Opinion: Besigye doesn’t need dialogue with Museveni!

Besigye 23.02.2016 Kasangati

Dr. Kizza Besigye and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) do not need to have dialogue or negotiation with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) or the President himself. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni needs more the dialogue than the FDC and their party needs it. It is the NRM government and NRM regime who needs legitimacy and needs funds. That is proven with Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) who proves with the 16 trillion shillings funds the for the 2017/2018 budget of the 30 trillion shillings needed. With this in mind there is certainly that the NRM needs more international support to fix missing funds.

That Museveni would need Besigye now a year after the General Election of 2016 shows how dire the situation is, the added debt and the troubling waters on the giant infrastructure projects, as much as the missing funds for the salaries or the other financial expenses that are occurring for the government. So the proof of issues is growing as the direct budget support has dwindled down as well as the elite and the cronies still expect to be fed by the regime.

Besigye has still a forged treason case, as much as Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere has as well. The FDC headquarters was attacked and a crime-scene as the FDC Youth and FDC P10 was attacked as the defiance campaign was even banned by the Deputy Court Justice Stephen Kavuma. As well, the Police Force under IGP Kale Kayihura monitored and followed the leadership of FDC like they we’re criminal. There were many detained and house-arrested, there was more people hurt and hospitalized by state security organization. Also, the many inflicted and detained without warrants or court order shows the impunity of the state towards the FDC.

So after this impunity, after the illegal house-arrest of Besigye and the others who has been taken into prison without any justice served, why should the FDC try to sell their soul to the Movement? That is waste of time and waste of energy, it would be like the men who traded their political lives in Nairobi talks: “The NRA and the government signed a peace and power sharing agreement in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital Dec. 17 that called for an immediate cease-fire, the freezing of all troop movements and a half share of the ruling Military Council for the NRA” (…) “The provisions of the accord were largely ignored and both sides used the lull in the fighting to reposition and resupply their forces. The guerrillas claimed the military committed widespread human rights abuses after the accord was signed” (Charles Mitchell – ‘The National Resistance Army of rebel leader Yoweri Museveni…’ 26.01.1986 link: http://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/01/26/The-National-Resistance-Army-of-rebel-leader-Yoweri-Museveni/5549507099600/ ). So the agreement done by NRA in December 1985 wasn’t a big deal, so that Museveni could do a final sting and coup to gain power, which he has never left.

A negotiation with Museveni would only enforce his rule and his longevity in power nothing else. Besigye would not be offered anything substantial; his part in the matter would end in little or nothing. FDC would get the stick, but not get the price. Just like they wouldn’t feel a difference between now and then since the price of going into partnership would benefit Museveni. The Movement would get beneficiary funding and regard internationally since FDC has a higher standing abroad than Museveni.

M7 Guards Inaguration 2016

Museveni is well-known now because of his 7 terms and his position of executive since 1986. The reality of this that a negotiation or dialogue with Museveni at this stage is redundant, unless the President all of sudden turns his own self sideways. That he would go back on all his empty promises and all of his glory. Certainly Museveni could do so, but he knows that he has too many people on his consciences to leave it all behind. The President has eaten too much of the state coffers and cannot leave the bank-accounts behind. The family is too connected and has all the leverage in the state. The movement is built around him and if he fails than the party does as well.

The Movement and Museveni would not co-sign their powers or the authority, not after the rigging and the massive misuse of the state funds, therefore the lacking funds for the current budget. Museveni knows that his loyal friends abroad will not give in to his ways anymore, therefore hoping to play other cards. Use his political brain to suck other donors in. That while waiting for more oil-monies and also trade of other with making the UPDF to mercenary army in Equatorial Guinea or South Sudan if needed. This is because they need to get fresh funding for the State House, which hasn’t paid their payment-arrears to the owners of the Okello House!

So Besigye doesn’t need Museveni at this point, he needs his party and the loyalty of his supporters. That is more than Museveni has who needs to pay for loyalty and to secure funding for the movement itself. Therefore the jobs and funds to come steady, there is always more mouths to feed and more people to silence with brown envelopes. So Museveni needs foreign support and foreign aid as the Uganda Revenue Authority has just enough regulations and taxes to bring in funds that scrape the surface, but not fill the state coffers.

So again I say and I stand by it, Museveni is the only one earning political capital on negotiations and dialogue, nothing is really to be earned by the FDC or Besigye. So with this in mind, Museveni will only gain and Besigye will only lose on it. If you know you would lose, why give way to somebody who comes to take it all and deplete it all? Peace.

Opinion: The next steps for Besigye and continued defiance against the Movement!

OPM Press Release 05052016

It’s not easy to give words of advice to the men and woman who are in the line of fire. But we cannot let the Movement and their spin-control run the mill. They are stealing and thieving with massive speed and impunity. They are trying to avoid the weakness of the economy, trying to find new ways of revamping the economy without too much state debt and without loving donor direct aid. They still have the military and equipment served from loyal allies in the United States, if that will happen under Trump and it has happen under Bush/Obama is not easy to know; certainly U.S. will still let other brigades do the dirt they don’t want to do themselves.

