The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) is steadily going after the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). This is a deliberate act to stop their efforts and work, which thwarts the ideals of the state and the President at this current time.
That’s why the ones who are doing civic education or participating in the electoral accountability is hit hard. This is very deliberately done, and it’s done after this year’s polls too. The state has already suspended and gone after the foreign funding of several of NGOs in the near past. So, today’s action and press statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Only shows a continuation of these acts.
The NRM and the State House are doing this to stifle, stop and ensure they have no transparency and accountability. They are stopping civilian activity and NGOs from gathering, making conferences and having trainings. This is of organizations such as CCEDU, Chapter Four, Gliss and CEW-IT. The only one missing this time around was CEON-U. The rest was already targeted of these sorts.
The National Bureau of NGOs seems to be only functioning to ensure the demise and silence the possible critics. The ones who dares to question the powers to be and the ones who work to educate the masses. Are apparently the ones this suspended indefinitely. These has been targeted before through other measures, but now they are using the whip of lacking audited books. Which is striking, after the same state blocked and ceased the ability for funding for several of these through the suspension of Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) earlier this year.
That’s why you know the suspensions and direct assault on the 54 NGOs is with a plan. The state has already targeted several of these for months. It is not like they haven’t been under scrutiny for so long.
What we are seeing today is furthering the cause and the battle for legitimacy, as the NRM and the Government trying to show its sovereign power. However, this will only backfire, as the state cannot resolve or abdicate its role to facilitate for NGOs/CSOs, as they do the work the state isn’t able to do and filling in the gaps of the government. That’s why this is tragic, but also obvious.
The NRM and President knows what they are doing. Since this isn’t the first shot or warning even. The state has before also raided several of offices in Kampala. It has done so to intimidate and silence these organizations. That’s why this is just a bureaucratic measure to silence them and finally put the nail in the coffin. Especially, to NGOs who uses their means and organize things in connection to elections and electoral education. It is not the run-of-the-mill organizations fighting poverty or illiteracy who his hit the hardest here.
That’s why you know the drill and the game-plan. They want to signal to the NGOs and CSOs, civil society in general that the government can cease your operation and stop you in your tracks. That is clear here and the only message I’m getting out of this. Peace.
In the Republic of the Presidential Handshake, there been talk about the Presidential Donations in Rukungiri recently, where trucks, tractors, boda-boda’s and monies to SACCO’s are coming days ahead of a By-Election there. That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his party National Resistance Movement (NRM) was giving funds directly to certain people in the district. That is why this became a topic on NBS Frontline.
I am glad I am not a NRM Apologist, because they have to defend murder, assassination of institutions and the well-established nepotism within this regime. Therefore, I am glad I wasn’t Chris Baryomunsi on the TV today. The Cabinet Member said this:
“All the donations made can’t total to UGX5bn. It’s not correct to say the president was in Rukungiri to bribe voters. He has a passion to fight poverty. It was a genuine donation” – Chris Baryomunsi on NBS Frontline (19.04.2018).
Because the NRM have no trouble with this and defending what he did, because of the coming election of a Woman MP for Rukungiri District. Like it is just happening days ahead of the By-Election, that the President can use from his coffers at the State House and dole out gifts. This is Ad-Hoc Cash from the giant box of Presidential Pledges, that he can give where ever he likes. Instead of actually building institution, more just patching up the hurt, instead of building something genuine.
“The president is a very generous person and it’s not fair to say that the donation in Rukungiri was an unfair. He donates to all parts of the country. He has not broken any law by donating” – Chris Baryomunsi on NBS Frontline (19.04.2018).
Well, it is still questionable, even the Parliamentary Elections Act 2001 states: “26. Use of Government resources:
(1) Except as authorised under this Act or otherwise authorised by law, no candidate shall use Government or public resources for the purpose of campaigning for election.
(2) Where a candidate is a Minister or holds any other political office, he or she shall, during the campaign period, restrict the use of the official facilities ordinarily attached to his or her office to the execution of his or her official duties” (Parliamentary Elections Act, 2001).
So if the WMP candidate for the NRM are getting credit and the use of the bribes, the Presidential Donations or Pledges, than the public resources has been used in campaigning for elections. That is questionable, even if it wasn’t the NRM Flagbearer for Rukungiri, but the WMP candidate would benefit for the kindness and use of public resources.
