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Opinion: President Museveni has given up on the UPE, should the public do the same?

St. Kitzo Primary School, Kabarole

President Yoweri Museveni has implored parents who are financially sound to give their children a better education to guarantee a better future even it means taking them to Private schools” (NTV Uganda, 04.03.2018).

The pledges of yesterday is losing value for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the process and the service delivery doesn’t matter, if it ever did. The Universal Primary Education was one of the brilliant moves he did and also got much more donor funding in the beginning of his Presidency. He introduced UPE in January 1997, as the time went the Government of Uganda invested more into the schools. As the Overseas Development Institute in February 2006, which stated: “The UPE programme has required a significant increase in public expenditure devoted to primary education. Total education expenditure increased from 2.1% GDP in 1995 to 4.8% of GDP in 2000, while the share of the education sector in the national budget increased from 13.7% in 1990 to 24.7% in 1998” (ODI – Policy Brief 10, Feb 2006). So the DFID sponsored brief are really explaining how the National Resistance Movement and President Museveni really used funds into the schools to make it happen. However, down the line the investments hasn’t continued and the progress of the policy has lost value. Since they have not continued or hold into that standard.

The President clarified that parents should feed their children and those who can’t afford should take their children to Universal Education Schools which he insisted should not charge fees, while the capable ones can pay in private schools or ‘big government schools’. “Universal Education Schools should not charge fees and parents must provide a meal for their children, called ‘entanda’. Government has provided UPE and USE for poor parents and here it is free. Those who can afford can take their children to other government schools and private schools where they pay but no child should be withdrawn from school” he emphasized” (Opio, 2018).

When you hear the man who is the leader, whose been the President since 1986, been there 32 years. Saying if you want to give your kid a good education, send them to private schools. The ones who are poor can send their kids to government schools. Therefore, if you have money, you will care more about the future for your kids. Because we as a state has given up the Universal Primary Schools.

This financial year the state is using 10,87 % of the national budget in 2018/19, that is down 11,37% in 2017/18. Both years are really proving how little it is concerning how it was when the UPE was booming around the millennium. In those years the state used about 20% or more on Education. Meaning the means to build and upgrade schools where there, also for more staff and more equipment was there. This has been forgotten and deemed unnecessary by the state.

Already in 2006, the UBOS Statistical abstract stated this: “However, the education facilities including classrooms, teachers’ houses and libraries have not matched the upsurge in the number of pupils. In 2004, provision of classroom space remained an enormous challenge. Table 2.2.2 shows that, only about half of the pupils had adequate sitting space” (UBOS, 2006). So the problems we are seeing today, is systemic from the mushrooming of schools and districts who built-up schools after the announcement of the UPE in 1997. I am not saying it is easy to keep the upkeep after the surge of schools, but if the state wanted them as a priority. They would have allocated funds to it over time.

Clearly, that part has gotten wasted and the state hasn’t figured out that buildings needs upkeep, schools needs equipment and teachers needs salaries. I know all of that seems basic, but the deep understanding of that seems lost somewhere.

Since if you are seeing the numbers, the Education Ministry got 24,7% in 1998 and now in 2018 it get’s 10,87 % of the National Budget. The schools has surged then and the budget is smaller, that meaning the more schools and teachers are getting significantly less funds for their operations. This is clearly the will of the state, as they are prioritizing other parts of government and not the schools. So the pledge before the 1996 Election is now being abandoned, the Ten Point Program point is being dismissed and the State showing disregard for its own system, as the rich can have their own. The poor can have lesser quality and the ones who care about their future can got to the private ones. Because of this I want to go back to 1996, because it says a lot, about why its like this today.

So, we are not going back to 1986 today, but 1996, when this happen:

Given his earlier opposition to the idea, President Museveni’s decision in March 1996 to make universal primary education part of his manifesto for the upcoming presidential election campaign represented a sharp break with existing policy. In a radio speech delivered on 27 March, Museveni promised that, if re-elected, he would implement a plan giving four children per family access to free primary education (the plan would also apply to orphans) (Radio Uganda 27.3.1996). This education promise was, however, just one part of an overall election manifesto that included pledges concerning liberalisation of the economy, road building, defence, and renewed East African cooperation. In fact, improvement in education was listed as only the fifth of seven bullet points on the back of Museveni’s

published manifesto (Museveni 1996). Though free primary education was only one small part of President Museveni’s initial election manifesto, during the course of the campaign it soon became clear that the promise to abolish school fees was striking a chord with the electorate. Ugandan officials from the period recall that several of Museveni’s close advisors repeatedly sent messages to the Ministry of Finance after campaign meetings in order to emphasise how the UPE promise had been well received” (Stasavage, 2006).

We could see it was his own initiative, as the President knew what would strike a chord, making sure the kids was educated and had a better future. The same resonates today, but the state has forgotten that. They are not caring, they build a giant program, a big school system of Primary Schools, but not allocated or planned the upkeep of them. That is why the state of the schools are going down and the level of poor public schools is rampant. The districts and sub-counties are not getting enough to keep the schools in functions or even the buildings up. That is why we can find pictures of schools falling apart and looking like they we’re forgotten the day after they finished building it.

From a report from the Ministry of Education and Sports in 1999 said this: “Uganda spent only US$8 per pupil in the early 1980s, and in financial year 1997/98 US$32.50 was spent per pupil” (…) “ UPE is one of the surest means that will lead Uganda to the attainment of the Jomtien Conference (1990) pledge of providing basic education to our primary school going population. As we provide that ìminimum package of knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes required by every person to enable him or her live as an independent, productive and effective citizen in a societyî the individual is empowered to meet her or his daily needs and aspirations, those of the community and the nation, which are focused on modernisation. Uganda is confident that by the target year 2003, Universal Primary Education will have been achieved for all its children” (Ministry of Education and Sports, P: 19, 21, 1999).

So in 1999, the State was hopeful, today in 2018, UPE is not for all children. Not if you listens to the words and the statement from Museveni. It’s Private Schools for the wealthy and the UPE for the POOR. Therefore, Museveni is claiming to classes and two system, which is really demeaning to the ones going to the UPE schools. This is his fault that the schools are bad. He introduced the system, he made it and built it. However, he forgot to the upkeep. He forgot the pledges of the past, even the goals of his own ministry in 1999. It is nearly 20 years since or 19 years ago. Therefore, if Museveni has forgotten it is natural, I don’t remember what I wrote a year ago. However, he promised this and used his Presidency to promote this. The UPE is one of the few grand achievements of Museveni. Even I can say that. But now its rotting and that is because the State has stopped funding it. It is their own decisions not upgrading or even maintenance of the buildings. It is weird that the NRM went into this, build this giant school program and had no plans for maintenance of the Schools or the Salaries of the teachers.

It is easy to start something, but when it continues, you needs to allocate, secure and also funds for day-to-day business. That is forgotten and today, Museveni has given it up. If not he doesn’t care about the UPE he introduced officially in 1997 and pledged during the 1996 Campaign. I say that because, well they have gone from using over 20% of the yearly budget in the 1998 to around 2000, but now the state has allocated as little as 10%. So it the Primary Schools are neglected, because the State has decided to neglect them. It is because the state has built a lot of them, but not funds to maintenance of them. Museveni knows this, but doesn’t say it. That is why the schools are for the poor, because the President even keeps the Government Primary Schools poor themselves.

I just have to ask the President, you used years and your time in the beginning of your time as President to build up the Universal Primary Education, have you officially given it up? Should the Ugandan population give it up too?

If you I can put the whole situation into one simple explanation: Museveni wanted to give the public a giant castle, he pledged to give the public that giant castle. He actually built the giant caste and made sure the public could use the castle. However, with time he didn’t have the funds or the money to maintain the castle. The walls and barricades are failing, the walls are weaker, the structure needs fixing. The servants, the people who are inside the castle are not getting paid and even educated to keep the walls steady. So, the stones and the building are looking more like a ghost-town than a castle. Museveni could have had a castle, instead he has a rundown ghost-town.