The ones who toll with the problems are Dr. Kizza Besigye and his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), they work for a peaceful transition in Uganda from the militarized politics of the President Museveni’s Movement. So with this in mind, after a year of issues, a year of tribulations, arrests, detained and charges of treason against the government; the political change is still in the wind. Besigye had deserved a better start and a fresher place as he is still monitored and still has Police following all movement done by the man. The same with his party who cannot hold meetings and public consultations without police taking stereo equipment, arrests or intimidation of citizens who shows up or just happen to be around.

Besigye had started the Campaign of Defiance under the Election Road Map for the General Election of 2016. So in 2015 it was started and has been put under fire from the Resistance Movement, an ironic problem for a draconian and tyrant regime who cannot really be democratic as they tries to silence or get rid of the worst opponents. Besigye is only kept because of known place and international scrutiny of they try to attack him too much.

FDC Besigye 05.04.2016

First Step – Defy with actions:

Besigye should continue and with more force, use more than just words and get the FDC to actually take a stronger stand against the ones that supports the regime. The Mafia regime or junta government, which he has described the Movement so many times. If FDC wants to be fair and wants to defy the Movement, they should suspend themselves first from Parliament. It is risky, but would be a grandeur position to take away the Shadow Government and the legitimacy of the current government.

TDA Kizza Besigye 261015

Second Step – Defy with dialogue with other opposition:

Secondly the FDC should be in talks with Democratic Party and other smaller parties that are not involved directly in the Movement regime, as they can try to weaken and strengthen the other voices. As Besigye have already done with his friendship with Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Gen. David Sejusa. FDC needs to be connected with people of stature like Norbert Mao and others, who are real opposition to Museveni. Not talk to Jimmy Akena or others who just uses their parties as fronts of beacon of democracy, instead of actually challenging the Movement.

Kale Kayihura Choose Peace

Third Step – Defy the Courts like IGP Kayihura:

Just as IGP Kale Kayihura defied his own court-orders, the same should Besigye himself start to do in 2017, to show that he doesn’t respect the unlawful character of the regime; as the peaceful acts of showing up for treason charge that continue running into oblivion. Time to just say it is a kangaroo court and is only doing it to silence his voice. Therefore not showing up and instead continue to travel around the country to meet and greet party officials and locals to prove the value of building institution over being a sole candidate in Museveni and the NRM.

Times is a wasting, it’s hard to do stuff when you’re behind bars or at court, it’s hard to always move when the Police Force and other Security Organizations follow your every step.

NRM to Daily Monitor 09.02.2016

Fourth Step – Hurt the pocket of the Government:

Certainly the Defiance needs to be hurting the regime. Try to stop the foreign exchange rates, the taxation and the revenue of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), even the business that is inter-connected with the Movement. As much as it should stop the state owned businesses that is being used by the Movement. Museveni would hate that he couldn’t misuse the profits of needed businesses, the ones that are owned by investors who are supplying him funds to pay Special Force Command and other militarized outfits that keeps him as the Executive.

If the Besigye and his folks stood behind and hurt the pocket and legitimacy, not in words only, but also actions that could move the regime and also create a vacuum that Museveni and his movement couldn’t control. The ripple effect and the true hurt would be shown. Especially with the knowledge, that the Election already hurt the economy with massive effect. So if they continue pounding on it took out the cash out of the Museveni owned banks and stopped profits to companies that the Museveni clan partly own. Than the Movement and family would feel the pinch.

Defying the state institutions and the government procedures, stop respecting the Police and Courts, stop listening to the draconian laws and also stop the funding of taxes and funds to directly keep the Movement alive. Something that would really hurt Museveni and his elite; this would really make it hard for the Movement to continue to use Police Force and use the state to gain wealth.

Besigye can continue to talk peaceful transition and I respect that. This sort of acts is not easy. They are hard and costly. Many will be arrested, many more detained, more torture and more innocent dying, but there been so much over 30 years that the defiance campaign has to take it to the next level. Show disrespect, let the government lose its value and show the world that the ones behind Besigye don’t see Museveni as their President. Museveni is just a citizen, not an Executive, as he wasn’t really elected to be so; he coup d’état again when he got sworn-in on the 12th May of 2016.

Time for acts, not talk, time for really defying the government and use the power of the people. Time to use the popularity and risk being harassed, as if you don’t than the Police will continue as they do; business as usual and also target the FDC as much as possible without it costing much for the illegitimate government it is. The illegal detained and the illegal arrests cannot be sustained, as much as the house arrests and unlawful behaviour of the Police towards the FDC is unbearable. This is not militant; it is fighting for a just cause. The real freedom and liberty, not to talk about a real legitimate government who represent the citizens of Uganda! Not a government representing Museveni and only his vision. Peace.