So Baryomunsi should question the Electoral Laws if Presidential Pledges, Presidential Donations or gifts are acceptable before the polls. That is what the Minister is saying and the apologist of the NRM is saying. That Museveni is getting of the hook, instead of being questioned. Even the not-so-new Chairman of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama said it was an evil partner of the elections with bribes. It is proven again that the NRM is following their M.O.
If Byabakama really believed it destroyed the Democracy, he wouldn’t have accepted the pledges, the donations and the gifts from the President in the month before the election in Rukungiri. However, he did, not condemn or done anything. Because he knows he is a crony of the President, whose lucky to have a day-job.
Because 5 billion shillings as gifts and sudden donations from the President is questionable. To say something else, is to be blind. That is what the NRM wants people to be, because the President has no plans with it. Other than trying to bribe and give things. So the District will look favorable to him and that the people cannot vote for someone else, who gave vans, tractors, boda-boda’s and so on. Peace.
Today I am writing about certain comments made by the guy that took over the Election Commission after Dr. Badru Kiggundu, he is legend for his ways and his math. So Dr. Kiggundu will not be forgotten, that is why I have struggled to take this fellow serious. Because Kiggundu destroyed the EC and made it look like a foolish organization filled with cronies who has a love-affair with Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That is true and therefore, all By-Elections since the General Elections 2016 have been in favor of National Resistance Movement (NRM), except Kyadondo East, which Bobi Wine topped with his huge star-power and speeches. So that Justice Simon Byabakama hasn’t been on my radar. This because the NRM has controlled and in-certain themselves in the by-election, where the opposition parties and independents has no control. Byabakama couldn’t do anything wrong and the NRM can just do whatever. That is how it has been for various reasons, but the NRM are really not trying to have a multi-party state, that is just a piece of flesh on the bone for donor-aid, but not for reality.
So before I rant, here is the statements on the EC Boss I will discuss today:
“According to Byabakama, bribery has become an evil partner with elections in Uganda. “But we are made to understand that bribery has become an evil partner with elections in this country, this undermines the quality of democracy,” he said” (…) “The law says an election result can be cancelled on grounds of bribery, despite the amount involved” (…) “Can you imagine an exercise that has cost the stakeholders, including security about sh1b being cancelled because of sh1,000 or a sachet of waragi or bar of soap? Do we really have to go to the school of economics to understand that this is not tenable in economic terms?” Byamukama wondered” (Nambogga, 2018)
Well, Byabakama have been under a rock or not followed what the party that appointed him and anointed him to become Electoral Commission Chairperson. That the Chairperson didn’t know how the ruling regime and the ruling party has acted during elections. It isn’t only misuse the army and the police as a political tool during elections. All of the state coffers and reserves are used.
Therefore, that the Chairperson Byabakama are now saying bribes are bad. He should start discussing this with the Entebbe State House. Who has sanctions the give-aways to Pastors, Residential District Commanders and others who was getting Prado’s and SUV’s within days of the Election. That is the big buys of loyalty and bribes.
The others are the voter tourism, a definition that came about because between 2015 and 2016, the NRM party and their organizers hired buses, paid t-shirts and food for villagers to bigger local rallies. They even gave smaller sums of cash to the people to listen to Museveni and the group of musicians that was also paid massively for their campaigning for the President. It is sort of hard to forget the massive amounts of shillings spent on the Campaigning of the President. Only for November 2015, the NRM Party spent massively 125bn shillings. That is something one report said and could calculate. The other months up-to February 2016. Can question the whole spending of the NRM. Every single rally before the February 2016 was biggest breaches of bribery of voters. It’s like the Chairman was blind to this or was himself in Finland while it was happening.
The evil partner of bribery is built in the system of corrupt behavior from the State House. They misuse all parts of government and all parts of society. If there isn’t loyalty, it can be shut-down. That is how Museveni works.
So my question to Byabakama: Will you ask His Excellency, if the Party has any plans of stopping to bribe the public every time there is an election?
If you do? Can you also get the New Vision to publish that too? So we can again see how to-faced Museveni is. Thanks. Peace.
