Opinion: The IPOD is a lost cause

The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) who has gotten major funding from Democratic Government Facility (DGF) and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). DGF is bound to only last a few more months until December 2022. While NIMD has ceased funding after IPOD has failed to get all parties to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The lasted MoU lasted until February 2022.

Now in September 2022 the IPOD Secretariat might feel at a loss. The ideal of IPOD might seem positive and worthwhile. Nevertheless, the results and the political forum has been more a sideshow than actually being fruitful. The majority party and ruling regime, National Resistance Movement (NRM) has used it more to poach the opposition and have publicity stunts. While the opposition like Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) haven’t seen any sort of dialogue or proper platform to make difference. That’s why they rather distance themselves from it.

The IPOD was maybe made with the best interest in 2010. NIMD and DGF funded the organization to have a place and possibility to meet. IPOD could have been a safe space for the political parties, but we all know this haven’t been in the interests of the Head of State or the NRM. The NRM wants to either intimidate, strike or corrupt their opposition. That’s why President Museveni has himself promised to destroy and get rid of all opposition.

Now in 2022 and after 12 years of IPOD. The NRM is losing one of the few places where Museveni could actually meet the real opposition. Not the “opposition” who is already leaning towards him or co-operating with him. No, the ones defying him or wanting to remove him isn’t now a part of the IPOD.

That NIMD is saying it won’t fund IPOD before NUP and FDC joins is a failure. The parties themselves has decide. They have seen the works of IPOD and what it has “achieved”. The organization don’t have that much to show for it. This is why they cannot even write an MoU, which they cannot agree upon.

The NRM might feel like this is a “victory”. They can point at NUP and FDC. However, that is a very hallow “victory”. The FDC and NUP has done this for various of reasons, but it is clear that the NRM isn’t an honest actor. That’s why activists, candidates and associates connected to the NUP or FDC are either kept incommunicado, arrested or even extra judicially killed. The authorities are monitoring the opposition more than they look into crooks. Therefore, the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience is a well-known phenomenon in the Republic. That’s all because of their affiliation and who they are associated with.

If the NRM really wanted IPOD to work. They would have properly invested in it and not only used it for photo-ops ahead of polls and elections. While also using it more directly to create positive headlines Nevertheless, NIMD and DGF maybe want more for their coins. They want them to actually have inclusive dialogue and talks in a political forum. That sort of thing seems like a thing of the past.

It is not the fault of NUP or the FDC for the end of IPOD. The killer of IPOD is Museveni. Like everyone else it goes back to him. It is his choices and orders, which are reflected here. He is getting his will and certainly not … get a free lunch. IPOD is only destroyed and losing value, as there are no real progress or talks of substance. When an organization like IPOD becomes sub-standard forum and losing all value.

President Museveni cannot be happy with this, because this just shows how flawed his multi-party democracy is. When the one forum he had where all elected parties could meet and talk is now ceasing to operate. The funding of this organization is stopped. Because, FDC and NUP isn’t accepting the conditions of the current MoU. That’s a failure and lacking the general understanding of what it should be.

If Museveni wanted this… things would have been different. Nevertheless, expect the NRM to deflect it or blame the parties for not signing on. Because, why should they sign on to something… when it gives them nothing and only legitimizing the regime. IPOD only gives political currency to the NRM without giving the other parties anything worthwhile. The others are just getting an opportunity to see Museveni close by and be there in his presence. That’s a futile enterprise and if the NIMD see that is an asset. They should just continue to pursuit it. However, it isn’t the product that its portrayed on the tin. It is something else and the ones dismissing it has all the reasons to do so. Peace.

Busongora South By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (18.08.2022)

Busongora South By-Election: A few updates on the polling day

The ones that expect free and fair elections. Well, the reports are in dark contrast of that. Everyone should anticipate a “victory” for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag-bearer and case-closed. Because, the military is participating and voting bribery is happening in the open.