There are too many UPE schools that are rundown without proper buildings, which has been neglected. The same has the teachers and the pupils, who them all are living through it. Their future is depending on it and they are forgotten. Now the President tells, the ones who can afford it should go to the Private Schools instead. The poor has enough with the UPE schools. That just shows how he has given up the 1990s project.

Isn’t this a sign that you as a leader should have retired, since you have actually given up one of your achievements?

Peace.

Reference:

Opio, Sam Caleb – ‘I’m going to fulfil all my outstanding pledges – Museveni’ (04.03.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-am-going-fulfill-all-my-outstanding-pledges-Museveni/688334-4327940-view-printVersion-27vqxt/index.html

Stasavage, David – ‘The role of democracy in Uganda’s move to universal primary education’ (2005) Cambridge University Press

Ministry of Education and Sports – ‘THE UGANDAN EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION (UPE)’ (July 1999).

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Why are the leaders of our time so hooked-on Power? And some theories for why they don’t leave the Executive Power to somebody else..

Mugabe Military

We are living in a day and age where leader’s doesn’t leave from their office. You have likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo who is making himself ready for another election in his country this year and he has been in power since 1979. You have the likes of President Paul Biya of Cameroon who has been the President since 1982 and was in government since 1970s. In Zimbabwe the President of the day President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been the Commander in Chief.  And the list goes on.

Kagame Nkurunziza 2011

We have the third term phenomenon of President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda both of them have changed the laws or used Courts to allow them to stay in power. So the leadership roles are sufficient to stay. You have the likes of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has been in charge since 1986 and stayed ever since, changed laws again and again to linger in power and is rumored to fix the age limit to stay passed his 7th Term.

Mittrand Rwanda President

So with this in mind, I will discuss it today. It is not a new phenomenon or a new change of guards. There are always leaders who linger and overstay their time in power. As President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda took power with a coup d’état in 1973 and was in power until his plane got shot down in 1994. Just like the overthrow of first President Patrice Lumumba of Democratic Republic of Congo in 1965, who by foreign powers supposed to install Mobutu Seko Seko Kuku Ngebendu Wa Za Banga who was born Joseph-Desire Mobutu who was the President of DRC from 1965 until 1997. So there are leaders of the past who has not left office and is now long gone.

The issue with this is the way we build society around people instead of institutions and government structures. The Structures of government is kept weak and is not strong with procedure and predicated work for the civil service. That is why the leaders can linger and the way they keep it is fueling resources away from the government structures and institutions, keeping the progress weak and keeping the circle around them tight knit. Instead of having inner-circles with wits, knowledge and people who wants to succeed in their field; the leaders around the president is instead hungry men and woman who works for more and better civil service for the citizens.

US Dollar Campaign

That is because the leaders who circle all of government around themselves are not interested in great policies or deliver the promised pledges to the communities since then they have to give away power. When a leader tries to strengthen the power all around themselves then the necessary leadership is not about the government, but about the person who rules. The ruler set the standard ,not the laws of the state or the laws of the Parliament. As the Executive can fix the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, can rig the Constitution and make draconian laws that issues more help for the Executive; instead of the Constitution and the Parliament representing the citizens and for the citizens it becomes for the Executive.

That is why the Executive or the Ruler, the President doesn’t want to leave power since the whole state is built around the one person. The One Person who has in his image or her image built the government around themselves. And when they have it all for themselves they don’t have to fight for anything else then themselves. That is what matters, if he schools is depleting, health care is non-functioning, roads have bigger potholes then the ones on the moon, the government loans are worse than the subprime-mortgage and so on. That doesn’t matter because the situations doesn’t hit the Executive, because the government funds goes directly to him instead of the ministries, departments and sections of government than really-really need it!

Zim 2008

The Power that starts with personal movement of fights and liberation, the ones that are personalized towards the one man who saved them all and then doesn’t leave is that the EGO and used to be center of attention. To have the voice of being right, so they can’t do things wrong in their own mind as they risk to lose their wealth and strength if they are out of office.

Barre Somalia

Some of these leaders have lived on the strength of the loyalty to foreign powers as they need their alliance in a region to secure peace in the neighbor country or during the cold war as the Americans did whatever they could to control the world and not lose nations to the Soviet communism. Therefore they fall of Said Barre of Somalia and the struggles of the Ethiopian Dirg of the 1970s. As the Cold War complex policies dissolved and built governments with influence of American and Russian strengths of the time. Take the example of President Mengistu Hailemariam who kept the Power from 1974 – 1991 with the Soviet influx and the Communist agenda that made the result of Somalia invasion with support of the Americans in 1977. So he himself had taken power in 1969 in Somalia the army fueled government of Said Barre as his power-play internally to keep the power together with the back and forth from the leadership at the time led to his fall, as he also had long-term squabble with Ogaden and Ethiopian neighbor after the tried invasion there. This the fall after 20 years might be because he circulated all power amongst himself and not in the powers of structures and department to delegate the powers.

That is the problem with the leaders who get fueled with power. They circulate all power and decisions are under the Executive. So with this in mind instead of building institutions and government structures, they build the armies and police force to enforce the Power of the Executive, not only to enforce national security, but to secure the Power of the Executive. Therefore the first to get payment are the armies and police officers before the teachers and other civil servants.

social-policy-analysis-political-economy-of-welfare-38-728

The Rulers and the Executives keeps the ignorant yes-men around them to secure that they don’t get to opportunist or wanting to get the Executive position. Therefore they elite around the Ruler get lots of perks, tax-exemptions, cars, housing and servants while the rest of the country can’t afford that. Unless it is foreign investors in businesses owned by the Party Elite or the Government elite that belongs to the inner-circle of the Executive; as the license and openings happens on the watch of the Executive and the Power not the legal justice system or the society binding corporate bondage towards the procedures of setting up business in the country. So the way the Executive get drunk on power is set on the fact that they having everything at nearly no cost.

The Presidents who are drunk on Power have centralized all powers around them and not the government structures and the decrees and the policies are made to keep them in power; not to build a grand state who offers their citizens what they need. Therefore the laws becomes for the MPs and the Elite that fuel the money and Power towards the President, then the President delivering to the People.

The remains of Mobutu's Palce

The remains of Mobutu’s Palce

So with the Inner-circle finding ways to support the President instead of serving the citizens as a government is supposed to do. Why are the Executive and rules high-on-power you asked?

That is because all of the Power, all of the resources and all of the goodwill of the nation is determined by the Executive. As the Power is resumed and determined by the Executive there is hard to leave that, as the knowledge of the system given to coming new leader can take away what the Executive already have built around itself. Therefore the security of having the power instead of giving it the next; that is why the lingering Executives and Presidents are like alcoholics!

equatorial-guinea20100317-9-728

Let me explain why the similarities are there. An Alcoholic has the hunger and need for another drink and beer. They do whatever they can to get another drink and beer, at all means and steal if they have to get that fizz. So the Alcoholic is so used to the alcohol that the feel of it weaken and needs much of it to feel it. The Alcoholic just need another brew and another brew. And never stops taking in the alcohol. In the beginning the alcoholic never think that they would end being so, and the same with power-hungry individual. It just became a habit. The alcoholic needs the alcohol, just as the Executive is drunk on power and needs some more drinks. The Executive gotten so used to and the habit of getting their will and generating the funds out of the governmental funds; so if they don’t get more the donor-funds or the Bretton-Woods Loans to their nations then they feel something is missing. They need the spotlight to be the king of the nation and the supreme ruler.