Nambogga, Jackie – ‘EC Boss warns against bribery in politics’ (04.02.2018) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1470404/ec-boss-warns-bribery-politics
I feel sorry for European Union Envoy Kristian Schmidt who are now sounding like a National Resistance Movement (NRM) apologist, instead of an independent spirit and understanding of the short-falls of the NRM Regime. He seems to been misunderstanding what happen during the General Election 2016. Surely, he wants the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Dr. Kizza Besigye, to say it just water under bridge and let it go. Since the Supreme Court followed the orders of the 31 Years and counting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. First introduce some of the beautiful words of Ofwono Opondo, before the Kristian Schmidt’s foolish interview with Daily Monitor, before enlightening fellow European of his ignorance or forgetting the blatant impunity towards Besigye and FDC in and around the General Election 2016. Since he has forgotten while drinking Nile Brew in the Embassy and going on Safaries with his dignitaries. Surely, Schmidt must feel good about himself!
““In this election, Besigye gained 1.5 million votes compared to two million votes he got in 2011 while Museveni’s gain was a paltry 500,000. To the NRM strategists, this is the most shocking, indeed worrying trend, and having located the cause as being our messaging, strategy, campaign style, internal laxity, occasioned fraud and widespread bickering. We shall not blame anybody else except ourselves. Actually, to be frank, we were almost swept away by our collective failure to robustly respond to the Opposition demagoguery on issues of youth unemployment, despair among the urban population, poor and yet expensive public service delivery and bad public relations, especially to distribution of soft campaign cash that often got stolen along the way among other issues. This, to the Besigye camp, should give hope that with better strategic organisation, not only falsehoods, they can in the future topple NRM through the ballot instead of being bad losers” (…) ““The claims of rigging, especially at the last minute through alleged intimidation of candidates’ agents, ballot stuffing, falsification or alteration of results on tally and declaration sheets and at announcements are perturbing and incredibly unbelievable. These could pass as truth if the peddlers could at least adduce some verifiable evidence from eyewitnesses and documents in their possession that differ from those of the EC, which ought to be available from the multiple sources, including the media that observed these elections” (Opondo, 2016).
So when a NRM spokesperson and Uganda Media Centre director had to come in defense of his master. In the aftermath and with the current illegitimate government. Who has no problems in misusing the government funds and had no problem rigging the election in their favor. As the FDC had massive scores of leaders behind bars, had people with Declarations Forms from Polling Stations at Gun-Point, had their Headquarter barricaded and sealed off, Besigye was under house-arrest and the story goes on. Not an adventure, but a true theft a nation. Still Schmidt says this to the FDC and former Presidential Candidate:
“He added: “That is of course an issue that is dividing but I think it would have been good to come together and discuss. It has not happened and election reforms seem to be not going forward.” (…) “The law of Uganda is what it is: the conditions of petitions are what they are, and for a petition to be successful you have to do a lot of homework. Under your Constitution I believe you have little time, 10 days. I know one of the recommendations of the Supreme Court is to extend that time which I believe makes sense.” (…) “ He said “I think if Dr Besigye was convinced before elections that he would not be happy with the outcomes and the process, he should have been the one to petition. He should have prepared for that but he decided before that he was not going to and under the rule of law.” (Musisi, 2017).
EU Envoy to Uganda Kristian Schmidt, I know you visited him while on undetermined house-arrest. Since the Police Force had been stationed in Kasangati, Wakiso for so long days before the election and until May 2016. When he was able to escape and have his own swearing-in ceremony, before air-lifted to Moroto, where the state charged him with Treason charges. Which he still carries today, he is an arch-criminal and seen as an enemy of the state. Than after all of this, you talk about rule of law, justice and courts. Like Dr. Kizza Besigye haven’t had his time in court, haven’t been detained on more occasions than ordinary thief, even more than average murderers in the Republic.
So, the FDC was unable to counter with a petition, Amama Mbabazi was the only one able to fill in a form or petition. Because FDC has done so after General Election 2011. So it is like the EU Envoy for Uganda Schmidt is not in concern anymore of all the breaches that happen to Besigye. Like the whole House-Arrest period, the whole part of the general assault on the rule of law considering the elections and polls. The self sufficient pre-ticket ballots and Badru Kiggundu’s own special math-class. The statistics and the vicious attempt of forging the whole election in favor of President Museveni.
It like he wants the one on Treason Charges since May 2016, since the coup d’etat in February 20th 2016, when the Electoral Commission announced the result. That as the whole NRM and state organization was behind the whole ordeal. Even the European Election Observation Mission and the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission was explaining the massive flaws of the General Election. Still, the EU Envoy want Besigye just to let it go.
