On reforming democracy, the international economist argued that citizens should have to take a test in order to vote.
DOHA, QATAR, August 3, 2018 – The bestselling author goes Head to Head with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union:
In a far-reaching interview with Al Jazeera (AlJazeera.com) English’s Head to Head, Dambisa Moyo argued that there are major problems with Western democracy today.
“The notion that democracy is not a problem is mad, it’s crazy,” Moyo said.
Discussing why she believed liberal democracy was “under siege,” Moyo asserted that today’s populism “has its roots in economics”, describing how “real wages have come down…over the past 30 years, social mobility has declined” and “income inequality has widened.”
She blamed short-termist Western policies, such as farm subsidies in the US and Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, for locking “out the goods that are produced in places like Africa and South America” which has led to “more impoverished people” and “fed into issues of political instability.”
A former Goldman Sachs banker, Moyo was asked whether the company had a particular role for the 2008 financial crisis, she said that it had “no special responsibility” for what took place and that “we all have to take responsibility”.
Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $5.1bn in fines in January 2016, following an investigation by the US Department of Justice for its role in the crisis.
On reforming democracy, the international economist argued that citizens should have to take a test in order to vote and that people must have a “good knowledge of what exactly we’re voting on” before being allowed to vote.
When she remarked how voter participation was at all-time low, presenter Mehdi Hasan responded by asking “so the idea is then you make it harder for them to vote by putting a test in front of them?”
In her new book; Edge of Chaos, Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – and how to fix it, Dr Moyo proposes a system of weighted voting where some individuals have more voting power than others.
When defending her proposal, which presenter Mehdi Hasan suggested was elitist and would actually “help populism”, Moyo asserted that her idea was “based on participation, not on education” and that a degree of weighted voting already existed around the world.
Speaking about China and its economic model, Moyo commented how “over 300 million people have been moved out of poverty in 30 years” and that the West should be careful not to “point fingers” when commenting on the country’s democratic record which was on its own particular “path”.
Addressing a question on the benefits of China’s economic model, Moyo noted how Chinese politicians “don’t need to seduce today’s voter in order to remain in political office” in comparison to the US, where there is a “mismatch between long-term economic challenges and short-termism in the political system.”
Economist Dambisa Moyo first made waves with her book Dead Aid, which argued that rather than alleviating poverty in Africa, aid was actually preserving it. Asked whether she believed aid had had any beneficial effects, the economist described its “corrosive nature” on “democracy on the African continent.”
“We do want to be able to hold our governments accountable but we can’t do that if actually Oxfam is going to solve the health care problem, somebody else is going to solve education, how are we able to hold our governments accountable from a public policy stance if they are not the ones who are delivering these outcomes?”
The best-selling author argued that whilst she accepted that there have been “significant wins” across Africa, “the notion that those are because of aid…is wrong.”
Moyo pointed out that China has played a hugely significant role on the continent: “We’ve had China come in, there’s been significant investment…we’re able to trade with the Chinese, for better or for worse.”
Mehdi Hasan was joined in the discussion by a panel of experts: Ann Pettifor, economist and Author of The Production of Money; Jason Hickel, anthropologist at the University of London and author of The Divide: A brief Guide to global inequality and its solutions; and Jamie Whyte, research director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
The interview is part of a brand new series of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan’s hard-hitting discussion show on Al Jazeera English. Other guests were former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, former Trump campaign National Security Director J.D. Gordon, and feminist Germaine Greer.
Is it time to rethink Democracy? with Dambisa Moyo will be broadcast on Friday August 3rd at 20:00 GMT, and will be repeated on August 4th at 12.00 GMT, August 5th at 01.00 GMT and August 6th at 06.00 GMT.
You can wonder if the sins of old haunts the West, if the support and the strategies that worked back-in-the-day is now a lost tale. The hope for change and for a different outcome is gone. President Paul Kagame will run indefinitely and never step down. I don’t know if the West feel in debt for the crisis it didn’t prevent and didn’t manage properly in 1994. Where Kagame together with the rebel-militia supported by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni entered Rwanda. They had already been apart of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and the new government under National Resistance Movement (NRM). Kagame has done the same with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and made it into a party with the Rwandan Partriotic Front (RPF). Just after the model in Uganda.