EU Election Observers reports says the Ugandan Elections of 2016 was: “Consequently, the legal framework contains gaps and ambiguities and therefore, in several instances, falls short of international principles for holding genuine democratic elections”

UGDebate16 Prayer

There been written a lot about the General Elections in Uganda of 2016, myself is guilty for doing so and with that in mind. I have read through the newly released Report of the European Union Election Observers Mission of 2016. That is worthy of taking what I see fit to broadcast and what the Europeans who went quick, took a safari and also spent some time at the Polling Stations. Here is what they said about the elections!

An important factor in what the EU thinks about the General Elections of 2016:

“Vital electoral reforms did not take place prior to the 2016 elections. Proposed amendments to the electoral legislation, compiled under the ‘Uganda Citizens Compact’, aimed at enabling the conduct of democratic elections, including to increase transparency in the appointment of the EC’s members, to restore presidential term limits and to improve parties’ financial accountability, were disregarded by the executive. Consequently, the legal framework contains gaps and ambiguities and therefore, in several instances, falls short of international principles for holding genuine democratic elections” (EU EOM, 2016).

BVVR Uganda 2016

Election Verification of Voters:

“The newly introduced voter registration system improved inclusiveness and accuracy of the voter register (VR). The final VR contained 15.277 million voters. However, establishing the cut-off date of 11 May 2015 for inclusion in the voter register disenfranchised approximately half million potential voters who turned 18 after this date” (EU EOM, 2016).

Lack of Transparency:

While legislation contains provisions on reporting and disclosure of political finance, these are neither followed by parties and candidates, nor enforced by the EC. This lack of transparency weakens the credibility of the elections” (EU EOM, 2016).

FDC 18.02.2016 Besigye Arrested

Maladministration of the vote:

“Voters showed remarkable determination on election day, waiting long hours to cast their ballots. The markedly late arrival of electoral material in certain areas marred an otherwise calm election day. The EC failed to address growing tensions among people deferred from voting. Instead, an imposing presence of police in the vicinity of polling stations was observed. Further shortcomings, such as unsealed ballot boxes in 20 per cent and compromised secrecy of vote in 11 per cent of polling stations visited, were observed by the EU EOM. Positively, party agents and domestic observers were mostly present in polling stations visited by the EU EOM” (EU EOM, 2016).

Talley Centre mishaps:

“In 85 per cent of the District Tally Centres (DTCs) observed, the printed sub-county results, broken down to polling station level, were not handed out or publicised. The Electronic Result and Transmission System, used to transmit the collated results from districts to the EC, did not contain key anti-fraud measures. In several districts, the electronic transfer did not take place; the results were brought to the EC by the district returning officer in person. The final tallying for these districts could not be observed, further undermining the integrity of the process” (EU EOM, 2016).

Kiggundu 19.02.2016

The Badru Kiggundu’s soul:

“The chairperson of the Commission expressed regret that he had nominated an opposition presidential candidate; made public remarks on a candidate’s family member, and on another occasion described him as not “exactly being a fountain of honour” (EU EOM, 2016).

Amama Blocked from enroute Mulagi to Busolwa 11.01.2016

Police intervene in the Election:

“On a number of occasions, opposition candidates, particularly from the FDC and TDA/Go Forward, were denied access to campaign venues, restricting their ability to campaign freely. The EU EOM received reports and observed extensive use of force by police, including teargas and assault rifles, to disperse crowds during Kizza Besigye’s and Amama Mbabazi’s rallies in Bukwo, Kasenge, and Ntungamo, among others.25 On 15 February, police detained Besigye twice, preventing him from addressing scheduled rallies in Central Kampala, and used teargas and live ammunition against his supporters, resulting in one death and several injuries” (EU EOM, 2016).

Government officials intervene in the Election:

The orchestrated use of state resources and personnel for campaign purposes was observed. Government officials took an active role in the NRM campaign, with several Resident District Commissioners and high-ranking security officials openly endorsing the candidacy of President Museveni and the NRM campaign. Thus, candidates’ equality of opportunity was not respected” (EU EOM, 2016).

Bukwo FDC Campaign Trail 060116 P3

Intimidation during the Election:

“In Bukwo district on 6 January, the police dispersed the campaign rally of FDC presidential candidate Besigye in Toriet Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp using teargas and assault rifles. Several senior FDC figures received minor injuries. The police stated that Besigye diverted from his planned route without justification and thus provoked acts of public disorder” (…)”On 25 January, the IGP stated that all critics who are simply ‘political opportunists’ can ‘go hang.’ On 27 January, he was also quoted saying ‘power shall not be handed over to the opposition to destabilise the peace the country has fought for.’ In a press release, the police later claimed that the media had misquoted the IGP” (…)”EU EOM observers received reports of intimidation of opposition and opposition supporters in Amuru, Bujenje, Buliisa, Gulu, Isingiro, Kamwenge, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kiruhura, Kisoro, Lira, Masindi, Mbarara, Moroto, Mukono, Nakapiripirit, Nwoya, and Wakiso. Intimidation of voters was reported from Kiboga, Lira, Luweero, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Sembabule districts” (EU EOM, 2016).