Let’s take his first reasoning, since it is shows his true passion, the Danish dignitary: “Now if this was in any other democracy, like in some European countries, it would be unacceptable that the Opposition party does not then recognise the winner of the elections” (Musisi, 2017). If this was an election in Europe, all of these ploys of the NRM wouldn’t have happen. Not normally, that the army is used to intimidate, that local leaders are paid-off with new cars, that ballot are pre-ticket ballots and all powers to be to silence the FDC. Together with the obvious rigging and mismatch of acts in favor of Museveni. If this would not have happen in a European elections and EU Envoy to Uganda knows this. That why it is remarkable that he says about Besigye.
Besigye knows better and the Ugandan people knows so. They are not fools, even if Schmidt is sounding like Ofwono Opondo and has taken lectures from Andrew Mwenda. He surely has hanged in the same bars in Kampala as these two. To sound so blatant ignorant and so forgetful. Peace.
Opondo, Ofwono – ‘The media shouldn’t parrot Opposition false claims’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Media-parrot-Opposition-false-claims/-/689364/3135890/-/2m2g7v/-/index.html
Musisi, Fredric – ‘Besigye refusal to recognise government not helpful – EU envoy’ (09.07.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Besigye-refusal-recognise-government-not-helpful-EU-envoy/688334-4006606-er8gyr/index.html
“FDC cannot foster accountability in government when they are not accountable themselves” – Andrew Mwenda (29.12.2016 on NBS TV – NBSFrontline).
Forum for Democratic Change Dr. Kizza Besigye is always on the NBSFrontline without showing up, just like his nemesis President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It’s always make me giggle when people says that Besigye lost four elections and isn’t a credible opposition. Well, to the pundits, the monitoring of Besigye by the Police Force and the harassment of Opposition is why Hon. Norbert Mao from the Democratic Party is also always sitting in the studio speaking his wisdom to the masses. Like it is forgotten the way he was stopped from running as MP in his district during the General Election in 2016. Short term memory is a tricky thing.
Let’s be clear. The Opposition in Uganda isn’t without faults or without deficiency. The Movement have clearly by all means meant for no other ruler than Museveni. Somebody who thinks otherwise is naïve or on the movements payroll. There are clear indications and fantastic results of every single election that massively gives an edge and popularity that even could give way for dead-people to vote for the moment when needed be. Because how is possible to have so many 100% votes and also 100% of all eligible voters in the polling stations. They all like magic shows up, even as the neither death nor sickness stopped anyone in the constituencies to show up and vote for their beloved President.
So that rare coincidence that a certain man, who lost his own credibility and has to clear his own house. Mwenda has been battling the FDC like he has done on Social Media for over 48 hours attacking Besigye with all cylinders, instead of seeing the inevitable. The continued attempts to alter the conversation and blatantly attack FDC for their role in the opposition is a meagre attempt to smear them, instead of asking why the Movement has made it like this!
It’s true that LoP Winnie Kiiza is a fish out of water running wild in dialogue with the President in Kasese, as the man behind the plot is walking scotch free threatening all reports and people asking questions as the decomposed bodies are in the soil. The families without loved ones and the Security Organization, their brigades walk like free-men controlling the district. As the king are behind bar as a common terrorist. So the FDC is the problem and not the Movement who has a militarized attitude of the Central Government itself.
So when Mwenda and other’s says that the FDC isn’t real opposition and really accountable because of the many attempts of Besigye at becoming the President. It’s just wondered how he can try to alter history in this way. That Mao is all smiles and giggles are also weird when his party are weaken and also instead of being a national party has turned more regional over the years.
“Besigye’s tone is of violence, I think that’s why he has failed to get votes from old people” – Ofwono Opondo
Well, Honourable Opondo, tones doesn’t kill people, the guns of the army and Special Force Command can shoot people into silence and into submission. Just like the monies has done to the Electoral Commission who fixed the results together with the default rigging of leaving ballots behind in districts and all other issues during the Election Road Map of 2016. This is known knowledge still he uses sly tactics to sound smart and useful. Because the Hon. Opondo doesn’t know what defiance means or couldn’t care – he is resisting the knowledge as he only see brown envelopes and bowing his knee to his master Museveni.
The most insulting words of the day we’re demeaning Mwenda saying: “why replace a Museveni you know with a Museveni you don’t know”. Moment of Nostalgia, reminding myself of not being to rash, but this is an insult to Museveni and Besigye. Museveni is the kingpin! He has ruled with iron fist and brutally stomped on anyone with ambition. Sole candidate and unquestioned leader of the Movement; in the deluded mind an elected and team-building candidate in Besigye is the same as the other. That is disrespectful and a disgrace to them both.
