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.
“Part of this money is to support and facilitate various groups and entities in Uganda to conduct what they called deepening democracy in Uganda. The President and government think that this money was brought to distabilise the country. So that is the gist of the concern of the President and the investigation will tell us the money trail and what it has done” – Ofwono Opono in an interview (Ali Twaha – ‘Government links DGF suspension to politics’ 05.02.2021, New Vision).
The suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), which is directly funding over 70 Civil Society Organization/Non-Governmental Organization and also their various of programs was suspended by the President in January 2021. As the President and the government was preparing to go to the polls and it had already hold grudges towards civil society for so long. This is the latest attempt to crucify and assault the ones working for a better governance in the Republic.
We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni doesn’t want to listen to others. Neither does he want the input from anyone else either. However, he don’t mind free-money and slush-funds to spend as he see fit. That is why he goes after the DGF as it is a fitting “enemy” which he cannot directly control or have his hands in the cookie-jar.
Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is saying it deliberately. They are calling it destructive. Because, they are undermining the “personification” of the state, which happens to be the President. The DGF’s civic education and programs are working indirectly to build sufficient institutions, policies and reforms, which in the end will weaken the power of one man. It would in the end be for good governance and accountable state organizations. Not just be ordered from “high above”. That is why OO and President is speaking ill of this. This will in the end weaken their drive and total control of the state, in the manner, which things are done today.
The “destabilizing” effort is indirectly weakening his reign and rule. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no troubles getting direct aid and grants for their government to run. However, they have trouble having the same donors paying for salaries, programs and civic education across the Republic. That shows a double standard and that the President have no trouble eating of the plate directly, but doesn’t want to be told how to be accountable for his eating. He wants to spend money, but don’t want to show recites. That is the memo I am getting from this.
It shows that his a weak man. The President and the government have had no issues taking money from Western donors like the ones who funds the DGF. If they are so afraid of the independence and the questions of usage of funds. The government shouldn’t accept any funds with possible sting attached. The state shouldn’t take loans or grants from the outside. If the donors cannot sustain organizations (CSOs/NGOs) who works with other ideals than the President at this current day.
That is the reality of this all. There is no free lunch. It has never been so. There is always something attached and expectations of an outcome. If you borrow money to build a road, the lender hope you build the road, but also repays the loan with interests. If you take a donation or a grant, then its expected to go to a certain organization or work, which is beneficial for the ones receiving it. That is just a mere reality we all know.
Now, the ones receiving it wants to directly control the funds and how it is spent. When it was funds, which wasn’t his in the first place. They are worried of the efforts and effects these organizations have in the Republic. However, we all know that the President just want to eat and don’t bother with questions. This is why he has retaliated, because he can and he want to show strength. Nevertheless, these acts are an act of a coward. A coward who has taken money all his life, but now cries foul. It is a bit late when you been eating for over three decades and never caused a fuzz. Peace.
Now that the letter from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija is out. The infamous letter where he suspends the accounts of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). This is important, because the DGF supports programs and organizations across the Republic. The DGF is sole funder of several of civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations. There are atleast 70 of them that is hit by this and would cease operations, as the funding and lack of funds to pay staff. That is all happening, because Museveni wrote a letter in early January 2021.
President Museveni have targeted CSOs and NGOs around election time. That is common. That he claims they are up to “no good” and supporting “terrorism” or any other objectively bad enterprise they can. That has been common for decades. However, ceasing their funding totally and blocking a multi-national funding scheme like the DGF. Only undercuts the ideals of the givers, the donors and the ones who monetary support the government and people in the Republic in general. This isn’t government funded money from the tax-base. No, these funds are given from outsiders to support governance and other organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and educate the masses.
The DGF is a collective fund donated by the European Union, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to support programs and CSOs/NGOs in Uganda. They are partnered with at least 72 organizations across the republic to different capacities. All working in various of fields and for causes to better the Republic. They are all civil society voices for good governance and creating a freer society. However, that is clearly not the beacon that the President believes in anymore.
The donors that see this action by Museveni should shun him and cease all direct donor-funds and also block all loans through multi-national organizations, which the donors are funding as well. That would make it harder for the President to operate and he would seek funds elsewhere. If he wants to be free of stipulations and not have any oversight. This cutting funds to International Monetary Funds (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Also others where the Government of Uganda is seeking loans for development projects and government programs.
The National Resistance Movement was able in the late 1980s and 1990s to have progress and financial backing to pursuit the government programs, which is it so proud of. The state also saw debt relief and cuts from donors. Now, the NRM is gaining more debt, but also putting in obstacles with the donors in regards to the DGF. The ones funding DGF should suspend all other funds and funding that goes towards Museveni. As a retaliation to this, as these projects, programs and NGOs/CSOs are working for ideals that Museveni once stood for, but with lingering in office despises.
We are clearly seeing the punitive action made by Museveni. He wants to prove supremacy, but does it in a mockery of a way. This is only showing the donors what sort of little man he is. That he has to go to this step. Take away the securities of the CSOs and NGOs. Instead of actually serving the general public. If the President really did that. He would haven’t have the need for all these CSOs/NGOs to cover where the government is lacking. The state is fluid and lacking institutions. That’s why the state needs them to cover the basics and civic education. This is still needed after over 30 years in power. That shows the weakness of the Presidency and his reign.
President Museveni isn’t showing strength here. His showing weakness and lack of control. That he got to act like this. This is acting a villain and hurting own citizens, because he can. So, the donors should act upon this and not just take it on the chin. They should show force too. Just to prove him what he has done. It is about time and not just “condemn” and move-on. That is not making any changes or challenging the old man. You need to meet him head-on. He plays games and these are with the lives of all these organizations. It is not the money of Museveni and neither funding from the state either. That is why his sour, as he got to loan to pay his cronies salaries. This is why he attacks and confronts, instead of talking and negotiating with the donors.
What he does with this is putting himself in corner and making less friends. If he wanted more support and legitimacy. He should have acted differently. However, he rather picks the trick of the pariah, instead of the friendly grand-pa, which is what he tries to act in the media. That is clearly not working and that is why this letter is undressing his motives. 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
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/