M7 16.11.15

Bad rhetoric during the Election:

“On 9 October, the President was quoted as saying that anybody who attempts to oppose him will, ‘Be smashed completely and no trace of his remains will be found on the ground,’ and on 20 December that ‘The thugs who attacked NRM supporters in Ntungamo will pay dearly.’ NRM secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba was quoted on Radio Simba on 25 January saying, ‘We shall shoot anyone who will come on the streets to demonstrate against vote rigging.’ On 1 February, the deputy RDC in Jinja was quoted saying: ‘Whoever will be found disrupting the February 18 elections in Jinja District will be shot dead.’” (EU EOM, 2016).

Campaign funding disclosure:

“The total amount of money jointly spent by presidential and parliamentary candidates is not independently calculated and verified. According to presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi, he funded his three billion UGX campaign from his personal funds and received no donations. Kizza Besigye disclosed that his expenses totalled one billion UGX, of which 96 million UGX were donations. Incumbent president Museveni’s campaign team refused to disclose the amount/value or sources of his campaign funds” (EU EOM, 2016).

Police 29.02.2016 Kasangati

Media Freedom during the Elections:

“The NRM, with more funds at its disposal, admits to frequently using paid-for pseudo-journalism to boost its visibility and enhance the reputation of both the party and its candidates. An edifying example of the system in place occurred in Rwenzori, where 17 outspoken journalists were compelled to attend the President’s briefing in Masindi state lodge. The President not only instructed journalists to campaign for the NRM at grassroots level, but also provided them with financial ‘facilitation’. Consequently, the line between advertisements and editorial content was blurred and the impartiality of information offered to the electorate was eroded” (…)”Hostile statements targeting outlets owned by the country’s largest commercial media house, Nation Media Group (NMG), were repeatedly made by the President and reiterated by the state’s top executives. This reverberated at the local level, with the RDCs and other state actors orchestrating measures that encourage self-censorship on issues that might be perceived as critical to the President or the government. Intimidating phone calls, “guidance meetings” for journalists and editors chaired by the law enforcement bodies, as well as requests to submit the radio’s programming to the RDC or local UCC representative prior to broadcasting were the most wide-spread measures applied to put media under pressure. The EU EOM received reports on such occurrences in 20 districts” (…)”On 24 January the President stated: “Monitor and NTV don’t know that there is a good, they just tell lies…. NTV is an enemy”. The President voiced a similar statement on 31 January. On 29 January the minister of Information and National Guidance: “There is no media house that can take the law in their hands…we definitely shall close them down”. The government/NRM spokesperson criticized media on 1 February. On 9 February owners and editors of all leading media houses were invited to the dinner hosted by the EC and the UCC where all were warned that UCC will “without a hesitation sanction the media outlets” (…)”Media monitoring findings correspond the parties’ and candidates’ assessment of the balance and quality of local radio coverage of their campaign. While 78 per cent of the NRM’s local leadership believes that media featured them fairly, the FDC’s assessment of radio’s impartiality is diametrically opposed, with 78 per cent of local party representatives listing examples of biased coverage. In 21 districts, opposition candidates were denied access to radio broadcasts or stations, and in 32 districts, biased coverage against FDC, Democratic Party (DP) or Go Forward was reported” (EU EOM, 2016).

Kampala 18.02.2016

Election Day:

“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” (…)”Unauthorised persons were present in eight per cent of polling stations observed, and in none of them did the presiding officer requested them to leave. Essential election material was missing in 12 per cent of polling stations observed. Typically, the missing material was seals, but in a small number of cases also ballot boxes, ballot papers in sufficient numbers and the voter register was not available” (…)”In one quarter of the polling stations, observers encountered voters being turned away for not being on the voter register. Such a high percentage of voters not being aware of the location of the polling station indicates the lack of voter information prior to the elections. Only in two per cent of the polling stations visited were voters deprived of voting without lawful grounds” (EU EOM, 2016).

Counting:

“In 37 per cent of polling stations observed, the Presiding Officer had difficulties completing the Declaration of Result Forms (DRF), and in almost half of the polling stations the filling in of the Accountability of Ballot Papers Form proved to be problematic. In 20 per cent of polling stations where closing was observed, the numbers in the DRFs did not reconcile. This can be attributed to malpractice, negligence and/or numerical errors. The latter two were widespread since there were neither provisions nor even proper guidelines on how to conduct the reconciliation at the polling station level. Moreover, after filling in all forms, the safety and integrity of the DRF was not ensured in 30 per cent of polling stations observed, as they were not put into the tamper-proof envelope as prescribed by EC instructions. Intimidation of polling staff during the counting was reported from four polling stations observed by the EU EOM observers. In 93 per cent of polling stations observed at closure, results were not posted outside the polling stations, as required by law. Nevertheless, party agents were given copies of the DRFs in 93 per cent of cases” (EU EOM, 2016).