The NRM with the help of the forever busy Prime Minister Nabbanja is giving the voters 2000 shillings to vote for her party. That’s what a government official is busy doing in the middle of the polling day. The NRM is giving away 2,000 shillings to the citizens to vote for them. Because, that is what’s called service delivery in 2022 by the “liberators” of the past.

The NRM has also ordered the soldiers to participate in voting in plain clothes and doing it several of times, if they must. That’s certainly a way of boosting the numbers. In addition to that, the armed officers did manhandle and violently attack Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag-bearer Kighema Alosious Baguma at his polling station today. He was also arrested as an affect of the commotion. Which happened because the candidate saw the military did go more than once to vote in plain-clothes and reported it.

It is also reported that a NBS TV Reporter was arrested during the By-Election today for covering the incident of FDC flag-bearer being beaten up. The Reporter also had to delete the footage. There are also reports of ballot-stuffing. So, all the tricks of the NRM rigging book is used.

They are pre-ticking ballots, voting bribery and violent intimidation. The perfect combo for a NRM “victory” in a by-election. The only thing missing is mass-arrests of polling agents from the opposition and the whole mixer of pre-fixed results are on schedule. This is the “democracy” that Museveni has created and is so proud of.

There is also reports of ferrying voters from Busongora North to vote in Busongora South County. So, all the tricks in the book is used. The NRM has no heart or ability to play fair. Neither is it free as the Police, Army and the Authorities are all on guard to secure the NRM Flag-Bearer get “elected” to the Parliament. They are using all means and it’s never ending really.

So, all we can do is to await the declared results and the Return Form for Transmission of Results, which will be the end of it. Because, these sorts of elections are getting old. It is the same old tricks and schemes, which is made to benefit one party. That’s all they do and it’s just a loss-loss operation. It is no integrity or honesty in it. Only an open day-time robbery and proof of rigging. This is so obvious and it’s just shows how the NRM operates.

Gideon Thembo Mujungu is bound for the Parliament. His not going there out of charisma, character or campaign. No, his going there for one reason: The NRM decided it and that’s why. He is just another pawn and a “yes-man” they need to vote in favour the State House. Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (11.08.2022)

Gogonyo County By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (11.08.2022)

Updates from Gogonyo County and Bukimbiri County By-Elections

Today is the day of the polls in the by-elections that is running simultaneously. Gogonyo County in Pallisa district is sort of over before the polls. As there are no real opposition or candidates against the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Flag-Bearer. This is why the real score is on the Bukimbiri County By-Elections in Kisoro district.

The Gogonyo County has had low voter turnout and it’s really an uninteresting affair. The only bothersome thing is that the Electoral Commission didn’t change the ballots after the withdrawal of candidates. So, the Polling agents has to enlighten the voters about if they vote for any of the candidates who pulled out. Their ballots becomes invalided one and will be counted as a spoilt one. Instead of casting a vote that really matters…

In Bukimbiri County is a whole other ball-game. There is already reports of abductions and arrests of the polling agents of the independent candidate, Asigaro Turyagendya. They are now detained at various of police stations. In addition to that… A team led by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Minister Sarah Mateke and Moses Kamuntu is traversing the county arresting the polling agents and supporters of Asigaro Turyagendya. So, the acts of Soroti East has come to Kisoro for sure.

It is also reported: “Voters in Bukimbiri County By-election are being given between 2000 and 5000 Ugandan shillings to vote either Asigario Turyagenda (independent) or Eddie Kwizera (NRM). This has led to physical fights” (Voice of Muhabura FM, 11.08.2022).

The amount of voters in Bukimbiri is said to be moderate. While drones and heavy security detail in the district. As reported earlier there are alleged voting bribery in the district. However, it is also stated that there have been ballot stuffing going on in Nyanamo Town Council. The source for this was Julius Nkunda from the Voice of Muhabura FM.

We can assess the circumstances here and the outcome is most likely a resounding victory for the NRM. Not because they have the best candidates or the flag-bearers. No, because they have rigged the elections and ensured safe-landing for their anointed ones. They have invested, intimidated and bribed to make it happen. It is just formalities and awaiting the Return Form for Transmission of Results.