Museveni is a militarized political juggernaut who doesn’t gives to crap about anyone’s existence except if his movement can capitalise or use it. Besigye has had dialogue and let the party he was part of creating having two clear fractions. There are no talks and no clear leadership under Museveni has and do controls the NRM Party, without question; whatever Hon. Opondo is just puppet hire to make Museveni look nice. But Mwenda are supposed to be Independent, but is more and more sounding like apologist for the Movement. Which isn’t a great look on the fellow commentator more like stressed phone-calling son of bitch who can’t stall the conversation.
So the insults of FDC should be done with tact, but that isn’t the way of the Movement, neither of any of the apologists if it is the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, Army Spokesman Lt. Paddy Akunda and Uganda Media Centre leader Ofwono Opondo are all spreading the message of submission to the mighty and tries to do with all force, because their master will send the soldiers to the streets and social media blackouts; Museveni uses them if needed to silence the population in the media. Trying to spin the news and waves as needed be.
As now their tactic as their ways are not steady, their mediocre, even weaker than a twice used tea-bag of Mukwano tea. Bitter water with a little ounces of flavour, but you need to pounds of sugar to be able to drink it. The same is with the words of disarray from the Movement speakers. Don’t be fooled. Don’t buy the ticket to the gig.
Besigye is different, not because I say so, it’s because of the way he is and how he carry himself in the tribulations and the troubles, in the torture and in the massive amounts of arrest that is nearly all unaccounted for by the authorities, where most of them without reasons, without warrants and without charges that could stick in any court. Besigye has had turmoil before because of his stance against Museveni. Still, he continues and wanting to see good governance. It’s a just cause especially the wish for a peaceful transition without guns, coup d’état and without use of any sort of force.
That Besigye is a hot topic is understandable. When you have an unaccountable and walking ATM for President, the discussion about the accountability should be first and foremost be questioned to the one in charge and the one rigged to be there. As Besigye has never ruled or had the ability of the Executive. That has all been Museveni.
As Marie Matembe said so beautifully tonight: “There is no state in Uganda. State is equal to Museveni and Museveni is equal to the state” (NBS TV on NBSFrontline, 29.12.2016).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2016
The post election season has been characterised by tension arising from the house arrest of lead opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye, a court case by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi and filing court petitions for MP, L.C and municipal elections.
The Citizen Election Observers Network- Uganda (CEON-U) is concerned that the continued house arrest of the lead opposition candidate infringes on his right to freedom according to article 23 of the constitution.
In article 43 of the constitution: (I) In the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms prescribed in this Chapter, no person shall prejudice the fundamental or other human rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
(2) Public interest under this article shall not permit-
(a) political persecution;
(b) detention without trial;
(c) any limitation of the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms prescribed by this Chapter beyond what is acceptable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society, or what is provided in this Constitution.
Section 24 of the police act gives the police a right to arrest someone if he is a threat to public security, but CEON-U demands that police produces evidence that makes Besigye a threat to public security, otherwise will his arrest be indefinite.
In a multiparty system, opposition parties should not be viewed as enemies of the state, but rather as groups that provide alternative Government programmes.
As part of a process of increasing citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process, CEON-U recently carried out an opinion survey on the recently concluded general elections.
The survey was meant to expose electoral irregularities so as to provide a premise on how to better organise elections in Uganda.
Consequently; 8 CEON-U managers visited areas where there is conflict, court petitions and requests for vote recounts to establish the causes of the disputed elections. The team visited Tororo, Gulu, Kotido, Butambala, Serere, Jinja, Mayuge, Iganga, Mukono, Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntungamo. The managers worked closely with our long-term observers who are natives of the constituencies and the districts which they observed, before, during and are observing after elections. CEON-U held focus group discussions with members of the community, local council leaders, opinion leaders and voters from all political parties in the districts.
CEON-U also met district police officials, district returning officers, registrars in courts of law and victims of electoral violence.
Generally, the presidential and parliamentary elections were peaceful, but the period leading up to the election day was volatile in all the districts visited. In Mayuge for instance a man died under unclear circumstances. He was a supporter of Robert Ntende, an independent candidate. He is said to have been killed by supporters of Idi Isabirye.