Masaka Talley Center 19.02.2016

Tallying:

“The ban on social media on mobile devices was not lifted for four consecutive days. The overall environment created by state actors during the final stages of the tallying of results curbed voters’ right to access to information as called for in Uganda’s international and regional commitments” (…)”Further constrains on the public’s access to information originated from the EC’s statement de facto prohibiting media to publicise results announced at the polling stations. Such live reports on results by polling station is a habitual and defining feature of Ugandan media’s election coverage as it enables each voter to independently verify the results in his or her polling station. With the FDC’s leadership being detained, the police surrounding Mbabazi’s home, and with critical media being effectively silenced, the EC held a monopoly over both the content of electoral results information and the pace of its disclosure” (EU EOM, 2016). “The results, however, did not contain data from 1,787 polling stations, affecting 43 districts, eight of them strongly” (EU EOM, 2016). The EC eventually updated the final result on 22 February, adding the results from 1,658 polling stations. The EC also nullified results from 129 polling stations in 34 districts due to various malpractices, including disruptions during voting and the number of votes cast exceeding 100 per cent of registered voters. However, the list of affected polling stations was not published, thus compromising the EC’s accountability” (…)”These were Jinja with 388 polling stations (PS) out of 399 missing, Rukungiri with 273 PS out of 276 missing, Kyenjojo with 277 PS out of 337 missing, Kabale 190 PS out of 478, Kampala with 162 PS out of 1,338, Wakiso 119 PS out of 1,359, Isingiro with 88 PS out of 385, and Ntungamo with 78 PS out of 432 missing. These eight districts account for 1,575 or 88.5 per cent of the missing PS” (EU EOM, 2016).

M7 2016 Post Interview quote

It is good to see that the Elections Observers is saying the same as so many other people have said about it. This here counters the words of Andrew Mwenda, Ofwono Opondo and President Museveni. The words that should stick to into President Museveni mind is this:

“Consequently, the legal framework contains gaps and ambiguities and therefore, in several instances, falls short of international principles for holding genuine democratic elections”.

Because he said this after the elections was over: “am glad that my people here have seen the mistake of listening to foreign meddlers.” (…) “If the international community has lost confidence in us, it is a compliment and it means we are right”.

So in his mind because the European Union now saying he is wrong and that the framework is co-operative with free and fair elections; then in the mind of President Museveni means we’re right. The President Museveni has now “won” the 7th Term and is ready for his 31 years of power. He is double the age of average aged Ugandan. So there is something missing and wished for. Therefore the ending of the tension and the presence of security outfits in nearby area. The Army and Police Force is close by and the ones that keep him in Power. Not the loyalty of the people or the legitimacy of the way he became the incumbent again! Peace.

Mou EOM GoU 2015

P.S. Mr. Eduard Kukan I will be honest I had little faith in you and your mission as the fraudulent and praising foreign missions to express faith in the government they are funding through donor-aid and direct-budget funds. Therefore I thought that you would naturally say it was free and fair without hesitation. Because you went from Slovakia to go on Safari, drink some sodas and have matooki and be merry. But I am glad you did your job well, not because of your view, but because of sense observations and reports been told. That seems genuine as your concern for the maladministration and fraudulent elections you observed.

Reference:

European Union Election Observation Mission – ‘Uganda Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections, 18 February 2016’ (April 2016)

Ugandan people shun the Local-Government Elections today; While Dr. Kizza Besigye is arrested while trying to go out and vote!

Poll Station 24.02.2016

Today is the Local Government Elections in most places in the country except for the once that gets suspended because of wrong names on the ballots or the persons who are supposed be on the ballots. This time around the ballot-papers we’re delivered on time, everywhere actually and the polling agents was ready. There was also informed to be a public holiday so that there should be possible to show up, but this here is a silent demonstrations and a free-for-all after the sham of an election the 18th February.

Just as the main elections of the Executive and representatives in the Parliament, this here will be marred with malpractice and even rigged. Therefore the people have shunned the event and polls. As they don’t trust the Electoral Commission; I have lots and lots of issues from around the country, this here is not just an reaction to all those people who never got their say on the 18th February, but also all them who never got counted that day. Here are some reports.

Radio One Polling Station 24.02.2016 P1

From Kampala in the morning:

“Although polling materials were dispatched early enough by 6am, the poor turn up of voters has caused delays in starting of the voting exercise. At some polling stations in Nakawa and in Namirembe at Mengo primary polling station, Makarere and Kabale among others voting started after 7:40am with one or two voters occasionally showing up.  The stipulated time to open the polls is 7am and closing time is 4pm. The Electoral Commission has done its part to deliver the materials on time and ensure their electoral agents are already stationed for duty” (Radiocity 97FM, 24.02.2016).

