was writing something profound and deep, meaningful and giving. Instead I litter of the sadness and tragedy that follows the Go-Forward and the TDA supporters and team.
Today in Kabong Town in Kaabong district the public and citizens we’re expected and told to wear NRM t-shirts. While the town and people knew that Amama Mbabazi we’re expected to hold a campaign rally there. DPC Peter Cherome has made his people busy today and the forcing the public to wear NRM clothes is just the beginning.
Well, Amama Mbabazi tried to visit Kidepo National Park, but the Police blocked it and closed it. So he could not check the conservation and resettlement of the animals in the National Park. That is not allowed I suppose! Yeah, it is not a prayer house? Not a school? Not a, well, house with sick people called Hospital! So why can’t and where is the rules from the Electoral Commission or Police stopping his movement? Please explain?
This morning in Kabale this happen:
“Hon. Stephen Kalibba, the former Prime Minister for Tooro Kingdom, and former Member of Parliament who has been Go Forward Cordinator for Tooro and Rwenzori sub-regions has defected to NRM”.
Yesterday in Bukedea district:
The Amama Mbabazi aid in Bukedea district we’re attacked and flocked by local NRM supporters and badly hurt. The pictures of the man are spreading online; the sadness of how the NRM-Regime goes against their opposition. I will not show the picture, but think the story should be told!
Reports from Amudat yesterday:
“Currently happening in Amudat one of the districts from Karamoja region the mobilizers of Hon. Amama Mbabazi have been identified and bundled in different cars including Police cars forcefully now crossing to Kenya”.
In Ntungamo and aftermath of the clashes in the town last year:
“Eleven supporters of independent Presidential Candidate Amama Mbabazi who were charged with assault, causing grievous harm and malicious damage to property, have been remanded for seven more days at Ntungamo Central Prison, due to lack of sureties and legal representation” (…)”Seven of them were first remanded five days ago after pleading not guilty, to the charges presented to them before Grade One Magistrate Richard Ndangwa. The magistrate said he needed more time to peruse through documents tendered in court by their sureties before granting them bail”.
Amama Mbabazi Security Team involved in a car crash:
“Three people were this morning injured in an accident involving members of the Security Team accompanying Presidential Candidate Amama Mbabazi to Karamoja Sub region. The team was on the way to Kaabong and Abim districts where Mbabazi is expected to hold a rally this afternoon when their vehicle, a Toyota Super Custom, registration number UAT 654Z swerved off the road overturning three times”.
“No one showed visible injuries at first but three of them collapsed and were rushed to a nearby hospital back to Moroto,” said the former Director-General of Uganda’s External Security Organisation Mr David Pulko, now working as Mr Mbabazi’s campaign mobiliser.
If you though this we’re worse. The planned campaign rally in Kabong town we’re blocked by Police and had to be held 70 kilometers away. This was happening today while the IGP Kale Kayihura told about 600 peaceful campaign rallies during the election periods. Not about the dirty dozen actions of his police in opposition Presidential Candidates hardships to actually work during the so called harmonized and Election Road Map worked together with Badru Kiggundu’s The Electoral Commission. Well, Hon. Amama Mbabazi had to move his main campaign rally because the local Police Force decided to do him wrong and he had to have the campaign rally in Karenga.
There been too much sadness brought to the table. Amama Mbabazi finally getting the Dr. Kizza Besigye treatment and harassment; nobody wishes to get it or feel the pain of humiliation and following of the police and governmental forces together with NRM-Supporters in the districts. Therefore the violence and extent of viciousness coming forward is dramatic and this just 45 days before the polls and general election proves that the NRM can only win on intimidation and fear, not on certainty of their political craft.
2nd Update of the hardship of the Go-Forward which continued after the publish of this article!
Updated after first publish:
Amama Mbabazi we’re supposed to be attending and sharing his opinion on the Radio channel of Karamoja (Voice of Karamoja), but the Police continued their unbiased work and blocked him from entering the Radio’s premisis as the gentlemen of IGP Kale Kayihura usually do. Another proof of yet another type of place that other Presidential Candidates… can’t enter on their campaign trail. Be so very proud of your hardwork Police men in Northern Uganda hope you get your pay on time as teachers have struggled with in recent years in Uganda. Surely hope Mzee pays you well for tornmenting and harassing opposition candidates! Peace.