In Iganga at Idudi supporters of NRM and FDC clashed on the eve of elections over voter bribery. The NRM MP was giving out cash to voters who alerted FDC supporters. FDC supporters reacted by blocking the NRM from giving out money, the NRM called a NAADS soldier to rescue them. He came and shot dead a 25-year-old man and the crowd became more rowdy. And the soldier continued firing live bullets. In the process of the scuffle, a woman was shot through the arm and an s.3 student was shot through the neck. Both these people were not involved in the scuffle but had gone to the trading centre to buy food. This shooting took place at 8:00pm. (attached are the pictures of the victims of the shootings).
The way results were tabulated and announced at the district provided a sharp contrast with what the locals had gathered from the polling stations. This happened for all the elections, presidential, parliamentary, district council and municipal elections.
There are mainly two known political parties, the NRM and FDC; even though Uganda has 10 political parties. UPC which was once a known party is almost non-existent.
In a strong multi-party dispensation system people are given an opportunity to have divergent views on handling issues of governance. A weak political party system promotes a one party system of governance which impedes institutional growth.
The management of electoral processes by some of the district returning officials was poor.
A case in point is Jinja: When it came to the L.C.3 election of Walukuba West Parish B;
The LC 3 election had five candidates Joseph Bateganya Atumika, Bisusa Amisi Kafuko, Kirunda Isaac Kiwunda, Mande Milton and Mbulugu Emmanuel.
On Election day the ballot papers that were supplied to the polling stations had wrong names. Mande Milton was called Mande Milton Kirunda. Also party symbols were mixed up between the NRM candidate and FDC candidate. This was sufficient ground for the election to have been cancelled. However, even when the Jinja district returning officer, Ambrose Mwaita was notified about the anomaly he told the candidate Kirunda Isaac Kiwunda that electoral commission Jinja was not going to do anything about this case. A case has been filed against the electoral commission in Jinja court by Kirunda Isaac Kiwunda.
There are several other electoral disputes that have been filed in courts of law in the various districts. In Omoro Constituency there is a Petition: Simon Toolit Vs Oulanyah Jacob was logged in on March 24 2016. Simon Tollit is suing the Incumbent Oulanyah Jacob and EC over election mal practice. These included ballot boxes being kept away in a saloon, EC tampering with DR forms, EC using a Different format of the District DR Form to declare results among other things.
Intimidation and Violence:
In Katawi, Amuria, Bukedea and Serere there were cases of intimidation and violence. The community claimed they were beaten by militia groups and crime preventers and were warned against voting an opposition party into power. ( attached is a picture of the people who gave confessions during a focus group discussion)
In Mukono the parliamentary campaigns were characterised by violence and chaos. According to the electoral commission, Fatuma Ndisaba’s supporters used to beat up Betty Nambooze’s supporters during campaigns. There was also the problem of candidates campaigning beyond the stipulated for campaign time and supporters clashing after the campaigns.
The military should be restrained from participating in elections, because elections are volatile in nature. Electoral commission should improve its image by investigating and eventually laying off district returning officers who are said to have altered DR forms and extorted money from candidates who wanted to be announced winners. All political parties should be treated equally and respectfully by the Government in power. The Government should seriously consider the electoral reforms that civil society presented last year. Presiding officers and polling assistants should be better remunerated to prevent them from being compromised during elections. Management of elections is not a single days event. Planning and training of officials, desk officers, middle level managers, desk officers, heads of departments on the process of elections should start the second month after the general elections. Training presiding and polling officials should be done a month to the elections to minimise errors on the DR forms.
The democratic path is a long bumpy one, despite the many electoral irregularities that marred the recently concluded elections, the gains made over the last 30 years cannot just be thrown away. We need more concerted effort to promote true democratic ideals.
For more information about CEON-U contact Dr Martin Mwondha on 0788929052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org visit our website at http://www.ceonu.or.ug (CEON – Uganda) – Towards 2016: Conducting a Unified, Comprehensive and effective election Observation Mission in Uganda. You can also visit the FHRI offices in Nsambya.
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it” – Mark Twain
When we speak of Ugandan election it is not often Mark Twain comes to mind, but he should be spoken about like folklore and around the bonfires and around the charcoal since it exactly what happen. Mr. Opondo has yet again come to the defense of his party and his master. Last time I addressed him on the 1st February 2016, when he attacked the Media and the FDC. He does the same thing again, now in another manner, but still needs to comment and arguments need to be sealed and show how the misleading words of the NRM spokesman are. If these arguments from the NRM spokesman are true, then I say that the voting done in the Presidential and Members of Parliament Elections in mid-February wouldn’t make a difference, since the NRM just let the citizens do it. But we would hope the value of the votes mattered more right?