Radio One Polling Station 24.02.2016 P2

As the Electoral Commission stated on social media:

“Kyankwanzi District that elections for the District Chairperson have been suspended today” (EC, 24.02.2016).

The Observer wrote this:

“Voting material mixup: Wrong ballot papers sent to 6 sub counties in Bundibugyo in  Busaru, Nyahuka, Bubugwanga, Ntoroto, Kasitu & Ntandi” (Observer, 24.02.2016).

Bushenyi 24.02.2016
Comboni Hospital Polling Station, Bushenyi

In Bushenyi:

The NRM continues to rig elections in the area as the NRM get the FDC Monitors of the elections is arrested, while the NRM starts to bribe the voters to vote for them. And stacks of money are taken to the sub-counties in the area as well. The NRM mobilisers are in the markets and buying the voters. This report from one of polling stations in the district: “Empty Polling Stations in Bushenyi, here at Comboni Hospital; people have refused to go to vote. Atleast 100 people have voted out of over 350 people who voted at this polling station last week”.

In Lungujja:

“Signed blank declaration forms have been discovered in Lungujja by Rubaga MP Elect Moses Kasibante. Chaos has ensues” (93.3. KFM, 24.02.2016).

In Kabale, Moroto and Katakwi:

“In Kabale, voter turn up is low, partly because the district chairperson is unopposed, our correspondent reports” (NBS TV, 24.02.2016). “9:53 LIVE: Our report David Ochieng in Tororo says voter turn out is still low. Voters are complaining about the Biometric Voter Verification” (NBS TV, 24.02.2016). Our reporter Mike Onyang says in Moroto, more locals have been seen at drinking joints than at many polling stations. Onyang says many voters he has spoken to in Moroto say they are fatigued and are still mourning the loss of ‘their’ candidates (NBS TV, 24.02.2016). Very low turn up in LC5 and LC5 councilor’s in Katakwi as the case in the rest of Uganda.

In Jinja:

“Voting for the district chairpersons and councillors is underway, but here in Jinja the voter turnout is significantly low as compared to the just concluded presidential and Members of Parliament election. All this, despite today being a public holiday” (89 Smart FM, 24.02.2016).

In Nebbi:

“Local government elections in most parts of the country have been characterized by low voter turn up compared to Presidential and parliamentary elections. For instance in Nebbi district at boma one polling station by 11:00am only 57 out of 500 voters had voted while boma two out of 142 only 37 had cast their vote” (Radio Paidha Ltd, 24.02.2016).

In Iganga:

There police and military are at the Polling Stations and the roads in the district.

In Kumi:

“Electoral Commission has postponed the polls for the Kumi District LC V chairperson, following the death of Charles Otaok, the Go Forward Candidate. Otaok died in a motor accident along the Mbale-Soroti highway, a fortnight ago. The Kumi District Returning Officer, Monicah Ngobi, said this morning that they received communication from the Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala, to postpone the elections of the LC V chairperson until further notice” (RadioCity 97FM, 24.02.2016).

Mbale 24.02.2016

There been low voter turn-up in Entebbe, Gulu, Makindye, Lyantonde, Lwengo, Masaka, Sembabule, Mukono, and Kampala. In certain areas there are more Polling Officals then voters. Look forward to see how they will fix the results from this locals elections Seem that the country there is low-turn up as people seem to have lost faith in Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu and his Electoral Commission. Who decide for them and therefore they boycott this election to prove as a demonstrations against the regime! As with the other election on the 18th February there been people captured with pre-ticket ballots. There been silence and not much action since the announcement of the Presidential and Members of Parliament elections has been rigged and taken the public for granted. Therefore the result is low turn-up and showing the Electoral Commission.   

Reports from Presidential Elections in Karamjoa and explains the 95% for President Museveni:

“In Karamoja the Electoral Commission District Registar has been beaten by the Special Forces command on the 17th February before making off with all the ballot boxes. He is currently paralyzed”.

Kizza Besigye 23.02.2016

Just as the low-voter turn-up the Local-Government does not need Dr. Kizza Besigy’s ballots it seems:

“Col dr Kizza Besigye has been blocked from leaving his Kasangati home. He planned to travel this morning to Rukungiri for local government elections. From the start of the week, Dr Besigye has been kept by police, inside his Kasangati home during the night, and in police cells during the day. Last night at around 10:30pm as he was being returned from police detention back to his home, Dr Besigye said he was tired of this routine, and that he would rather remain in police custody, than being enslaved inside his own house. Besigye on the other hand says he needs to prepare to legally challenge the presidential election results in courts of law, and has now less than 6 days to put together all the necessary evidence” (RadioCity 97FM, 24.02.2016). In the New Vision: “Kizza Besigye of FDC was earlier today denied chance to leave his home to go to Rukungiri to cast his vote in the local council polls by the area DPC, James Kawalya” (New Vision, 24.02.2016).