So the drunkenness and needed attention, the needed judgement and decision rate from the Executive that lingers in powers while they build the government system around themselves and weakens the people around them. So they are more needed and so that ambition gets squirrelled around them. There can only be one vision, one leader and one nation under God. That is the usual factor and the events that unfold as the dissidents and opposition get harsh treatment without any cost spared. Something that happens because they crossed the territory of the Executive and the rules of set-up by the President and the predicated actions are seen as violations of laws and constitution; that apparently been rigged in favor of current leader. Therefore another bottle of beer for the President as the sufficient drunkenness of power is staggering. Suddenly change would be hard and taken with haste. Because the drunken leaders will with force and madness go all-inn if they all of sudden loose it, they will be become bush-warriors or stealing elections to continue their Presidency. As we have seen through 2015 and 2016 that is how far these leaders goes to get the shot of power and not stop drinking from the fountain of government power. Peace.  

Mzee and his Militarized State; the Guns never left the Executive it seems!

M7 rescue

“Soldiers feel that the Police are not serious with the criminal elements and that they are corrupt. The army had to come in and insist that criminals must be punished. It happens in all countries, there is a time when the army assumes the duty of internal security”. General Museveni (Daily Nation – Nairobi – January 26, 1987).

This is ironic that President Museveni said in 1987. We can see that times has changed or that his mind set to other perspective then directly from the bush. With the guerrilla warfare and the so-called liberation struggle, that has been discovered more and more about the tactics done to get power.

It is surely and clearly many ways President Museveni talked democratic values while it has been uncovered that he oppressed the media and opposition. It has done that since day one of the regime, just different how far and to what extent. It has always tried to look beautiful on the surface and smiles to the donors and Election Observers Missions while in the end, the institutions built around the Mzee. That the Electoral Reforms haven’t really been there for free and fair elections. When I went through the 1996 elections the stories are similar to today’s oppression of the opposition.

M7 2016 Post Interview quote

While opening up for free-market thinking has over time and letting the United Kingdom, Kenyan, South African, Indian and Libyan businessmen got easy trading ability in the country, while the exports and trade boards are gone, less of unions and other governmental structures. In the later years the government has started with micro-credit, Operation Wealth Creation and Youth Livelihood Programs as a cheap way of trying to patch up with the loss of sufficient structures that are sold out, by government to get loans in the beginning of its administrations.

We can easily see that the government who came to power with the guns and ammunition, and still has MPs directly from the army is bound to have the militarized effect on the politics. As the Police are acting with direct force and not following always rule of law. While the government overflows with former colonels and generals becoming politicians instead of businessmen and civil servants as the President is a bush-man himself and been part of two insurgents to power. One in the end of 70s and one in the famous 1986, so the guns never left the power and stayed there; even the tale with the donor-funding of the army from abroad to fight dirty wars the U.S. don’t want to stick their finger in, as in Somalia and Central African Republic.

EC 22.02.2015 Guarded Heavy

The Electoral Reforms as discussed briefly the NRM-Regime have stifled most of the time any kind of reform and ruling power therefore had to have two elections on referendum to release the Multi-Party Democracy and also been making the difference between using government funds and using the well-known factor of promises pledges from direct government subsidies to the big-men and chiefs, even Parejo’s and other SUV’s given to men to secure the votes and loyalty to the Mzee.

There been steady shifts in leaders underneath Mzee as he has taken down the men who has been built by his leadership, as he want the ones with his former MPs, VPs and PMs as they wanted to elevate themselves and leave him behind. As the founding father of NRM, nobody else should rule the party and have the Executive control. He took it with a gun and easily takes pictures with it to show where his strength is.

The government have used all kind of methods and tricks to gain riches to NRM elite and leave the certainty of other manufactures, industries and even achieve certain outcomes only for the closest allies of the NRM, even on Town Council levels where NRM members and NRM elders have closest call to get add-ons and secure funding for projects, while the opposition and other institutions have to get hands-out by international NGOs or Bilateral funds to get enough for what they need. The Resistance Councils and the now Local Councils are built for securing de-facto loyalty to the Executive and learn the strength of regime, not to be a democratic system.

UPM Poster

The Police and Army is built around loyal men in the top and men the Executive can trust to follow his suit and have his family close connected, even with Gen. Salim Selah not in direct leadership position as he has been involved into too much thefts, thieving and other activities to clean the leadership to look decent for international community, even with Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba who is groomed and quickly up the ante with running the Special Forces Command. The ruthlessness of the army and Police never left, and the new laws in place have given lee-way to them to use it as free-for-all to shut down dissidents. While the leadership is steady shifting  and moving as they don’t want the DPC, RPC and Army commanders to be on short-leach and not be to homely where they work.

The continuation of post-election violence in Bundibugyo and Kasese, the way the army is deployed there days on days, shooting Rwenzururu Kingdoms security guards, while the treat of the ADF-NALU who is stations right over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as always the Police issues statements blaming other forces, even when video footage and other eye-witness counter their words and intelligence; in the end insulting the intelligence of the people.

1986 Joke

The NRM-Regime and the words of their Executive is now totally different than what he was talking the first years of their reign. The Economy is dire, the donors are more futile and less interested in involving themselves in a militarized economy and where the NRM-Elite instead of the citizens and general population, the ones that get funding is direct funded projects as roads and buildings, but not economic prosperity as the inflations is high, the value of currency dwindles, the amount of monies to buy ordinary food-stuffs, the government have added higher loans to sufficiently take up the vacuum of the loss of donor-funds to the governmental budgets.

The whole picture is not as it should be after the ruling-party have run the country for 30 years, the picture should be a steady economy, a secure police-force respected and honor the citizens, an army working for securing the borders and doing international missions not for securing funding, but to generate peace. The country should have beneficiary institutions and taxations with representation, the ones that been done have not delivered, the steady progress has not been delivered, and when is when the media has blasted or BBC have got a whiff of it. As the NBS or NTV cannot whip the power to change, the same with the papers as they are mostly censored and controlled as the radio-stations have lost their transmitters, license and even their hosts been detained while being on air, the Daily Monitor ransacked for two days and the NTV banned from following the Presidential Campaign trail of the Executive.

Police 29.02.2016 Kasangati

There is an issue when the army is such a big part of nation, in the parliament, in the streets, in deployment and around all the time. The internal security is based on the army, not the police who is also militarized with sections of special units with military equipment for breaking down demonstrations and other gatherings of opposition, even independents who was former NRM have struggled with army and the Police Force. As the detaining of Opposition without charges, house arrests of Presidential Candidates and taking people with Candidates Declarations Forms from the Polling Station.

The whole picture is not of the state of business, the way of government that NRA and the NRM promised, it has overtaken the control of the institutions, but not given the accountability and transparency, not the economic landscape or investment climate that they have promised for so long, the basics are much of the same and the deals between the oil companies and drilling has been happening behind closed doors; like not open dealings and showing how the companies pay for their operations and how the government structures are as the oil-laws are not strict and not fully operative yet.

Jinja Police 10915 P1

The tear-gas operations and the live bullets are not showing the proof of democratic values and society. The internal security and the structures are not strong, when the army enters all kind of operations, as they even killed bed-bugs in neighborhoods of Kampala in mid-February as the KCCA didn’t have the manpower to reach the area, as the UPDF have been used in any kind of processes, even the training-center of the army Kyankwanzi the National Leadership Institute and military training camp; where the NRM MPs has had retreats before the new parliament like the 9th and 10th Parliament went there.

The Kyankwanzi resolutions or decrees as party MPs has set precedence for the coming term and the evolution of the ruling-party as the structure in the last go-around left many of the old-foes behind, and the former secretary-general and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi behind. While this time the struggles with Justine Kasule-Lumumba, Jacob Oulanyah and Rebecca Kadaga might go through hardships in the coming 10th Parliament as the internal security means the security of the Executive and bring down the men and woman who has ambitions. That is why the Executive have centered the powers close to him. As even ambassador’s claims he is hard to read, the generals of UPDF fear him and just want to do his will, and the same with the police force who has a loyal Inspector General who follows every whiff from him. Even former Warlords and M23 are yearly on the payroll from the State House. As they are securing the security of the state and the government institution as civilian militia-men that does their army bidding; also does discreet business for the Executive as their role have never been told to the world. Therefore we can only be guessing at this point; though they are not cutting the grass at Entebbe or Nakasero!