“I take issue broadly with the Ugandan media’s coverage of election campaigns and results so far. It surprises me that more than a month after the public declaration, official release and gazzettment of the election results by Electoral Commission (EC) the mainstream media of radios, television stations and newspapers continue to parrot the false and absurd claims by Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) that he was ‘robbed’ of victory at the last minute by the NRM in connivance with the Electoral Commission and other State organs. FDC lost 17 of its 35 MPs in the 9th Parliament, and the party hasn’t made any gains at all!” (Opondo, 2016).
Well, the reason why everybody can claim what surprises you Mr. Opondo is that the men and woman with the Candidates Declarations Forms from the Polling stations from other parties have been detained, the amount of polling stations counted in the official announcement and results are small, the pre-ticked ballots evidence have been massive, even polling officials have had ballot-boxes pre-made before the Election Day; therefore with the massive amounts of the rigging the claims that surprises you shouldn’t Mr. Opondo, but I know you would say anything that your master command you to. As you are not allowed to think on your own right Mr. Opondo? I know that hurts, but by now it must be facts. If a rigged elections and the results from the elections is seen as verified then the might be a loss for the FDC, but even though they might not have lost, since there was no crowds celebrating your grand victory and the country was mourning while the soldiers was heavy deployed and the army was standing around Namboole Stadium and the Electoral Commission Headquarter unto the time for petition the elections on the 1st of March. So your victory can’t be that big when you need all security organizations, the army and the police at standby, if the public wanted your victory they would catch chicken thieves and not having Dr. Kizza Besigye under house-arrest ever since the day before the Election Day.
“In this election, Besigye gained 1.5 million votes compared to two million votes he got in 2011 while Museveni’s gain was a paltry 500,000. To the NRM strategists, this is the most shocking, indeed worrying trend, and having located the cause as being our messaging, strategy, campaign style, internal laxity, occasioned fraud and widespread bickering. We shall not blame anybody else except ourselves. Actually, to be frank, we were almost swept away by our collective failure to robustly respond to the Opposition demagoguery on issues of youth unemployment, despair among the urban population, poor and yet expensive public service delivery and bad public relations, especially to distribution of soft campaign cash that often got stolen along the way among other issues. This, to the Besigye camp, should give hope that with better strategic organisation, not only falsehoods, they can in the future topple NRM through the ballot instead of being bad losers” (Opondo, 2016).
Well, the NRM Task Force and Campaign Team have used large war-chest and monies on the election, ferrying more voters than ever in history. The cause doesn’t seem important as the recycling pledges from the leader of NRM and the President. There been internal problems that are visible ever since the Executive decided to cut ties with Amama Mbabazi. With that the Party has struggled through a strange internal election called the NRM-Primaries, and even in the end payed to have the losing incumbent as “NRM Independent” in the General Election. You can claim stolen campaign funds while you have scandals of money from the Bank of Uganda used for campaign, getting money from the Government of Kenya and giving away UGX 250k to every village in the last days before the Presidential Poll on the 18th February. If the FDC came with only “Falsehood” and still feeling the need to defend the ballots, the ballot and pre-ticked ballots and the statistically strange results of 100% for the NRM candidate at certain polling stations. There are too many issues from the Election Day and the late release of Election Material in Wakiso and Kampala while the Kaabong Town and Lira Town could vote from the early morning on the Election Day seems like rigging to me, as the EC Headquarter are just besides the Polling Stations in Kampala and Wakiso. So Mr. Opondo the deal with feeling bad about losing is that there to many factors in the pot to make a to tasty stew for the matooki, it is not just beans, it is leafs, onions, spices and water mixing well to feed the pundits and commentators with enough to question the elections. If the FDC could topple the NRM, then the NRM should not worry about defending all the Electoral Malpractices during the Election and Pre-Election Period proves the problems that the NRM Spokesman struggles with. That must be the reason why he had to defend yet again the Election Announcement and Declaration. But Mr. Opondo does not have the heart to discuss that and suggest the issues since that really weakens the argument he needs to justify the so-called “win”.
“The claims of rigging, especially at the last minute through alleged intimidation of candidates’ agents, ballot stuffing, falsification or alteration of results on tally and declaration sheets and at announcements are perturbing and incredibly unbelievable. These could pass as truth if the peddlers could at least adduce some verifiable evidence from eyewitnesses and documents in their possession that differ from those of the EC, which ought to be available from the multiple sources, including the media that observed these elections” (Opondo, 2016).
