“The Chairperson of the NRM Electoral Commission Dr Tanga Odoi has cautioned aspirants for the position of Speaker that they risk being stripped of their candidature it if they continue using the media to malign each other.
Tanga has now issued a directive stopping the candidates from visiting media houses, which he claims has offered a platform of personal attacks. He says the central executive committee, which is the second highest organ of the NRM is due to sit on Monday to decide the selected names that will forwarded to the NRM parliamentary caucus” (NTV Uganda 2016).
Tuesday December 22nd, was the day for Uganda’s Presidential Candidate Dr Kizza Besigye to have a campaign rally in Gulu district. To build up to the this, the FDC national campaign team arranged to hold mini rallies in Bobi, Lakwana (Opit), Odek (Acet), Lalogi sub counties and Gulu municipality at the Carribean/ Kauda grounds.
After his successful rallies in Opit and Acet trading centers, Dr Besigye was due to travel to Lalogi. I, Hon Betty Aol Ocan being the area Woman MP and host of my Party President was in the advance team responsible for preparation of his rallies. As such I was always ahead and in Lalogi I arrived before the Besigye Team only to find that the Deputy Speaker Hon Oulanya Jacob was having a rally at our booked venue. He had mobilized his supporters and was physically present talking to a crowd. His parked convoy had one lead Police Vehicle and about 12 armed escorts and a number of “crime preventers” who seem stationed for a purpose at the venue Aketket Primary school ground.
When I arrived, as you may have seen on the NTV news footage on that day, I reached out to engage Hon Oulanya and his team on what was going on in our booked campaign venue. We chatted amicably as we always do in the corridors of parliament and he argued that his rally was prearranged before Besigye. He stated that there was no need for Besigye to interfere and in that case we should leave. I reminded him of our arrangement with the community leaders who agreed with me and we chatted on….
For a reason I am yet to know, many of his supporters started waving sticks and hoes, axes, stones at my team as time passed by. The situation quickly became tense and in the confusion his “security” manhandled me in a failed attempt to get me away. I am sad to note that my hair was pulled and I was physically assaulted which led the gallant youth on my campaign team to protect me from the rowdy melee. All this while, the fracas was being filmed by NTV and NBS news crew who were also present at the venue.
Now, as the disturbance escalated, the attention of the rowdy NRM supporters was drawn to the TV crew and their news van which had been well documenting the situation all this while. Their anger was perhaps due to fear of exposure of their conduct. They attacked the crew and journalists were pelted with stones and great damage was caused to their equipment. Villagers started gathering from all over in large numbers despite the security deployment and over powered Hon Oulanya and his supporters. The deputy speaker quietly escaped from the site and his guards fizzled out one by one. This brawl lasted about 35 minutes!
Dr Besigye then later joined us at the venue and we had a clam campaign as scheduled later having a big rally in Gulu town that evening. We have reported the matter at Lalogi Police Station and a case of threatening violence, causing injury and damage has been opened against Hon Oulanya and his campaign team involved. Assault case SD REF:08/22/12/2015.
I later heard the Aswa Region police Spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema comment on Mega FM that “the action of the Deputy Speaker at Lalogi was provoked by Hon Betty Aol.” Of course they are trying to cover up the misuse of power and state security by Hon Jacob Olanya and we dismiss such a baseless statement due to lack of substance. We do have the footage of the entire fracas and our people are on the ground in the villages.
Also, you may be aware that the Electoral Commission had suspended ALL parliamentary campaigns and Hon Jacob Oulanya campaigning on that day was in violation of this Electoral Commission directive. His team was shamelessly and unlawfully breaching that directive. Only presidential campaigns were scheduled to go ahead at the time.
Friends, this campaign should not be a matter of Do or Die. People should not take the law into their hands and should respect the election schedule. The youth being used to break the law in the name of “crime preventers and security” will account individually and collectively. If may be they thought fear and intimidation would cow us in to giving up our rights, they are miscalculating big time. We have been in those trenches for a while now. Our team will continue to obey the law and we request other political players and the police to do the same. And intimidation will not get you votes we promise!
Our sincere apologies to the people of Lalogi who were affected by this unfortunate event and unnecessary attention. I have known people in Lalogi as some of the most calm people I have met in my decades of community work in Gulu district. Our biggest regrets to the NTV and NBS crew whose independent work was unduly interfered with and suffered physical attack and property damage. That is not how we do things in Gulu; We will all get justice.
We want to wish every body a happy festive season, let us celebrate in peace, let us refrain from violence in this campaign. Let us spare resources for the next year. Education of our young people should be our focus in the New year. Let us also remember to vote and maintain leaders who will keep our interests on the contentious issue of land and education, livelihood empowerment, social services and culture among others. I love you all very much.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year. May God Bless you richly next year.
–Betty Aol Ocan, Gulu Woman MP 2016.