Derrick Orone (Gogonyo County) and Eddie Kwizera (Bukimbiri County) is scheduled to be sworn-in and be the next MPs of the 11th Parliament. To think otherwise and naive. This is why the population isn’t eager to show up or participate. Because, everyone knows the drill and it’s close to pointless or derivative at this point. When everyone knows what will go down and who will be announced.

The rest is just publicity, smack-daddy posturing and open blindfolding of the population. Hoping they don’t understand the gimmicks and the games. These weren’t elected MPs, but selected ones. The NRM didn’t need to do much, but they did enough to secure the poll position. That’s very obvious. Yet, another few hallow “victories” for the Movement.

It can celebrate, but everyone knows what’s up and the reality will sooner or later hit them. They cannot do this forever and the public will not accept either. They are made fools off and everyone knows. Peace.

Opinion: Mutabazi only thinks about his own needs…

Joshua Mutabazi whose candidature for Bukimbiri County (Kisoro) seat was withdrawn by his party, NUP in favor of FDC candidate James Owebeyi has crossed to NRM” (NTV Uganda, 10.08.2022).

It wasn’t long ago that the National Unity Platform (NUP) withdrew their candidate in the up-coming by-election in Bukimbiri county in Kisoro district. It is just mere days since the effects of the Unity Statement came into affect and made the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) the “sole” candidate of the opposition in the by-election. However, as things are turning, the words of the 19 year old student surely turned bitter.

The not so seasoned politician who showed finesse character. Has had a change of heart. We don’t know what swayed him or what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) offered the young man. Whatever it was… it wasn’t serving the nation or the struggle for liberation. No it was most likely for his own needs and not what the country needed.

Just read his statement as he withdrew his candidacy just the other day…

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

The young man knew perfectly well the deal and what sort of struggle it is out there. The path that his chosen is a road for himself. That is with whatever cherries or dealings the NRM has offered. This is short-term benefits, but in the long-run… his not useful or anything of value for the NRM. No, his just another bought cadre who they were able to corrupt ahead of a by-election. He will be useful as Ashburg Katto or anyone else taken from the NUP. The associates of Bobi Wine who turned the other way.

Mutabazi haven’t even carried himself in a whole campaign. He did the right thing and said the words that was wisely written in the statement. As the party in their efforts of solidarity and planned joint-ventures had to drop-out of certain races to show unified front against the NRM. That’s just a mere fact and Mutabazi isn’t the only one who had to withdraw and won’t be the last either. Especially, if the parties continues with this practice and belief of joint-campaigning to show a vast difference from the NRM.

Mutabazi is unwillingly to sacrifice and will become a beggar or a slave to the system. That’s the choice he made… when he decided not to follow the struggle, but took a choice for his own ends. The young man is in his rights to do so, but he abandoned the struggle and the life of sacrifices. He has chosen the life of cronyism and becoming corrupted by the regime itself. That’s why he gave up on trying to be part of change, but instead joining with the status quo. It is tragic, but that’s the path he has chosen.

When you have opened this door, there is no turning back. People know what you do and who you are. You weren’t the man you made to believe. Instead you sold out and that will forever be a stain on your name. That’s the choice he made and now he has to deal with it. Peace.

Opinion: The Speaker investigates the MP and not the corrupt practice itself…

We know that the Speaker of the August House is partisan and works directly for the interests of the state. This is why the actions of National Unity Platform (NUP) MP for Bukoto South, Twaha Kagabo sparks this reaction. Not because Speaker Anita Annet Among cares about these things, because she clearly don’t, but instead see it as a means to an end. She can use the allegations and the retraction of the payout to start an investigation.

That Kagabo MP used his platform and his titles to unleash these funds. Just shows how the state operating and how easy access to bribes there are for the MPs. The state can so easily payout and give them kickbacks for their services. However, the speaker isn’t interested in that and neither is the National Resistance Movement (NRM). They don’t want to exposed or shown how they “eat”. No, they want the man who told and spelled it out punished. He dared to speak out and unleash the truth to the public. That’s why Speaker Among reacts now.