As the voters shun the election, Dr. Kizza Besigye still not allowed moving freely and under arrest on yet another day! The Electoral Commission will struggle to get more voters than the polling stations as the numbers should be small and the percentage of total voters should be very low. Close to 20% or even less many places, if it is more than it is pre-ticked for NRM candidates as that is the Modus Operandi of the NRM-Regime.

I want to say I understand the people and their demonstrations is vital and viable as the world is following Uganda and the people know about the non-sense re-election of President Museveni. As the opposition continues to be under pressure and harassment as seen by Dr. Kizza Besigye; Seen yesterday in Mbarara and Ibanda; now also in Bushenyi where they arrested FDC mobilisers today. Since it is for the ruling party the access and reason for it is not necessary as the fear and intimidation is what the NRM lives on, and not on vote-ability or accountability for their actions. Peace.  

BBC Africa: Museveni: “explains the clamp down on opposition” (Youtube-Clip)

“Uganda’s newly re-elected President Yoweri Museveni who was declared winner of last week’s presidential election and has been in power for 30 years. He talks about the opposition and why he is against presidential term limits. He spoke to BBC Africa’s Zuhura Yunus in his country home in Rwakitura, Western Uganda” (BBC Africa, 2016).

Release of AUEOM Preliminary Findings of the 18th February 2016 General Elections in the Republic of Uganda (20.02.2016)

NTV 20.02.2016

Kampala, 20 February 2016

“The AUEOM notes that the elections in Uganda were largely peaceful, but not without shortcomings.”

The African Union Commission deployed a Short Term Election Observation Mission to the 18 February 2016 General Elections in the Republic of Uganda. The Mission comprised 40 Short Term Observers from several African countries drawn from the African Union Permanent Representatives’ Committee, the Pan-African Parliament, Election Management Bodies and Civil Society Organizations.
The AUEOM assessed the General Elections in Uganda based on the relevant African Union instruments, namely; the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the 2002 AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions; and the legal framework governing the conduct of elections in Uganda. This statement presents the Mission’s preliminary findings covering pre-voting, voting, counting and tallying processes up to 18 February 2016. The African Union will, however, continue to observe the post-electoral developments and release a final report within the next three months.

Pre-election environment
The AUEOM noted that the legal framework for elections in Uganda provides for, and guarantees the holding of regular elections in conformity with regional and international frameworks. This framework comprises the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, the Electoral Commission Amendment Act 2015; the Presidential Elections Amendment Act 2015; the Parliamentary Elections Amendment Act 2015; and the Political Parties and Organisations Act 2005.
The AUEOM observed that there is no legal framework for regulating political party campaign financing. The Mission noted that the law expressly prohibits the use of Government resources for campaigning by all candidates and parties, except for the President, as stated in Article 27.1 of the Presidential Elections Act. Stakeholders reported that there has been unprecedented increase in campaign spending.
The AUEOM learned that in 2015 Uganda introduced a National Identity Card System, which required the conduct of a mass biometric registration of citizens aged 16 years and above. The EC extracted information of all registered citizens who were 18 years and above to compile a National Voters’ Register. The AUEOM noted that at the end of the National Voter Registration exercise, there were 15, 277,198 registered voters. This Voters’ Register was continuously updated until 11 May 2015 when the process was concluded in line with the electoral calendar.

The AUEOM noted that, whereas the use of data from the National Register ensured that all citizens from 18 years by the end of the mass registration exercise were registered; interlocutors expressed concern that the 11 May 2015 deadline for updating the Voters Roll left many potential voters who turned 18 years after that date, disenfranchised. The EC collaborated with civil society organizations (CSOs) in conducting voter education. However, the accredited CSOs raised concerns that their efforts were constrained by late provision of materials by the EC. In addition, voter education was generally perceived to be inadequate.

NTV Uganda Presidential Debate 2016

The AUEOM noted that for the first time, two presidential debates were held in Kampala and broadcasted live on television and radio. All 8 presidential candidates were invited to reach out to voters using this platform.

The AUEOM observed that despite the unprecedented political and electoral competition, campaigns were generally conducted within the legal framework. However, the Mission noted the 15 February 2016 incident in Kampala, which led to the arrest of an opposition leader, causing anxiety among opposition supporters. The police informed the Mission that the arrested leader and his party had defied the prescribed campaign route.