Today the FDC Presidential Flag-Bearer we’re on his way to rallies in Northern Uganda. We’re they didn’t get peace because of the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
The other issue for the clashes between the candidates was that Oulanyah we’re having a rally when Dr. Kizza Besigye wer’e supposed to have a campaign rally in Alalogi Sub-County. Will elaborate more on that…
While this was happening the NBS TV crew was attacked by the men of Oulanyah. Also the NTV men were busy and the one running was NTV Camera-man Galiwango. This attack on journalists following the FDC Convoy was in Agago. The reports say that some of the attacks on the journalist was not only controlled by the Mr. Oulanyah and goup of locals at Aketket primary school Alalogi sub-county, Amoro-county Gulu district. Journalsts attached are Ronald Galiwango NTV, Anthony Palapande NBS and Francis Tumwekwasize freelance journalist. All camera men the incident happened when journalists were covering the scuffle between FDC supporters Deputy speaker Jacob Olanya. It’s alleged by FDC mobilisers that Jacob Olanya had occupied the same venue FDC had organized to hold the rally. When the woman MP Guru district Betty Acan to find out why they occupied the venue. Olanya ordered his body guard to block her. Acan also claimed Olanyah’s rally was illegal because of the Electoral Commission have suspended the rallies for Members of Parliament. Because she said so, that is why the havoc and madness happened in the area.
At the same time there we’re already before the convoy was coming to Gulu, the Gulu Hospital we’re shut and closed down so they would not a visit from the opposition presidential candidate.
They did also attack the FDC-Supporters. This can’t be justified. Another day in Uganda with election violence; wish it didn’t happen especially not into the Christmas season, but for the political candidates and their henchmen that doesn’t matter.
Today was the day that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Act was to be added an to amendment so that the elections of Lord Mayor would happen inside a council instead of polling during general election in 2016. There been more push to let this happen, not everybody agrees with does actions. Therefore we can see that and today the reactions from the NRM-Regime have been off violence. Uganda Police Force has come and first set up roadblocks early this morning in around his area.
Yet reports hours earlier Erias Lukwago says: “he is yet to receive official Electoral Commission on determent of mayoral nominations” and “he vows to proceed”.
This was the beginning of the tale that unfolded today. The loyalist of Dr. Kizza Besigye the opposition candidate Erias Lukwago was first taken by a group of Police taken away into custody. He has been detained without court orders by unknown men. This has been seen by other media who has been close to the house today. A Delta journalist Enock Kugonza has been shot and by the brutal police after the manhandling of Lord Mayor Lukwago. Erias Lukwago was supposed to go Electoral Commission of Uganda to be nominated. The Journalist Kugonza was after the shooting was rushed to Mulago Hospital. Two persons are said to killed by the same shootings.
It wasn’t only the journalist from Delta who got shot, there were two more men and surely more innocent people; who have been hurt during the raid that the police had during the arrest of Erias Lukwago; who is still in custody or detained at an unknown location as we speak. One of the people who also got hurt by the Police today is Councilor Mariam Kizito.
After all of this they all of sudden goes back on their ways and turn to the nominations. The Electoral Commission has later in the day said through Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, that the nominations dates is for Lord Mayor of Kampala is set to be between 16th to 18th November 2015.
There been floating pictures of a person lying lifeless on the ground after being shot. This proves the powers of the Police and also how they justify the use of will to bring down anybody in their way. This must be orders from the higher ends because Erias Lukwago has been issues for the NRM-Regime.
The NRM-Regime fears Erias Lukwago because of his popularity. That popularity comes because the NRM candidates are greedy guts and they seem tired of it. Just look at the reasoning from Frank Tumwebaze the Ministry of Presidency and Kampala Capital City Authority who wrote this in a statement today:
“It is therefore dishonest on the part of my colleagues in the Opposition to state that this was an after-thought following Erias Lukwago’s decision to stand for the Lord Mayor position in Kampala. That is false. Whether Lukwago stands or doesn’t, streamlining the governance framework of Kampala capital city remains our noble duty” (…)”The rationale behind the proposal of changing the mode of election of the lord mayor and all other division mayors, is for purposes of ensuring that the mayor and the deputy remain accountable to the Council that they chair, just like in the case of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament who are elected by Members of Parliament. Besides, the law already vests the same Councils with authority to remove a Lord Mayor or Division Mayor. These Councilors are products of an electoral process conducted from the grassroots. Ugandans do not convene at Parliament to elect a Speaker or Deputy Speaker. Their representatives in form of Members of Parliament elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker” (…)”The amendments therefore, cannot be targeting a man called Erias Lukwago. The law was never made for Him. Erias Lukwago just like any other person is entitled to aspire to become a Lord Mayor. However, what any person aspiring to be lord mayor needs to be reminded about is that he/she is not the primary administrator of the Capital City. The Central Government does so as per the constitution.The Lord Mayor and the council administer it on delegation by the central government. Central Government policy therefore takes precedence. That is why the minister responsible for the capital city is given veto powers under section 79. This is what Erias Lukwago has never appreciated, but its the bitter truth” (Tumwebaze, 16.11.2015 – Press Statement).