Therefore, what you see in Rwanda is similar to what you have seen in Uganda. However, there are difference, that is why the chilling relationship between the neighbors. Kagame has worked closely with Uganda, they have sent armies together in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have worked together to support the M-23 there too. They have been weapon brothers and brothers in arms. Still, the West let them both go. It is weird, but that is where we are. Both Museveni and Kagame can do whatever and get away it.
Kagame is either detaining or killing his enemies. He is doing it just like the Russian do. Rwandans has been poisoned in the United Kingdom, strange fatal accidents in South Africa, even in exile there are dangers if you have crossed Kagame. No-one is hidden from him and if they did him bad or even questioned him. He will find you and make sure you pay. Everyone can be touched and everyone can be taken.
Kagame has total control, nothing that he doesn’t have a stake in, there are clear that the state is part of all society. If there a dissidents or people questioning him, even if they are challenging him in public. They will be tarnished and detained, their family enterprises will be seized. There is no mercy and he never shows that to anyone.
That is maybe why the Western media, NGOs and States in general are walking on needles, they need the minerals he is thieving from the Kivu provinces and therefore, let him off the hook for the support of militias within the DRC. Let him of the hook for the human rights violations, for the killings of opposition and for the totalitarian activities. Where no one but his will matters. Kagame is the king and the sun first shines on him.
We should be worried, because he doesn’t lack use of violence and harassment, he hurts and kills. He might be successful to a certain extent, but we should be worried about the efforts and his involvement across the border. There are even claims of his use of spies and such in Burundi. Clearly, that could be the truth, since he has used all sort of manipulation and militias to get funding from abroad. Therefore, it is weird he is a donor friendly person, but also someone who has no issues with silencing his enemies. That should be worrying and that should cut him off the gravy-train, also sanction the companies that are importing his conflict minerals. Peace.
Yesterday, the Ghanian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the Press together with the French President Macron. As he did this he asked serious questions about governance and development. Akufo-Addo proved with brilliance what many people are saying about the African continent, but isn’t heard from the people in power. Akufo Addo actually wants like all other sovereign states to be charging his own people for the services they are getting and not handouts from strangers abroad. That isn’t noble, that is Statesmanship and responsibility. As he don’t want aid, but trade. The President wants Ghana to make it on its own and with its own resources, instead of billing the tab from afar.
All nations and all presidents should seek this paradigm. His own words are powerful and it is needed, in times when states are either addicted to aid or borrowing funds at levels that are destroying the economies. These words and shift should be taken by all states who are used to aid. So they can prepare their citizens and their institutions to be built. So that governance and the government can deliver services to their public.
“Addressing a press conference with France President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s one-day working visit to Ghana on Thursday, President Akufo- Addo said African countries cannot continue to make policies based on the support the Western world can give. He said, “Our responsibility to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves. It is not right for a country like Ghana, 60-years after independence to still have its health and education budget being financed on the basis of the generosity and charity of European taxpayers” (…) “We need to have a mindset that says we can do it… and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” he said. Akufo-Addo said the only way Africa can stop its young men and women from migrating to other countries to seek greener pastures is to put in place systems that work. “We want to have those energies working inside our countries and we are going to have those energies if we begin to build systems that tells the young people of our country that their hopes, the opportunities are right here with us,” he stressed” (…) “Our concern should be with what we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cup-in-hand and begging for aid, for charity and for handouts,” he said” (Ghanaweb, 2017).
I’m European, I don’t care what Macron said or wanted to say after hearing Akufo-Addo speech. It was powerful and needed. The words that is expressed and the needed shift is there. Not that charity or aid should automatically stop. But the world, the leaders and the states themselves. Needs to find their way to sustain and develop mechanism for collecting revenue and also tax properly services. Secondly, needs proper guidelines and institutions to sufficiently create growth and stagger inflation. Combined with investment in not only extraction and producing crops, but also create products with it. So that the state don’t only get the low value export, but get refined and developed products on the world market. That isn’t an easy fix and has been tampered-on ever since independence and the world order hasn’t made it better too.