The way the Army is embedded in the society and external politics, the guerrilla warfare brought the Executive first to a Ministerial Position before the General Election of 1980 and again at the takeover in 1986. He came with the gun and never left it, and never let it go, in all endeavors and structures the embedded army has followed, the loyal cadres and commando have continued, the re-payment of loyalty and offered protection have come in handy. The kickbacks and graft never left the offices, the building of the businesses have also centered the government officials, while the former government businesses has been sold for quick bucks or privatized.

Daily Monitor 1993

The internal security can be questioned with the army running the streets in Kasese, Kapchorwa and Kampala as a steady force and looking like Marshall Law or state of emergency as the government shows the display of power, and the Police rides around in Personal Armored Carrier and have mortars as Journalist lose their cameras and the media get muffled with. The insecurity created and the ballots been stolen in broad daylight, the impunity of law of fellow citizens is not creating the peaceful atmosphere the Executive have promised and said he delivered, as the Kenyan funding of the campaign and Sudanese Army men proves the Executive went far to secure his stay in power, instead of trusting the ballots and votes, he trusted his instinct and went for the guns and ammunition that have given him the power before, as he had loyal well-paid puppets in the Electoral Commission and generals in the Campaign Team, together with losing NRM Primaries who was paid off; in his mind this should have gone in silence and gotten the credible result needed to be respected statesman abroad, instead the announcement and the cracks of the army and the social media showed the true colors and not the story given by the Executive or his party cadres, which shows the payments and party program is shell of keeping power by any means, instead of building fruitful societies and institutions for better tomorrow. The lies are not invisible anymore, the questions the actions and killings is not only in the hands of semi-army police force and the general populations knows it. As the mourning of the announcement and the weakness of the state comes forward; therefore army had to be deployed and the reshuffling of Police Commanders happening a month after Election Day.

You can lie once and fool the crowd, but lie twice and then the storm comes on the horizon. That is what is happening now and the Executive knows and knew before these elections that the people are tired of his lies and reprogrammed pledges. As the changes of society has only brought bottled water from mountains of the Rwenzori and cellphones, certainty at one point the Universal Primary Education and extended Local Councils that has benefited, but also after a while the schools started to disappear and become depleted. The more districts, sub-counties and counties have taken a toll on the economy. Also been set-up to secure more loyal cadres in Parliament and locally. Through the chain-of-command as the structure is militarized and set to fix the monies, the government institutions, government businesses, government organizations and the commission to be loyal to the Executive, even the churches and holy institutions, if possible they can have some dissidents and opposition; that is just enough for the country to have a rouse and jolly while eating the donor-funding and letting the people stay poor while the NRM-Elite stays powerful. Especially the NRM and the Executive does not care about the FDC and their claims to justice, as the justice is the basics, but for the NRM it is to keep Power and let their Executive stay continuously. And by the minute does not seem to want to leave the country in a state that he promised when he took power.

The Star Paper Article 04.02.2016

As his guns does not seem to be silenced, the level of fear, the way the PAV rides down the streets and highways, the way the roadblocks are put, the way the Police detain without charges and the way the government mend laws to fit the Executive, the way the banks are demonstrating their will of following him to earn monies, the way the businesses are centered around him and given favorable deals, the way the harassment of opposition and media, the way the army and police involve in politics and daily life, it does not seem as a democratic and just society. The detention of the ballots and preventative arrest of citizens are worrying, as much as the control and efficiency of it. The pride of the government and its institutions are weak when the KCCA need the Army to fight local problems, the Executive does not trust anything else and therefore the biggest smiles on the photos from him comes in army fatigue and guns as that is the place he feels the best, not in the office or at state meeting. If not it is on his farm relaxing while the monies are piling in without doing anything. Peace.

The President’s Black Book Chapter 3: Bemba and Museveni; what is the ties between the two big-men?

Jeune African Bembe Cover

It’s recently been a court ruling in the International Criminal Court where Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced and guilty of crimes against humanity. As this happen there been questions about his sponsors and his actions, was it for his own cause or was it for the greater good? As the violence he spread in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was during the wars in late 90s and beginning 2000s as the Rwandan and Ugandan ignited the wars the neighbor country, even sponsoring guerrillas, while fighting other forces there, as they we’re using different methods even when the world was telling the RPA and UPDF to leave, while the guerrillas would still cover areas of minerals close to the borders, to secure funding for the governments of the neighbor countries. They will by all means repute this as this shadows their reign, but the moneys and sudden export of minerals without sustainable investments and business-growth proves that there was sudden changes by the warfare in the DRC.

In this picture President Museveni did what he could to have allies inside the DRC, so he could have business and projects there to reach his power and make himself even stronger. That has been his game since day one; not only to get rid of the leaders around him who is not loyal towards him, but also to get people who he knows is loyal to him no matter what.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was a useful tool and an allied who even with brokered peace gave more influence of Uganda into the DRC politics, as he was stationed as Vice-President under President Laurent Kabila, while this wouldn’t last, as the Ugandan and Rwandan did not like the idea of being distanced from the State House in Kinshasa. So as the time and dwindling reactions, the neighbors went into attack again, that ousted the transitional government and took down a second president in the DRC! In that picture and time, comes the relationship between Bemba and Museveni, Especially after the human rights violations and victims of war, as the spoils of it cost honor and integrity, also the visible. Even if the relations between the men and their armies lost their value, the open sponsorship and even training at one point proves how Museveni used his power and reach to put his fortune into the leadership of Bemba and his MLC. Take a look at what I have found about this men!

jean-pierre-bemba-01-1024x655

About the MLC:

“Current Leader: Jean-Pierre Bemba

Based in Gbadolite, the MLC has been backed by Uganda since the start of the war in 1998 although there have been occasional differences between the two. The MLC tried twice to establish a foothold in Ituri: in 2001 Bemba had nominal control of the short-lived FPC coalition of Ugandan- backed rebel groups and in 2002 the MLC attacked Mambasa in western Ituri but were forced backed by the APC of Mbusa Nyamwisi. The MLC has occasionally fought alongside the UPC and has been a rival of Mbusa’s RCD-ML” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

Bemba creating his army:

“In spring 1998, Bemba sought to motivate a group of Congolese exiles to join an armed struggle with support from Kampala. He elaborated a political program with a network of friends and former classmates and discussed financing and training with Museveni. By Bemba’s own account, he met Museveni while exporting fish to Belgium through Uganda in the early 1990s, though it is widely believed that Mobutu used Bemba’s aviation companies to transport goods for Jonas Savimbi, then leader of União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), through Uganda throughout the 1980s. Another account claims that Bemba met Museveni through Museveni’s half-brother, General Salim Saleh, then chief of staff of the UPDF, while seeking to establish a link between ex-FAZ troops cantoned at the Kitona military base in southern DRC and UNITA forces in Angola. The MLC emphatically denies any involvement with the Angolan insurgency movement. But the firm belief, at least in Luanda, that Bemba, Uganda, and Rwanda had links to UNITA largely accounts for Angola’s switching sides in the Second Congo War to back Laurent Kabila and its strong antipathy toward Bemba to this day” (Carayannis, 2008).

Bemba in 1999:

“The main Goma faction of the rebel RCD on Monday welcomed Bemba’s signing of the accord. Its leader, Emile Ilunga, claimed Bemba was “not to be trusted”, but added: “We are gratified to learn that he has signed the accord as we had hoped he would. We have always wanted to sign the accord together with him”, Radio France Internationale reported” (…) “Ilunga, who was due to travel to Uganda on Monday evening for a meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, earlier that day accused Uganda of not respecting the rebels’ decision-making process. “Wamba has no troops, and there is no point in his signing the ceasefire agreement … We’re astonished by Ugandan support of an individual, rather than working in the interest of the Congolese people,” AP news agency quoted Ilunga as saying”(IRIN, 1999).