VPN 18.02.2016 P2

The Mission noted that women were nominated to run as party and independent candidates in various constituencies and that there was one female Presidential candidate. In addition, women contested for the 112 parliamentary seats specially created for them. The Mission noted the participation of youth in the elections both as candidates and in the campaigns. However, there were concerns raised by some stakeholders of the youth being used by political parties to intimidate and disrupt election campaign rallies of their opponents. The AUEOM noted that besides involvement in voter education initiatives CSOs were involved in domestic observation. Thousands of domestic observers were deployed throughout the country, especially in areas considered as hotspots. The AUEOM noted that in compliance with the legal provisions, the media covered political parties and candidates’ manifestos and campaigns. However, stakeholders felt that the state media provided more coverage to the incumbent president and his party, at the expense of the opposition. It was further reported that private media provided a fairly balanced reporting on all parties and candidates. Besides the mainstream print and electronic media, campaigning was carried out on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. The AUEOM noted general concerns following the shutdown of social media platforms, by the Uganda Communication Commission from Election Day citing security concerns. The AUEOM noted that there was a generally calm and peaceful pre-election environment with no major security incidents reported.

The AUEOM noted concerns raised by interlocutors with regard to the recruitment, training and deployment of community policing units called Crime Preventers, which they alleged were misused to intimidate opposition parties. The AUEOM was however informed by the police that these were purely crime prevention units at community level with no arresting powers.

The AUEOM noted the lack of trust in security agencies by some opposition parties, which were reported to have created counter units.

Election Day

On Election Day, the teams visited 148 polling stations comprising 60% urban and 40% rural where they observed opening, voting, closing and counting processes. The observers used tablets to capture and transmit real-time observation data to the Mission Command Centre. The AUEOM teams observed opening procedures countrywide and noted that the environment outside these centers was peaceful.
Delays in opening time by up to 4 hours were reported in a number of polling stations. The delays were attributed to late distribution of polling materials. Consequently, opening procedures pertaining to sealing of ballot boxes, identification and verification of voters were not fully adhered to in some cases.
As per the laid down procedure, voters were asked for identification and their names checked against the register before voting. Only a few were turned away because they did not have the required identification, were not on the voters’ register, were at the wrong polling station or were rejected by the Biometric Voter Verification Kit.
With regards to the Biometric Voter Verification Kits, which were introduced for the first time, the AUEOM observed that in some polling stations, the kits worked well, hence hastening the verification process; while in some stations, they were not used because they were either not working, or the election personnel did not have access pass codes.
As an additional identification and voting facilitation measure, voter identification slips were used to direct voters to the right voting station within a voting center. Voter processing times were reasonable and mostly ranged from no more than 3 minutes in 54% of the polling stations and between 3-6 minutes in 39% of the polling station stations observed.
The AUEOM observer teams observed closing procedures at 4:00pm and beyond in areas where polling was extended because of late opening.
Closing and counting procedures were not strictly adhered to in all polling stations visited. For example, there were instances where polling officials and agents did not reconcile the number of registered voters with the number of people who actually voted. In a majority of polling stations observed, party/ candidate agents were furnished with a copy of the results form by the presiding officer.

Kaabong 18.02.2016

Conclusion

The AUEOM congratulates the people of Uganda for turning up in large numbers to perform their civic duty.

While we note that the election process is ongoing, the AUEOM’s overall assessment of the 2016 General Elections thus far, is that they were largely peaceful, but not without shortcomings; in particular, the late delivery of election materials. The late delivery led to more than 4 hours of delays in the opening of polling stations. The Mission wishes to underscore that this impacted on the overall conduct of polling day operations, and caused anxiety and tension among the voters and polling officials, which could have been avoided.

Based on its preliminary findings, the AUEOM makes the following recommendations: The AUEOM encourages the Electoral Commission to:
• Adhere to the prescribed 48 hour time frame for delivery of materials as provided in the Electoral Act, when distributing election materials to polling stations;
• Conduct continuous voter education and voter registration;
• Strengthen training for polling personnel to avoid inconsistencies in implementation of polling procedures;
• Consider using indoor polling in order to create order around the stations and to protect polling officials, voters and materials from weather elements; and • Consider adopting voting booths that ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

The AUEOM recommends that the Government provide adequate resources to the Electoral Commission to conduct continuous voter registration and voter education and enable timely procurement of election materials.

To Parliament, the AUEOM recommends that it:
• Develops legislation to regulate political party and campaign finance; and
• Concludes electoral reforms at least a year before elections to allow for timely preparation and implementation.

The AUEOM encourages the public broadcaster to provide equitable coverage to all candidates.

The AUEOM recommends that Political Parties avoid the usage of inflammatory language during campaigns and inciting supporters.

Lastly, the AUEOM recommends that the Police enforce the law equally on all parties and candidates, and desist from heavy handedness when dealing with the public, political parties and candidates.

The AUEOM will continue to observe the tallying and other post-election developments and issue a comprehensive report three months after the announcement of the election results.

Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo
Head of the African Union Election Observer Mission

Preliminary Statement: East African Community Election Observation Mission to the General Election of the Republic of Uganda held on the 18th February 2016 (20.02.2016)

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Interim Statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group: On the Ugandan General Election 2016 (20.02.2016)

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CEON U – Prelimenary Statement on 2016 General Elections (19.02.2016)

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CEON-U: “Preliminary Findings on Opening and Set-up Process” (18.02.2016)

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