Initially, the power lays in the hands of the leadership. In the hands of people Akufo-Addo and others. Who can leave behind institutions and markets, that can leave behind educated and industries that brings wealth not only to a chosen few, but to the GDP of their respective nations. While stopping the current fix and re-up of more aid donations and charity from European taxpayers.
I hope that the African leadership are listening to this and actually follows this. To be truly independent. Be developed and generate the wealth the African people deserve and the stability of institutions it also should create to prosper. Maybe, not leadership as western-democracies, but in states and elected leadership that takes responsibility and uses the skills and resources for the benefit of all citizens. Not only for corporate citizens, but all of them. Building states and building democracies where the people and state are working for a common-goal. The betterment and changing today for the future. Not awaiting handouts from Berlin, Paris or London. The Ghanaian republic deserve this, they deserve to handle on their own, all former colonies and former protectorate deserves this. Just like the European republics and kingdoms are responsible for their own finances and economy. They are not awaiting funds from China or US to save them…
The same we should wish to say about African state, who are begging for donors and loans to fill the void of own taxation and revenue. Therefore, the speech from President Akufo-Addo deserves credit, not because he is African and wants to get rid of the hands-out. But because he speaking the truth in general. Every single statesman on planet earth, should work for this goal, no matter which continent and whatever country they are running. It doesn’t matter, all citizens and states should work for this common goal that President Akufo-Addo speaks off. Also, European Nations that are struggling with debt and with deficit like Greece and Italy, should also work for this goal and not be saved by other institutions. This is a world-wide issue, not only on the African continent. Peace.
Ghanaweb – ‘Africa must stop depending on foreign aid – Akufo-Addo’ (03.12.2017) link: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Africa-must-stop-depending-on-foreign-aid-Akufo-Addo-606111
I know I will shot-out of the gates and say that Paul Kagame, who won with 98,66 % in the Presidential Election in August 2017. Didn’t really win by that margin and have that sort of support. For some this might be controversial, others saying I’m hater. I will take that any part of the day and close my eyes in content. Kagame didn’t win by that margin and he didn’t have that massive support.
For the simple reason, ever since the election he has had to silence Diana Rwigara and her family. Latest stint was in Court this week. She has been arrested on unknown locations and been taken away from home. Why is Kagame so afraid of Rwigara? Well, he is afraid of being questioned and having real opposition. That is because Kagame does whatever he can to have none. The ones who has been is either in exile, detained or gotten the arrested for treason against the state. That means they don’t have loyalty to Kagame or his almighty Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
If the President was a legitimate executive and head of state, he wouldn’t have cared about the candidacy of Rwigara. She wouldn’t have the party-organization or even the structure to compete. It would be like Jill Steins Campaign in 2016 in the United States. She would be a part of the race, but all the eyes would be on Clinton and Trump. It’s not like Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has a size, neither independent Phillippe Mpayimana. If the playing-field between the candidates was fair, they would have gained more popularity, but they are just needed props into the sham of an election.
That Forces Democratiques Unifiees (FDU-Inkingi) is not involved and other parties are not in the elections. Proves my point, that the mere sacrifice of Kagame to run again. Is mere a sham and his own rule is not on popularity, but on fear and oppression. If he was democratic he wouldn’t fear Rwigara and throw phony charges her way. He wouldn’t make a mockery of her family and associates. But he has too, because his popularity isn’t as soaring as he tries to make believe.
President Kagame, don’t have stomach or the bravery to play fair, because he came with the guns and will be like many before him. Only leave by the gun. He is like Rwandan answer to Museveni. If you have real competition, they either end in exile or they are treasonous against the state. Just ask the Ugandan opposition about their toils and intimidation.
Rwigara case is proof that Kagame don’t have the popularity he subscribes. He don’t, if he did he would never step beneath his office and done this to his citizens. But he has too, because he don’t have their support. The only way he keeps the system intact is to spread fear and intimidation. That is why he is charging and shaming Rwigara for opposing him. Peace.