“Jean-Pierre Bemba, a millionaire businessman and leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), was accompanied to the signing in Lusaka by a senior aide of the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, and by Tanzania’s foreign minister, Jakaya Kikwete, officials said” (…)”But Mr Bemba warned that he would go back to war if a rival rebel group did not sign a truce within a week” (…)“Referring to the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), which has refused to sign the truce, he told Reuters: “If they do not sign within seven days, I will continue the fight to Kinshasa.” The RCD and Mr Bemba’s forces control 50% of Congo’s territory” (Gough, 1999). “Speaking to IPS by satellite-link, Bemba, who is also backed by Uganda, said it was too early to say whether the peace would hold, “but for the time things are very quiet, with no fighting near us” (Simpson, 1999).

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Bemba in 2000:

“A few days ago, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the rebel leader in Equateur Province, issued a challenge to Mr. Kabila and major Western nations that pushed the accord with more vigor than any of those who signed it” (…)”‘We are at a turning point,” Mr. Bemba, a 38-year-old businessman-turned-rebel, said this week in Gbadolite, his headquarters. ”Is Lusaka alive still or not? That is the question.” (…)”It is not certain whether Mr. Bemba is capable militarily of closing the airport. Nor is it clear if his major sponsor, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, would give his approval given that Mr. Museveni’s own friends, the United States and many European nations, would probably hold him responsible for such a departure from the Lusaka accord” (Fisher, 2000).

Bemba in 2001:

“But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni also reiterated his commitment to pulling his troops from neighboring Congo, saying now that they have defeated Ugandan rebels operating there, it was time for his forces to leave. The force Museveni claims to have defeated is the Allied Democratic Front, a small Ugandan rebel group that has attacked villages throughout western Uganda from bases in Congo” (…)”Some participants appeared unconcerned that Uganda was pulling out of the peace agreement, and were pleased that Museveni would still withdraw his troops. “If the government decides to withdraw its forces from the Congo, it’s always favorable. This is in line with the Lusaka agreement,” said Kamel Morjane, the U.N. special representative for Congo. “If all parties show their goodwill there is no risk.” (…)”Kikaya Bin Karubi, the Congolese information minister, welcomed the promised troop withdrawal and said his country would stick with the Lusaka peace agreement no matter what. The leader of the Ugandan-backed rebels, Congolese Liberation Front Chairman Jean-Pierre Bemba, said the decision would have little impact on the war since, he insisted, Ugandan troops had not been involved in the fighting. Uganda is estimated to have had at least 10,000 troops in Congo at the peak of the war” (Muleme, 2001).

alliances

UN Allegation:

“In 2001, when Bemba took the reins of the unified movement RCD/ML, now called the FLC, he tried in January to broker an agreement between the Hema and Lendu belligerants. He got more than 150 traditional chiefs to participate in this agreement (had the Ugandans acted unilaterally, they would never have managed to achieve this), thus securing a halt to military training and youth recruitment by the UPDF, a measure of security on the roads, food security for the livestock, and the appointment of a governor who was not from the region as a way of providing greater assurance to all the parties. In the end, though, it was Bemba’s dependence on the Ugandans that frustrated the entire peace process” (…)”On more than one occasion, Bemba tried to exert his influence over the Ugandan Government, but Uganda ultimately took the final decisions” (…)”In July 2001, thanks to the efforts of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the Mouvement de Libération du Congo and RDC/Bunia joined forces, taking with them Rober Lubala’s RCD/National and thus forming the Front de Libération du Congo (FLC)” (Garreton, 2009).

Bemba in 2002:

“Another former rebel movement backed by Uganda, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Kisangani-Mouvement de liberation (RCD-K-ML), was pessimistic about prospects for the success of the Kabila-Museveni accord” (…)“The DRC is faced with two Ugandas – that of Yoweri Museveni, who acts from a distance in Kampala, and that of his army officers and soldiers involved in the ongoing pillage of gold and diamonds in Ituri [region, northeastern DRC],” said Honore Kadima, in charge of RCD-K-ML external relations. “I don’t see either of these Ugandas adhering to even one comma of the Luanda accord.” (IRIN, 2002). “The mutiny marked the return to prominence of the commanders who had been behind the earlier CMF mutiny. Following their training in Kyankwanzi (for new recruits) and Jinja (for officers), most of them had been sent to Equateur Province to join the MLC’s armed wing. After some months of fighting for Bemba, the soldiers had grown increasingly frustrated. They knew that fellow Hema were still dying in Ituri’s inter-ethnic clashes, and they felt that the MLC used them ‘like dogs’” (Tamm, 2013).

Some more on the MLC:

“The MLC had been involved in Ituri during the short-lived agreement of the Front for the Liberation of Congo (FLC), a platform of the MLC, RCD-N and the RCD-ML, sponsored by Uganda under the leadership of Jean Pierre Bemba. But Nyamwisi refused to accept Bemba’s leadership in Ituri and his forces pushed Bemba and the MLC troops out of Beni and Bunia. In the last months of 2002, the MLC tried to fight its way back into Ituri with the support of Roger Lumbala’s RCD-N, claiming that Nyamwisi had violated the Lusaka Accord. In doing so, their combatants committed violations of international humanitarian law including the deliberate killing of civilians, numerous cases of rape, looting and some acts of cannibalism. Some of these violations may have been directed at the Nande ethnic group, targeted for their connection with Nyamwisi, himself a Nande” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

ICC Court

ICJ Court case claims:

“The DRC claims to have seised an abandoned tank used in the Kitona attack. The Reply alleges the tank is Ugandan because it is the same mode1 as a tank used later by Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who allegedly received his tank from Uganda. (DRCR, para. 2.40.)” (…)”Clearly Bemba’s hesitations vis-à-vis the inter-Congolese negotiations and the disengagement are linked to his quick enrichment, the greed of his Ugandan offïcer godfathers and the politics of self-aggrandizement practiced by his opportunistic, wandering ministers who annoy the people.” (ICJ, 2002).

ICJ Ruling document says:

“For its part, Uganda acknowledges that it assisted the MLC during fighting between late September 1998 and July 1999, while insisting that its assistance to Mr. Bemba “was always limited and heavily conditioned”. Uganda has explained that it gave “just enough” military support to the MLC to help Uganda achieve its objectives of driving out the Sudanese and Chadian troops from the DRC, and of taking over the airfields between Gbadolite and the Ugandan border; Uganda asserts that it did not go beyond this” (ICJ, 2005).

Cooperation in DRC during the war claims:

“The cooperation of the allied MLC rebel force was secured by the pre-payment of taxes. A letter from MLC commander Jean-Pierre Bemba informed civil and military authorities that Victoria was authorised to do business in the towns of Isirio, Bunia, Bondo, Buta, Kisangani and Beni (Ugandan Judicial Commission, Final Report, op. cit., 21.3.4, p.119). This letter was counter-signed by Kazini who further instructed his commanders in the same towns to allow Victoria to conduct its business ‘uninterrupted by anybody.’ The exception was Kisangani town itself, administered by an RCD-Goma backed Governor, although the UPDF controlled areas to the north of the town. Kazini issued a veiled threat to the Governor to cooperate with Victoria and later conspired to appoint Adele Lotsove as Governor of the new Province of Ituri in order to take control of the mineral producing areas, including those previously administrated by Kisangani (ibid., 21.3.4, p.122). In his reply to the Panel, Kazini stated: ‘In some cases, as in the case of Madame Adele Lotsove, in Ituri Province, our duty was confined to supporting existing administration (the Panel report concedes that Madame Lotsove had been appointed by Mobutu and was continued in office by Kabila).’ (See Reaction No.47, written statement from Major General James Kazini to the Panel, reproduced in UN Panel, Addendum, 20 June 2003, op. cit.)” (RAID, 2004).

