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
“Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change has described 2016 as a very difficult year. The former party president says he remains optimistic about 2017. He spoke to NTV from his home in kasangati, Wakiso District” (NTV Uganda, 2016).
“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 email@example.com 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.
On March 10th 2016, civil society organisations filed an amicus curie motion to join the presidential election petition. The organisations have interest in the petition because it raises important questions of public interest; whether the general elections were conducted in a manner representative of the will of the people.
The admission as amicus curiae will serve the interest of justice and enhance participation of people of Uganda not otherwise represented. The civic duty to engage in matters of public interest is enshrined in the 1995 Constitution; civic organizations are especially charged with the responsibility to engage to protect constitutionalism, human rights and democracy.
The organizations that join this application are mandated by their missions to do civic engagement on matters of interest to citizens. As organizations working on human rights, their responsibility extends to matters of the rule of law and accountability to citizens of Uganda who are the voters in every election.
The applicants are members of the civil society coalition that was accredited as election observers in the 2016 general election under the framework of the Citizens Election Observers Network (CEON-U) and the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).
Civil society organisations observed electoral processes prior during and after the Presidential elections along side convening voter mobilization campaigns. The organisations therefore possess valuable, credible and verifiable information on the elections, which will enrich the Court’s consideration of the presidential election petition.
The organisations include: Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda), Chapter Four Uganda, Human Rights Network Uganda (HURINET), Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG), Kituo cha Katiba (KcK), Legal Aid Services Providers Network Uganda (LASPNET), and Transparency International (TI).
Contact for more information:
Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, FHRI: 0752791963
Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida, FIDA Uganda: 0772701488
Mr. Crispy Kaheru, CCEDU: 079444401 or 0772332747
Here is what I found that was important to take from the Citizens Election Observations Network of Uganda (CEON-U) report of pre-election report of January 2016. This here is the second report from Civil Society Organization on the time before the General Election starting 18th February 2016. Most of this I have described piece by piece. I will not take all of the graphics, you should read it yourself as well, but if you don’t have the time. Here is what I see as the important information from the report as the CEON-U has stated. Though it coming in the end of the campaign trail, so the changes they want is most likely not arriving before next election. Right, therefore here is the finding they have found. First: “There is a need for the state to provide equal facilitation to all parties, to empower them conduct their campaigns on a level ground” (P: 4, 2016).
About Dialogue – Inter-Party Liason Committees:
“Majority of LTOs reported that they had not seen or heard of any inter-party liaison committees in their constituencies. At least 89% of LTOs reported that they had no inter-party liaison committees in their constituencies, and at most 97% during this period” (P: 5, 2016).
“With a few days left to the polls, 23% of constituencies that are observed by CEON-U had not reported any voter information by the Electoral Commission by 18th January 2016. This has been observed across regions where observation is taking place. Up to this day, the majority of voters are not clear about the voter identification process. The issue of National Identity cards vs the voter’s card is yet to be resolved” (P: 8, 2016).
Defacing Campaign posters:
“For FDC, defaced presidential posters were more prevalent compared to parliamentary posters. The percentage of observers reporting defaced FDC posters ranged from 9% to 21% during this period. For Go Forward the percentage of observers reporting defaced posters ranged from 6% to 26% during this period” (P: 11, 2016). “NRM defaced posters was highest in Bukedi, followed by Buganda, Bunyoro and Kigezi” (P: 12, 2016). While FDC defaced posters were mostly observed in Bukedi, Teso and West Nile” (…)”And Go Forward defaced posters was highest in Kigezi, Teso and West Nile” (P: 13, 2016).
Conducting Campaigns after 6PM:
“Contrary to EC regulations, CEON-U observer reports indicate that presidential candidates from FDC, Go Forward and NRM have in some cases conducted campaigns after 6pm” (P: 13, 2016).
Election Violence and Hate-Speech:
“In week 6, which covered the period 16th to 22nd November 2015, in Nyabushozi County a counselor of Kanyaryeru division in Kiruhura district, on 26th November 2015, used hate speech against presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi when he alleged that he killed Nobel Mayombo and so people should not elect him to presidency because he is a murderer. And because Amama is a murderer he cannot be trusted to be president of Uganda. Still in week 6, while on a rally at Butaleja, Busolwe sub-county in Bunyole west constituency, on 19th November 2015, the voters called Besigye a liar who had no ability to deliver on the promises he was making. They said he was no better than Museveni because he is also corrupt” (P: 14, 2016).
This here puts the things in motion and also how the systematic actions have been during the days of the campaigns. Though compared to the economic campaign report, this here was very simplistic and easy read through; therefore I could compile the information quickly. This here is just a basic information for those who haven’t had an eagle eye on the elections, like the European Union Election Observations Monitoring team and COMESA who arrived in darkness and should see some of the numbers; so they know what they come into. As the sweet-talking IGP Kale Kayihura can really talk the white man into peace and blow smoke up his ass. We all know what the police does towards the Opposition, as seen in recent days.