When this is happening and Hon. Frank Tumwebaze is trying to explain and use rhetoric to sound wise for the reasoning to take away the rights for people to choose their leader and their mayor, because by his reasoning the council will make a better decision then the actual people. That is because they choose Erias Lukwago and not the man picked by the NRM. Hon. Frank speaks well about laws and constituted rights, while addressing his own position with diligence. While saying the Lord Mayor is not made for Erias Lukwago, that might be true, but your ministry isn’t made up just for yourself or it is Honorable Frank Tumwebaze? You who runs over KCCA as the Minister of Kampala and already edged Erias Lukwago out with giving more powers to Jennifer Musisi who in basis runs the KCCA and does more administrative duties since the Lord Mayor has lost his position.
Jennifer Musisi said this in January:
The Journalist asked: “You were accused of kicking out the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago from office”; she answered: “Lukwago was a problem to us. We spent a lot of money and time undoing his wrongs. He took us to court when we tried to re-build the Wandegeya Market and the New Park. There has been a lot of development in KCCA during the last two years of his absence from office. We are now focused on the things we are supposed to do” (Etukuri & Waiswa, 2015).
When we see that the Lord Mayor elected in 2011 has been absent and Jennifer Musisi gets her will. IGP Kale Kayihura has never liked the brother so his goons and violent police has today battled yet innocent people and shot, even killed bystanders in the siege of Lukwago’s home. The Police men proves that their not to protect and serve. It is not the police who is catching the bad guys, it’s the police who is acting as the bad guys. The people has to scatter when the police arrives, because they will only create violence and be arrested, detain people without court order and paperwork. Preventive Arrest that is being used like it’s the sweetest dream of the NRM-Regime to harass their opposition members in the country. As we have again seen manifest today.
But where are the Police hiding Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, even if hasn’t had the seat for over 48 months, he was still elected to it by last election in 2011. So if that was a valid election leading to the 9th Parliament, he should be sitting and have the chair until 18th of February. I am sure Jennifer Musisi would continue to work without his involvement and also Frank Tumwebaze who seem like the arch-crony of the NRM-Regime. It’s like his loyalty is deeper then kin. So that the violence and harassment happening on his watch is not being discussed or addressed, but the way that the opposition is voicing their matters are being said by him to be distasteful. What is really distasteful Hon. Frank Tumwebaze is the simplistic and violent arrest of Erias Lukwago and your measly way of just about 3 months before the General elections; you want to change and amend the law. So that you’re sure that you get the right candidate to be your puppet, Frankie isn’t that right?
Your fear for the people is proven with the violence and killings. The way the Police has to siege and drag the elected Lord Mayor Lukwago from his own home without any court orders and detain at an unknown location. Last time he was taken to custody by the Police was 31st of October. So he hasn’t had many days in freedom. This proves the fear that the NRM and the Government has for this man. That is why they have wished to switch and amend laws so they can pick whom they like, instead of having faith in the people. Even if they choose to rig those elections, still they can’t be able to rig it all, therefore Kampala slipped through their finger and he won on the last go around. Erias Lukwago seems to be one of the guys that the NRM-Regime fear, not because of the powers he has, but the legitimacy that he has, and the one NRM certain lacks. They run the government and has overtaken the Kampala administration and crushed the elected political system of the city, to empower a ministry of Kampala and it’s Kampala Capitol City Authority, instead of building transparent and accountable City Hall. That is what people like the elected Erias Lukwago works for, and that in starch contrast with the realities on the ground and in the city, as the Parliament proves with every new move they have.
I just wonder, have the Police read “the still in force of colonial law” called Criminal Procedure Code Act of 1950 and section: “17. Detention of persons arrested without warrant: When any person has been taken into custody without a warrant for an offence other than murder, treason or rape, the officer in charge of the police station to which the person is brought may in any case and shall, if it does not appear practicable to bring the person before an appropriate magistrate’s court within twenty-four hours after he or she was so taken into custody, inquire into the case, and, unless the offence appears to the officer to be of a serious nature, release the person on his or her executing a bond, with or without sureties, for a reasonable amount to appear before a magistrate’s court at a time and place to be named in the bond; but where any person is retained in custody, he or she shall be brought before a magistrate’s court as soon as practicable”. This law is still in effect so how can you break it so often Mr. Kayihura?
Now the police and IGP Kale Kayihura men show the violence in action. The world sees it and should question it. They are blasting a gay-law, but not saying anything about the violent Police and it’s shooting on innocent people and bystanders. Uganda Police Force is for the NRM-Regime and not the citizens. They does not create order, they create disorder. They do not protect their people, they protect the regime. They do not serve the people, they serve the regime. That is why Preventative Arrest is such a usual move by these men and without court orders. Yet again, I hope to hear reports that the elected Lord Mayor will come to surface again soon and be back in shape for new nomination date that the Electoral Commission. Stay strong Lord Mayor, we support you and your cause. Continue to work as you do. One day there might be justice in Kampotholo. Peace.
Etukuri, Charles & Waiswa, Juilet – ‘Kampala is better now without Lukwago’ (27.01.2015) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/670298–kampala-is-better-now-without-lukwago.html