From the WikiLeaks:

“During a May 24 meeting with Vice President Azarias Ruberwa, the Ambassador asked Ruberwa about his trip to Kampala for the inauguration of Ugandan President Museveni,  and the reported long meeting between the two.  Speaking from memory, Ruberwa provided an extensive read-out, noting by way of preamble that Museveni is a “complicated” person, and often difficult to read” (…)”According to Ruberwa, Museveni flatly denied that  there is continuing Kampala support of Congolese militia  groups.  Ruberwa said that Museveni added that the last support Uganda had provided to armed groups in the Congo was that given to Jean-Pierre Bemba’s MLC, and to combatants associated with Mbusa Nyamwisi. Ruberwa observed that Mbusa was next to him in the same meeting, but did not respond to the Museveni comment” (…)”Ruberwa noted, for example, that if all the detained MRC leaders were found with weapons, all inside Ugandan territory, it seemed logical to assume these weapons would find their way to Ituri, in apparent contradiction to Museveni’s assertions that there are no further arms flows from Uganda to support Congolese armed groups. In any event, Ruberwa asserted it is good periodically to point out to Museveni that the Congolese are aware of what is going on. The Ambassador asked if Museveni did not know that already. Ruberwa said “maybe,” but it seems useful to make it clear. Ruberwa added he believes it important for Kinshasa to send a senior-level person to Kampala to have an exchange with Museveni perhaps every three months to help avoid a major clash between the two governments” (WikiLeaks, 2006).

214850-congo-democratic Bemba 2006

Hope this was insightful and gives an edge as the reports are steady and many. Not only a one place and one person who thinks that there is a specific connection between President Museveni and Jean-Pierre Bemba of the MLC! That is very clear and the ways it happen and the timing prove the value Bemba had for Museveni and his ambition in the DRC. The excuse was always internal guerrillas who moved to DRC like ADF-NALU and LRA, but we all know that more to bait and more to gain by taking mineral rich areas and create businesses and use ammunition to gain that. That is something that never been an issue for Museveni as his best tool is a weapon, not negotiations and agreements, they can break when he see he has the upper-hand and ability to score over his counterparts.

Something he surely will do again. Bemba might never surface with the MLC and the Party MLC in any election in the DRC. As the ICC gave him a verdict and court ruling which set precedence for his life.

I know that the Yellow Men of NRM, and the NRM-Regime will fight against this and say something else, as even Amama Mbabazi did at his time in the ICC to fight the case between Uganda and the DRC on the reasons for the aggression from them. The same might happen again and the viciousness and ruthlessness of the President is visible, as those who studies his history(not the one he has rewritten) but more the remarks and voices around him, you’ll see the temperament and attitude of bush-warfare that is instilled in him, and not the political person or even a statesman of a like which he seems to be. Peace.

Reference:

Carayannis, Tatiana – ‘Elections in the DRC – The Bemba Surprise’ (February 2008).

Fisher, Ian – ‘Congo’s War Triumphs Over Peace Accord’ (13.09.2000) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/18/world/congo-s-war-triumphs-over-peace-accord.html?pagewanted=all

Garreton, Roberto – ‘REPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT DOCUMENT ICC 01/04-01/06’ – MANDATE OF THE SPECIAL REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN ZAIRE (20.02.2009)

Gough, David – ‘Peace of the dead in Congo forests’ (02.08.1999) link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/02/6

Muleme, Geoffrey – ‘Uganda Withdraws From Congo Accord’ (30.03.2001) link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/181/33411.html

Human Rights Watch – ‘Democratic Republic of Congo – Volume 15. Number 11. (A)’ – “ITURI: “COVERED IN BLOOD” Ethnically Targeted Violence In Northeastern DR Congo” (July 2003)

IRIN – ‘Bemba signs Lusaka accord for MLC’ (03.08.1999) link: http://www.irinnews.org/news/1999/08/03/bemba-signs-lusaka-accord-mlc

IRIN – ‘DRC: Kabila and Museveni sign troop withdrawal protocol’ (09.09.2002) link: http://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/drc-kabila-and-museveni-sign-troop-withdrawal-protocol

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

  1. UGANDA RE JOINDER SUBMITTED BY THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA VOLUME 1’ (06.12.2002)

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO v. UGANDA) – 2005 19 December General List No. 116 (19.12.2005)

RAID – ‘Unanswered questions Companies, conflict and the Democratic Republic of Congo’ (May 2004)

Simpson, Chris – ‘POLITICS: Little To Suggest The Congolese Peace Accord Will Hold’ (06.09.1999) link: http://www.ipsnews.net/1999/09/politics-little-to-suggest-the-congolese-peace-accord-will-hold/

Tamm, Henning – ‘UPC in Ituri The external militarization of local politics in north-eastern Congo’ (2013)

 

WikiLeaks –‘RUBERWA ACCOUNT OF MAY MEETING WITH UGANDA PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’ (02.06.2006) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06KINSHASA876_a.html

The 1996 election and the 2016 elections; staggering similarities of government party and actions towards the opposition! The difference now is Besigye VS M7; then it was Ssemogerere VS M7!

1996 Museveni Sworn in Ceremony

As President Museveni lost with no swagger in 1980 he later returned twice with armies to become the president in 1986. The 1986 where NRA took the power; that story knows all of Uganda well; what Uganda has forgotten is the tactics and ways of rigging the elections of 1996. Even Dr. Kizza Besigye was ready for somebody else in 1996. That says something as the NRM tactics was using levels of fear and tell the general public: “if you vote for somebody else then the Obote-Dictatorship will return!” There is something wrong with that picture as this should be the ushering of democratic values that was installed and promised in the 10 Point Program from President Museveni. This was also the Election that ushered in the Universal Primary Election (UPE) while has done certain things with educations and spreading schools around the country, after many years to many of them has been neglected and has shown that the promise and reform was easier then actually achieving quality school education under the NRM-Regime.

The democratic values and fair elections were not achieved in 1996. As the countless reforms says. The Western nations and International Organizations accepted the result as a positive move for Uganda, even with the malpractices and also because still at this time the world saw President Museveni as the new breed of leadership. He would go away from all the things he might have built later in his presidential career. 1996 Elections was “No-Party” election with a new Interim Electoral Commission who was far from impartial. Kind of what the Electoral Commission proves without any subtlety in today’s election climate.

Besigye against Museveni candidature in 1996:

“Though Besigye was a National Political Commissar, minister and Museveni confidant, by 1996 – as his 1995 decision, and that of other officers like  now Lt. Gen. David Tinyefuza and the late Lt. Col. Serwanga Lwanga to oppose entrenching the Movement’s monopoly of power in the constitution and the  near-banning of political parties – the differences were public” (…)”However, it has now emerged that Besigye and other people in the NRM and army  in 1996 were opposed to Museveni running as the Movement presidential  candidate” (…)”In 1996 Besigye relented at the last minute to go and campaign for Museveni in Rukungiri. He appeared at no more than two rallies, and spoke at one. The very personal and acrimonious face off between the two men last year therefore arose from a feud that had been simmering for about 10 years” (COO, 2002).

Ssemogerere Manifesto

How not to vote for Ssemogerere:

“The Constant refrain during Museveni’s 1996 presidential campaign was that a vote for his opponents would cause a return to the past, the former dictator Milton Obote was waiting in Zambia to return to power if Museveni was defeated. One of Museveni’s presidential election poster featured a picture of skulls and bones besides a mass grave in Luwero with the caption: “Don’t forget the past. Over one million Ugandans, our brothers, sisters, family and friends, lost their lives. YOUR VOTE COULD BRING IT BACK”; another campaign advertisement stated bluntly: “A vote for Ssemogerere is a vote for Obote” (Bouckaer, 1999).

How the sentiment was during the campaign:

“Ssemogerere seems to have hugely underestimated the depth of fear and hatred for Obote and his party among the majority of Buganda. Virtually everyone interviewed  who had voted for Museveni emphasized that they had voted in part to avoid any chance of a return to the violence and anarchy of the early 1980s. The effect of Ssemogerere alliance with UPC, however, does not seem to have been intimidating. Most people felt shift in sentiment against Ssemogerere in the last two months prior to the election. The Museveni campaign strategy of increasingly emphasizing the UPC and Obote connection towards the end of the campaign period was felt to been effective” (IFES, 1996).