And with the little voter information at this stage is worrying as we are in final stages of the race and campaign trail. There is something rare about it. CEON-U has done something important explaining the issue of missing voter information. That is something the Electoral Commission should work on of facilitate with the NGO who is behind the #Topowa campaign as they can explain the voters and information with passion, something Dr. Badru Kiggundu in the EC does not have. It is even hard to see him really smile to camera, think it was ages since he enjoyed his work and job. Therefore he should hire Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) with their #Topowa to get the message out. Though I don’t think Badru Kiggundu has the balls, stamina or independent mind to evolve and trust in CCEDU, as they are not loyal NRM cronies as themselves. Therefore this will not happen, but if they could travel around in the villages and major towns with their CSO/NGO machinery then they would have dropped the bomb of information on how to “honor your vote” which is basic and should be in the veins of the citizens. Something the NRM doesn’t seem to want to deliver to the public. Because they fear that won’t vote for them, and that is why they don’t educate them to vote, as that will contridict their usual message of fear, as they themselves fear their own citizens and their will.
Citizens Election Observers Network Uganda (CEON-U) – ‘Pre-election Observation Report’ (January 2016)
This here has been address by others, but this is my view on the report released by NGOs recently. So here is my view on how the parties have spent on the two months, and the issue is that is very important to discuss. Since this is use of money to gain power or to shape the political landscape. The use of moneys and what you use it on show the values and to what extend you will pay to either continue or get power. The pages are after the counting system of Acrobat document, the official document will have different numbers because Acrobat count the empty pages in the beginning also. Therefore the numbers are higher then what it is in the report and don’t get that confused. I just do it to make it easy.
“The minimum amount of money observed to have been spent by parties and their flag bearers in the observed districts was UGX 49.6 billion in November and 88.1 billion in December representing an increase of 77% over the two months. This increase is largely attributed to the commencement of member or parliament campaigns having been nominated on the 3rd and 4th of December 2015” (…)”ACFIM observers reported use of motorcades, bodabodas cyclists, entertainers; and provided transport refund, food and drinks for supporters that accompanied them to nomination and attended the nomination rallies” (P: 8, 2016).
“Assessment of Minimum Expenses by Party:
According to ACFIM observers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidates are leading by far terms of campaign spending. The party accounts for 87% of the total minimum observed expenditures reported by ACFIM Research Assistants/Observers in the months of November and December. NRM is trailed by Independent Candidates who have spent 7.9%, FDC (2.1%), Go Forward political group (1.1%), DP (0.5%), UPC (0.3%) and other parties (0.3%)” (P: 10, 2016).
NRM Minimum costs:
There has been observed how the NRM have been using funds on their candidates and campaigning from June 2015 to December 2015. This here proves yet again to what extent the ruling parties secure loyalty and MPs. Every NRM Village has spent minimum UGX 15m. The delegates conference for the constitutional amendment they spent UGX 19M. The Second delegate’s conference to elect Flag-Bearer UGX 20M; then it’s the monies spent to MPs to secure the vote for sole-candidacy that was UGX 6M. They also spent money for Posh Cars for party officials UGX 10M. Last was paying for the NRM Primaries which cost about UGX 30M. That means the minimum cost for NRM we’re UGX 100M (P: 12, 2016). That is before you really start to campaign!
Expenses of Presidential Candidates in November and December:
“The candidate Yoweri Museveni accounts for majority of the total minimum expenditure with 91.6% of the total minimum expenses recorded. Candidate Museveni is followed by Amama Mbabazi whose expenditure accounts for 4.6% and Kizza Besigye (3.3%). The rest of the candidates spent less than 1.0% combined” (P: 16, 2016).
NRM giving money away to gain support:
“The Money Man”; He is retired Leut. Gen. Henry Tumukunde. He was handing over UGX 20million to an association of vendors in Entebbe Market in December. He has been leading the advance party of candidate Yoweri Museveni. Observers in Arua reported that he handed out UGX 50,000 to 400 voters who claimed to have converted from FDC – they met him at White Castle Hotel in Arua” (P: 19, 2016).
Expenses on Journalists by Presidential Candidate (Nov & Dec):
“Yoweri Museveni outstrips his competitors in terms of expenditure on facilitation of Journalists on campaign trail. Observers report that candidate Yoweri Museveni has a team on 20 local journalists (electronic and print) that are covering his campaign trail, each of these journalists receives daily upkeep (per diem and incidentals) of UGX 150,000 from the candidate’s campaign coordination team. In addition when the candidate conducts regional press conferences, the facilitation for journalists attending the press conference rises to UGX 500,000 and about 50 journalists can be in attendance (i.e. the 20 on campaign trail are joined by 20-30 others from the region). Journalists on candidate Amama Mbabazi campaign trail get up a reported minimum of UGX 40,000 while journalists covering candidate Kizza Besigye and others get much less or nothing” (P: 31, 2016).
