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.
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)