Hon Ssemogerere in Northern Uganda campaigning

Museveni used the laws to stifle Ssemogerere campaign:

“The Ssemogerere camp tried to set up branches in the country. This ran foul of the law against setting up party structures. The police constantly frustrated this method of trying to reach the voters. There was a simpler and more effective method used by the Museveni camp. It is simply to announce campaign task forces and groups for given locations. While Ssemogerere was attempting to organise by “structure”, Museveni was organising by “process”. The former violated the existing law; the latter did not. The task force approach recognises the criticality of patrons who mediate the delivery of the votes of their peasant flock. In this approach it is not direct contact with voters, which is not feasible in backward areas with all forms of barriers (language), but contact with the patrons who go through lesser nested patrons to reach the final voters. Yoweri Museveni set up a more effective patron–client campaign network than Ssemogerere’s party structure approach” (Kotorobo, 2000).

How it ended:

“Hours after the Interim Electoral Commission (IEC) led by Stephen Akabway had announced provisional results on May 10; the IPFC candidate Ssemogerere dismissed them as false at a press conference at IPFC headquarters in Kabusu, Kampala. Ssemogerere said: “I cannot accept these results as valid”. The New Vision, The Monitor, as well as the Crusader newspapers of the following day, quoted him as having said. “I have been a patient person in public life. I thought this was the best thing for this country. I have spent time with people I don’t agree with for the sake of democracy. I have not known time before or after independence, when people of different political beliefs, religions and nationalities have come together for once. Now all this has been shattered by the stubbornness of [Yoweri Museveni] wanting to cling to power,” he added. During the press conference, Ssemogerere also revealed 54 cases of malpractices recorded by DP across the country. The 64-year-old DP stalwart said rigging of votes included intimidation of voters by the State, use of pre-ticked ballot papers, use of fake voter’s cards and doctored voter registers” (Mugabe, 2016).

Questionable freedom of speech during the 1996 campaign:

“The Government controls one television station and the radio station with the largest audience. There are three local television stations, three local radio stations, and five stations available by satellite. Uncensored Internet access became widely available through three commercial service providers in major cities, although its price was prohibitive for all but the most affluent noninstitutional users. Freedom of speech did not fare well in the context of the transition to constitutional government, including the presidential and parliamentary elections. Guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs prevented members of the former constituent assembly from addressing groups outside their constituencies. Electoral rules prohibited “campaigning” by presidential challengers until the official start of the campaign 39 days before the election. However, in their official capacity, President Museveni and senior members of the Government were free to travel throughout the country for months prior to the election. Rallies in support of all three presidential candidates suffered varying levels of harassment from thugs, in some cases resulting in physical injuries. It appeared, however, that such incidents were particularly directed at President Museveni’s opponents. Yusef Nsubuga Nsambu, a leader of the Conservative party and a supporter of presidential challenger Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, was arrested in May and charged with sedition for his unflattering descriptions of President Museveni. He was released unharmed 2 days later” (U.S. Department of State, 1997).

Celebrating the victory:

“KAMPALA, UGANDA — Thousands of President Yoweri Museveni’s supporters drove through the capital honking car horns and chanting “No change” Saturday to celebrate his first electoral victory” (…)”When Museveni was declared the winner on national radio Saturday, tens of thousands of his supporters poured onto Kampala’s streets, chanting “No change” in the local Luganda language, blasting car horns, and waving branches and flags” (Bashor, 1996).

One reason why he won the 1996 Election:

“Not all NRM successes showed the system’s popularity. The government manipulated small constituencies to gain beholden candidates in many special interest seats created by the 1995 constitution for women, youth, workers, the disabled and the army” (ICG, 2012).

Ssemogerere Museveni

Reports of malfunctions during the 1996 elections:

““The election drew a lower turnout than expected and suffered some logistical problems, but Ugandans generally avoided widely feared violence” (…)“Many of the country’s 8.4 million voters stayed away from the polls, and in many districts, turnout hovered around 50 percent. Logistical problems also hampered voting. At numerous polling stations, Ugandans complained that their names were not on the list of registered voters. “We have waited for hours, and we cannot vote,” said Patrick Nuwgaba, 20, surrounded by about 20 people who said they had been barred from voting. “We have our voter cards, but they say the numbers we have don’t match the numbers they have for us.” Despite those problems, calm prevailed around the country. Election observers reported, however, that in some pro-Museveni districts, especially in western Uganda, Ssemogerere backers had difficulty voting because of hostile crowds” (Buckley, 1996).

Questions about the victory:

”Within 24-hours of voting — and while the ballot papers were still being counted — the Inter Political Forces Cooperation (IPFC) backing the main opposition candidate Ssemogerere, announced that the constitutionally imposed “no-party” elections had been rigged” (…)”We have left it up to individuals to decide whether to stand,” Ssemogerere told IPS. “The electoral process is wrong and its going to be wrong again. If anyone stands they should know it will be with those disadvantages.” (…)”The IPFC’s compromise decision was reminiscent for some people of the 1980 elections in which the UPC are widely believed to have cheated the DP of victory — leaving Ssemogerere open to accusations of legitimising the government when he then took up position as leader of the opposition” (…)”Museveni was backed by, and represented his Movement “no- party” system of government while Ssemogerere was supported by the DP and UPC alliance and represented a return to multi-party politics — a return which would have required a change to the constitution” (Bozello, 1996).

m7, besigye

As we see about this Dr. Kizza Besigye and other opposition candidates get the same treatment that Dr. Paul Ssemogerere of Democratic Party in 1996. The vote-rigging, the issues with meeting people, with consulting the party members in the districts, the time for campaigning which apparently happens also before the pre-election period in Uganda in 2015. President Museveni doesn’t only recycle pledges his Police acts similar in 2015 as in 1996. That should be thought of as he talks of that the Movement brings progress. If progress means the same structure that doesn’t offer people freedom or liberty to discuss politics. Then it is NRM for you tomorrow. As the 1996 experience shows; there is a multi-party elections tomorrow, but the signs of 1996 looks strikingly similar, and the Police Force and Governmental institutions is structured to facilitate for the ruling party and funding his campaign while the opposition struggles with unleveled campaigning field that has been all through to the 18th Feburary polls. There is a certainty that Dr. Kizza Besigye has used smarter tactics than Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, but them both has fought the same monster which used the same style of campaigning in 2015-2016 as before the 1996, as he then gave 40 days campaigning as the districts was less, and the same now to the other candidates.

The fear used to intimidate candidates has been used in 2016. As even the security outfits has been deployed and both the army and Special Forces Command; they have been there following opposition and the police has target their trail as the Electoral Commission has given okay to their campaign trail in the start of the campaign in November 2015. This here shows the levels of fear and strong militarized politics that President Museveni feeds on; that has occurred through the whole campaign in the same way it did in 1996. That 2016 and 1996 looks so alike is staggering. The names of the other “actors” are different, but the end-game is the same. Though we hope that the people who are ready for change will see it as the old-man with the hat will do what he can to keep power; even if the people are ready for something else then his empty promises. Peace.

Reference:

Bashor, Richard – ‘In First Direct Election Since ’62, President Wins Overwhelmingly’ (12.05.1996) – Chicago Tribune.

Bouckaer, Peter – ‘Hostile to Democracy: The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda’ (August 1999).

Borzello, Anna – ‘UGANDA-POLITICS: ‘Where-To-Now’ Conundrum For Opposition’ (16.05.1996) – Inter Press Service

Buckley, Stephen – ‘INCUMBENT LIKELY WINNER IN UGANDAN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE’ (11.05.1996) – Washington Post

Katorobo, James – ‘The Uganda Presidential and Parliamentary Elections 1996’ (2000)

Mugabe, Faustin – ‘How free and fair was the Uganda 1996 election after 10 years of rule by the political party of the National Resistance Movement?’ (30.01.2016).