Mr. Opondo, when you got footage, got reports of officials, even police officers having ballots, when you got so many FDC officials and Go-Forward Officials detained, is not “incredible unbelievable”; that sad thing Mr. Opondo is that it is true, if not the FDC would might have had the opportunity to file a petition of this fraudulent Election you claim to valid. The Police have rounded up and taken amounts of opposition officials in jail and at gun-point. I know that you don’t believe that Mr. Opondo, that is because you’re sitting safe in your home and reading while “sighing” and “cursing”. Mr. Opondo I know you wish your party and leadership that pays you creates a “fairytale”, but without your knowledge apparently the Party you’re speaking for and working hard to defend has become the Orwellian. The Election Observers and Monitoring Teams have come with both good and bad. Even said that the Electoral Commission didn’t reform as asked to do after the General Election 2011, the CCEDU and CEON-U were not taken in or even gotten a place in the Petition. Commonwealh was not giving a good preliminary statement; the COMESA/EAC/AU gave a counter-statement that was positive; while the European Union also asked questions; as much as the American Mission in Kampala has also asked for the copies of the forms, with the Electoral Commission complying to the request proving that there are questions to be asked! That is something you don’t even bother to think about, Mr Opondo? Or is that reasoning blowing your mind and boggles the brain-cell that operates your reasoning?
“But, it appears the candidates, observers and media did a shoddy job and are now embarrassed that they cannot provide any credible documentary evidence of fraud hence the generalised allegations of cheating and unfairness. The local media in particular, appear to have been overtaken by the early rumblings in the campaigns perhaps by the way Mbabazi was hounded out of NRM secretary general position and the subsequent obstruction of his initial consultations outside NRM party rules by the police. Unfortunately, Mbabazi’s would-be most loyal and vocal supporter, his wife Jacqueline has been reported indisposed throughout the campaigns and, we wish her steady recovery. The media silence has left Besigye to make bogus claims, thereby inadvertently lending false credence that indeed he was cheated and fanned public anxiety. Surely, the Uganda media can do much better” (Opondo, 2016).
The Embarrassing part Mr. Opondo with all the knowledge you still attack the opposition who has been detained and struggled. While the NRM has had police by their side, the NRM have ordered the Police and even used them to silence the Media. And when you as a spokesman uses the end of statement implying them to tell the story as you do; you wonder why people are claiming what they do? If it was “Bogus Claims” from the FDC wouldn’t you just let the FDC come with a Petition with the Declaration Forms and witnesses instead of doing what you did? The only good thing you did during the whole statement was to defend the election and attack the FDC. And as a NRM Spokesperson you’re supposed to speak up for the Party, so if you did anything else Mr. Opondo you would do a crappy job, but defending this in this display and rhetoric is not winning or defining the opposition or the announcement of the result.
The reason Mr. Opondo why I have not discussed the numbers and percentage of this election, as that is not necessary as your constant attack on the media. Because of it was fair and the justification of the victory was unnecessary your piece would have made more sense. This was not a piece of clear message and clarifying the victory, more a meager display of trying to defend the election and the winning result. Mr. Opondo if it was a clear victory wouldn’t he be happy people around the streets of Kampala and all over the country? As it has been in the early history of your beloved NRM-Election?
The silence of the media is because of the mourning and understanding of their audience and have followed the UGPetition16 and the actions around that; the other issue is that the NRM have attacked the media from pre-election period, the police has shot a journalist in the head, detained a dozen, confiscated the equipment, taken broadcaster of air, shut of the transmitters of radios, closed stations when opposition leaders comes to scheduled programming, gotten NTV banned from the campaign trail and so on. The NRM is responsible for the climate that the media is in, the censoring and silence is made by the irresponsible and irrational leadership of the NRM and their Executive. But Mr. Opondo could never say that because he has to praise and kiss the Executive ass right?
I think that is enough for tonight. The reasoning from Mr. Opondo is yet again missing and his analysis written by a blind mind, but a hungry tummy as he wants a bigger paycheck; just like Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu got before the Election. Peace.
Opondo, Ofwono – ‘The media shouldn’t parrot Opposition false claims’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Media-parrot-Opposition-false-claims/-/689364/3135890/-/2m2g7v/-/index.html