“Voter tourism as the practice by candidates where voters are provided with buses, trucks, minibuses or cars and driven from their homes to campaign rallies or around the constituency as an inducement to voters in return for their support come polling day. Clearly a poor voter who has not sat in an automobile for a year or more will be more than excited to enjoy the ride provided by the political candidate free of charge. Voter tourism has been prevalent in November and December with candidates of the NRM party most commonly observed engaging in this campaign tactic. Voter hospitality on the other hand is a situation where political candidate host voters to a banquet or party or meal or retreat where are treated to a good meal, animals slaughtered and cooked or roasted, lots of drinks including booze, music/disco, live entertainment and sometimes lodging in a comfortable hotel, motel or lodge. Voter tourism and voter hospitality were prevalent in November and December with majority of candidates across political parties complicity to this” (P: 41, 2016). To continue why the candidates use this tactic; “Political candidates that have been observed to engage in campaign tactics like voter tourism and voter hospitality in November and December, do not do so because they are generous, but because they expect recipients to return the favour. The timing of these offers in the middle of an election campaign and the nature of intended beneficiaries for this generosity is clear manifestation that the aim is to induce voters in return for their support on February 18th, 2016. This clearly is voter bribery” (P: 43, 2016)
Misuse of Government Resources:
“On the 9th of November 2015 a number of government vehicles were used on candidate Museveni’s rally held at Kasana Play Ground. Some of the vehicle registration plates observed in action at the rally include: UG2183C, UG 0178H, UG1427W, UG 0187D, UG 2688D, UG 2183C, UG 2043C, UG 2405C. UG 1832S, UG1768C. Observers in Katikamu report that on the same day government vehicle number UG 2708R was used to transport supporters to Kasana playground” (P: 44, 2016). “Similarly on December 3rd 2015 dependent candidate for Katikamu South Member of Parliament Patricia Magara was observed using a bus with government number plates to ferry campaign attendees from different sub counties to her nomination rally in Bulakasa” (P: 45, 2016).
The minimum NRM expenses of only November 2015 are 125,219,922,000! (P: 50, 2016) That is a lot’s of money. I will point out some special expenses that the NRM party has used this giant UGX 125bn on campaign for November 2015! That is lots of lots money! For Voter Tourism they have used UGX 140m in November alone. Allowances for 500 Special Force Command men as Campaign Security total pay cost UGX 300m in November alone. On Yellow T-shirts the NRM party used UGX 15,806bn that is a lot on type of item, it surely is to sprite up those campaign rallies and Yellow crowds! After quick calculations they used close to UGX 1,4bn on media advertisements on TV, Radio and Newspapers. On campaign posters the hefty sum of UGX 1,7bn (P: 49-50, 2016).
Though FDC used a UGX 1bn as the biggest opposition party, it still proves the total use of funds from NRM. I am not surprised with all the knowledge of voter tourism and also giving away foods and items at their campaign venues. The tally has to get big for the ruling party with all the hiring of buses and such proves how much their viable to use to get the perfect crowds and pictures to the press. Like yesterday there we’re reports of a village that was the size of 500 people, the NRM had a campaign rally of 20,000. Surely they had some buses and shipped them to that venue as they have done before and hired bus-companies to travel and pay to get crowds. Something FDC and the other parties does not do.
The NRM proves to be the big-spender and would be surprised if the result from a NGO would be different, maybe if Ofwono Opondo would describe it differently. He said this recently: “It is true that NRM is outspending other parties. It is true that we spent over UGX32b during NRM primaries” (…)”We are spending the money locally. We are buying t-shirts, water, paying musicians, hire cars from Ugandans” (…)”There’s no evidence that money being spent by political parties is causing inflation pressure” (TheInsider, 2016).
Mr Opondo is not a giant economic sense of a guy, the extended monies into use without monetary policy can lead into higher inflations, that is why the two recent elections periods in Uganda in 2006 and 2001 that the inflations rate we’re escalating and also led to higher prices on the household commodities. But Mr. Opondo has a way of forgetting such while his party is big spending. As they have their own “Money Man” during the campaign and continue to support the level of Voter Tourism. I am surely they have an own warehouse just for Yellow T-Shirts near a Headquarter of the NRM. They should they have used such a fortune on it and the ones they haven’t given away should be stored well.
The war-chest of NRM must be huge. As the reports before November was expected that NRM would use UGX 500bn, and by seeing the results of November alone in this report proves that those estimations was spot-on. If you can calculate the same amount for December and January; then you get up to the estimated usage of NRM party. Mzee surely like to make blast and bang while using spin-doctors to portray him as the national father of the country. While the other parties can nearly scrap enough funding for their own campaigns! And the other parties can’t use government equipment like the NRM does once in a while. As this report has pointed out and none of us who follows the NRM should be shocked and awe, it’s more the same old story. Well, that was enough for today. Peace!
Alliance for Campaign – ‘MONITORING CAMPAIGN EXPENSES DURING
THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD’ – PROGRESS REPORT NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2015
The Insider – ‘Opondo: NRM money won’t cause inflation’ (23.01.2016) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/opondo-nrm-money-wont-cause-inflation/