International Crisis Group (ICG) – ‘UGANDA: NO RESOLUTION TO GROWING TENSIONS’ (05.04.2012).

International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) – ‘Uganda: Long Term Observation of 1996 Presidential and Legislative Election (May-July 1996).

Onyango-Obbo, Charles (COO) – ‘Besigye Opposed Museveni’s Bid in 1996, And Set Off Movt Demons’ (15.12.2002) – Daily Monitor

U.S. Department of State – ‘Uganda Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996’ Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, (January 30, 1997).

Press Release: Intimidation of FDC and opposition supporters, generally (11.01.2016)

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FDC condemns the unexplained arresting as in some cases disappearance of some opposition supporters. This was billed as an election that would be devoid of intimidation and violence, but it’s far from that. Add to that the unfortunate remarks attributed to candidate Museveni over the weekend that he would not leave power are of concern.

In December, while campaigning in Namutumba he said he cannot leave the oil money to other people and that he will go to the bush. That in itself is an intimidating remark, and a well calculated one at that, aimed at causing despondency among the population. But we, as FDC, urge our supporters all over the country to disregard Museveni’s remarks. We urge our supporters to continue the mobilization exercise. Recruit more people and let’s overwhelm Museveni when the elections come. If we all turn up and vote, he will have no choice but to go.

The police have been quick to condemn Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign but when Museveni makes remarks that could be criminal in nature, they look the other way. We believe that the police, together with the army are being complicit in abetting this crime.

Kiruhura District Logo

This young man here, Senate Karoota Kakwebe, a coordinator of FDC in Nyakashashara, in Kirihura district has been in hiding for his life because UPDF soldiers, who under the law are prohibited from participating in partisan politics, have made it their preoccupation to harass and intimidate him. As he will tell you, a certain Major Alice Kukundakwe vandalized our offices carrying away our files and plucked down Dr Besigye’s posters. This case was reported to the police (Kaguta Rd police detach) for criminal trespass and threatening violence (DDB Ref 05/06/01/2016). Instead of the police carrying out inquiries, the guns were literally turned on Senate Karoota Kakwebe. He has had to flee his home because he is a wanted man for reporting a case. There are hundreds of such stories countrywide.

But as FDC we despise the methods of intimidation, violence that NRM with the help of the army and police are meting out to our supporters. We shall not look on with folded arms. That is why we shall use our Power 10 structures as well as other volunteers to protect our interests.

M7 21.11.15

Presidential debate
For a man who spent five years in the bush, Museveni is such a scared. Although it comes as no surprise that Mueveni ducked out of the planned presidential debate, it is disappointing. It is a clear signal that he has nothing to offer. Museveni feared to be exposed for the spent force he is. The claims by his handlers that he would rather spend the time talking to his voters in the villages, is weak. To claim that his support is in the countryside is a fallacy that he has perpetuated over the years. The fact is Museveni cannot debate. He fears to be challenged. It is also a slap in the face to the prominent members of society who put in their time and resources to ensure that the debate happens. Like Dr Besigye said over the weekend, he is available to debate with Museveni whenever he finds the time.
The Independent Coalition, whose Presidential Candidate is Mr. Mabirizi Elton Joseph have agreed to on a Vote Protection arrangement to ensure Free and Fair Elections. We are thrashing out the details which we shall share at a later date.

Chairman
Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa

President on the move: All menacing acts in works to stop opposition while continuing to move forward through election

Mbabazi M7 Besigye

Well, this is as I have stated before President Museveni instead of going the high road depends on spreading fear amongst the population. He also fears that his so called project turns into shambles. Because of all of his programs can be scrutinized and he should expect so. He is like a spoiled brat telling off Dr. Kizza Besigye in this case. President Museveni doesn’t like the looks of Abim because that is the epitome of his project since 1986. Therefore I comment like he do, let’s take look at it all!

Abim Hospital 2014 P2

On an exclusive interview with NBS TV on Saturday 12.12.2015 President Musveni was uttering these words to the opposition in the Entebbe Statehouse:

“Besigye goes to Abim and doesn’t visit health center for which are there; which is doing the immunization! He goes to the only job that is not yet done and this is what he highlights. We say you are a liar. You are dishonest”.

He talked further on about the opposition:

“You are opposition has been cheating as especially in Kampala. They go and claim one million voters. When in fact they are not there; what happens is that Museveni goes in and registers himself three times. And you are counting three people instead of one. That what I have been struggling with all these years. That’s why we want the fingerprint, computerized fingerprints”.

besigye_2

In the same day he said this about fellow Presidential Candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye:

““I heard that Besigye said he would allow you go and take over the forest. I am going to see if I can arrest that man because what he said is criminal” (…)”When king Solomon asked that the child be cut into two, the woman who was not the real mother accepted it .Besigye is not a mother of Uganda if he can accept people to destroy the forest. I am going to look at the recordings and if he said it, I will take it up with the Electoral Commission and police” (…)”I will try to get a tape of what he said because we cannot go on with this nonsense because of politics” (Kazibwe, 2015).

We all see how he thought and read them. They are disgusting. He is supposed to be a gentleman, a president and for some reason by length of his tenure an should by now act as a statesmen. But that is a pipe-dream. And I know that and that who has followed the man knows that. Because he only knows bush-war politics; the only thing missing from yesterday was that there is only one party and only one man who can run the country and the UPDF as he has been saying earlier this year. He has done more violence during elections and acted more brutal then Dr. Kizza Besigye will ever do. NRM and their men will buy off boda-bodas, spread demonstrations in towns where the opposition fractions happens, seal off venues where their holding their rallies; they will get the police to go door to door to address the population and citizens from not taking part of the rallies. And at that time he says that Dr. Kizza Besigye is acting wrong by saying he is campaigning for defiance? Really?

Kampala 16.11.15 UPF 2

When your men and your supporters only generate violence and misconduct during the elections! Then he got the rights to address the matters. Abim Hospital is just a proof of the judgement of lacking order in the civil service and health care system in Uganda, isn’t that why yourself when you are sick goes abroad to heal mister President? Why doesn’t you tell your citizens about that program?

We should tape you and your words when you travel abroad to see why you do it abroad instead for the country you have run for ages. Well, you claim also that the opposition is cheating in Kampala, we know you have issues with Kampala, that is well known. That is because Kampala has for a while not bought your words and programs. They can look through you and it hurts you. You don’t know that they wanted somebody you hadn’t handpicked; therefore you have made new laws to rig the system to fix it for you views. We all understand your ways. Fingerprints are just something you make up even though you should have all the material to rig it if you can and get another system your men can manipulate, as you need since the strength of opposition has risen in Kampala.

That you don’t like opposition and only your men a trustworthy until the point that they get in your way or takes your spotlight, like so many fallen and deflected NRM leaders in the past; they are now in your shadow and tries to get your place in the elections. That is why when you fear somebody you detain and get them arrest since you’re the commander and chief. Still that doesn’t make you right. Since you’re the man with the violent quotes first and actions against your opponents. It isn’t like FDC takes up the swords. They continue to campaign and being on the trail. They don’t make fuzz and hurt your campaign. Still, because of his willpower and wish to make changes that make you fear him.

If you didn’t fear the growing momentum and strength of loyalty in the people, that you don’t’ have, is that why you all of sudden leaves him alone? But still want to imprison him even if your own rhetoric is more harsh and violent then him! I can’t be the only one who sees that. A dog usually barks at people they don’t trust. And the same does Museveni every single time, because he can’t be democratic about it. He can only be who he has always been a man who grabbed the power by the gun and if FDC or any opposition candidate get in his way. That is why he goes to this length yet again; and makes me address them yet again. Peace.  

Reference:

Kazibwe, Kenneth – ‘Museveni : Besigye Should be Arrested for Playing ‘Stupid’ Politics’ (13.12.2015) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/museveni-besigye-should-be-arrested-for-playing-stupid-politics/

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