I know that Thomas Joseph Odhiambo (Tom) Mboya was a vital politician in the first part of the independent Kenya. He was a charismatic person, who even got himself on the front-page of the Time Magazine in 1960. His assassination in 1969 are still unanswered, like so many other extra-judicial killings. But that should not overshadow the impact and the wisdom of the man, who helped to form Kenya after Independence. He was part of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and worked together with Jomo Kenyatta.
His words in this speech, should not be a fading memory, but something that the leaders of the continent should have worked upon. Since some of it has already been proven to be right. I myself wished it was different, since the trade-imbalanced with the former colonial states and the other developed countries. Therefore, the knowledge he had should be enforced now. As there are to many generations who has been lost and hasn’t gotten what they deserved. Here is the pieces of the speech that should be taken to heart.
“Meanwhile, we in the poorer. countries are faced with a rapid growth in population and’ with the standards of life demanded by the. Masses. It has been calculated that a 1% increase in the per capita income of an industrialised country increases the demand for. food and raw materials by only 0.6%, but that the same increase in per capita income in a country importing manufactured articles will lead to an increase of 1.8% in the demand for imports. Super imposed on this has been a tendency for the terms of trade to move against the less developed countries. Unless we in Africa build up quickly our domestic services of supply for enough of the industrial products which are required for the modernization of our countries, we will either become increasingly” indebted’ to and “hence” politically dependent on foreign countries, or have our. progress undermined by balance of payments difficulties” (Tom Mboya, 1966).
“Whatever industry we attempt to build the same sort of problems, arise an accurate knowledge, of natural resources is required. Although there is much more to be learned we already know that we have in Africa the natural resources to feed a vast range of industries. Cheap energy has to be obtained. While Africa is rich in energy resource only a fraction of them have been harnessed. Industry cannot grow without efficient transport, but we can get ourselves out of’ the vicious circle since new transport links can themselves be justified in strictly commercial terms by the specific development possibilities now opened up, These three subjects natural resources, energy and transport are Vitally important, but they are not on the agenda, of this Conference” (Tom Mboya, 1966).
These words from Mboya, should be cherished and remembered, as the powerful statement it was. That the will of development on own terms was key and that they could not continue with a trade deficit with the developed countries. This has happen since because the loans, the grants and direct aid from the developed countries to the African continent. That has been a paradigm to control and assess the situation in terms of donors, not on the governments who got the funds. Therefore, the circle of aid and donor aid prospered instead of industrial development and other shifts of supply.
There been many other factors as the leadership and the cronyism has eaten budgets and donor aid. We could have hoped the past had listened to Mboya, that the states and republic’s could have followed this. To build nations on dependent on donors, that in the end will work for their own benefit and not for the African development. They will use the aid and donor aid for their own gain and personal benefit for their constituents, not for the African republic. In an ideal world it would be different, but looking through history and you can say otherwise. Since the development aid and the slums are still there, where Tom Mboya left them. The poverty Mboya saw and discussed are there, the names of the streets and nations might be different, but the troubles are the same.
Tom Mboya spoke wisdom and that should be recollected and not forgotten, not only his vital role in Kenya, but beyond. Mboya’s words here should be discussed and used to change political and trade imbalances to benefit own republic’s, federations and kingdoms of Africa. The states deserves to stop the deficit and also develop themselves on their own terms. That is something they have deserved all along, but the International organizations, Multi-National Financial Organizations and Development Banks has stifled this with their creeds, their protocols and their agreements with the state. To get needed funds they have to open economy and stop government subsidizes to support local production in agriculture and industry. So, the history of the neo-colonial Africa, had deserved to follow the paradigm shift Mboya spoke of in 1966. Peace.
United Nations – ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA AND CENTRE FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT – Symposium on Industrial Development in Africa, Cairo, 27 January – 10 February 1966 – SPEECH BY TEE CHAIRMAN OF THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOE AFRICA THE HONOURABLE TOM MBOYA MINISTER OP ECONOMIC-PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT, KMYA, AT THE OPENING OF THE INDUSTRIAL SYMPOSIUM, CAIRO, 27 JANUARY, 1966
Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.
“Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).
Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.
The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.
In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.
After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.
Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.
Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.
That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.
African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html
Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/
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.
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)
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.