In this manner she has shown her conduct and her will:

Honourable Members, yesterday the media was awash with news of a Member of this House allegedly seeking to return some money whose sources and intentions are unknown. The member in question is Hon. Twaha Kagabo, MP Bukoto South. He was reportedly carrying money in cash seeking to deliver it to some offices within the precincts of Parliament. Hon. Members, the code of conduct for Members of Parliament is well enumerated in appendix F of the Rules of Procedures which amongst others deals with personal conduct, corruption, public trust and improper use of payment. The actions of the member threatens the integrity of this House. I accordingly invoke Rule 175 (1) (b) of the Rules of Procedure and refer the Member to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. The Committee should investigate the Member’s conduct and report back within one (1) month. Hon. Members, in a bid strengthen evidence-based legislation, the Parliamentary Commission has established three (3) resource centres fully equipped with computers and printing services; in the Library, development House and Kingdom Kampala. The Clerk has shared the details of their locations on your e-mails. Please make the best use of those resource centres to boost your input in the legislative process” (Anita Annet Among, 09.08.2022).

What is striking from the Speaker is that “sources” of the cash is supposed to be unknown. While the traces of that could be found on accounts and the meeting-point of wherever the MPs could get it. They tend to have a “rendezvous” point and get the monies from a courier. That’s how the stories usually goes, especially the payments that isn’t coming as salaries or added perks in their office. Therefore, the Speaker is acting ignorant, when she knows the practice herself and has “pocketed” funds this way too.

What is even more striking is that she issues an investigation into the manner of which he showed up with the cash. That this was an act of weakening the integrity of the Parliament. However, the Deputy Speaker by being the man who so easily voted to salvage ROKO during last month is more substantial in damage of the reputation and how the procedural works of the National Assembly is. Nevertheless, his part of the tribe and one-of-them so he can walk-it-off. That’s why the investigation will certainly make him a victim and punish the MP. Because, he dared to question a “suit” or “brown envelope”. He was just suppose to eat it and be silent. It was “free” money and it was given to serve a purpose.

The Speaker isn’t defending the integrity, instead she is showing that corrupt practices doesn’t matter, but the publicity of it is another case. If the MP hadn’t said a word or tried to expose the rot in the Parliament. Well… he would have eaten and had a peaceful day. However, he chose to enlighten and show up to reimburse the funds. That’s why his said to be corrupt and like his the only one, which is silly. The “rendezvous” point and the courier most likely had “envelopes” for a majority and they took it. Nevertheless, the Speaker and the like wants us to be believe his the only one. That cannot be true and it wouldn’t serve a purpose to only pay him. That’s just the nature of the game and how you get things moved.

Speaker Among proves yet again to be partisan and work in favour of the NRM. She isn’t a person who works for the state, but works for interests of one party. That is evident. This is why the NUP MPs get into trouble and her own don’t have to worry about a fly. Peace.

Busongola County South By-Election: Three major candidates running…

The Electoral Commission in Kasese has cleared the first candidate to vie for the Busongora South by-election scheduled for August 18th, 2022. NUP’s Mbaju Jackson Kathika was dully nominated at 11:00 am. Having been nominated, he is optimistic about victory in the polls” (NBS Television, 08.08.2022).

The increasing number of NRM members opting to run as Independents in the Busongola by-election in Kasese district is giving party officials a headache. The party officials are worried that the numbers might put pressure on the NRM flag bearer should they be nominated. This was revealed during an NRM Delegates Conference to flag off Mujungu Gideon as the party’s flag bearer” (NBS Television, 07.08.2022).

In Kasese district in the Busongola South By-Election scheduled for the polls on the 18th August 2022. There are already three major candidates. The NRM own flag-bearer Thembo Gideon Mujungu who won in the General Election of 2021 and was recently “nullified” in the courts. That’s why the county is again having elections for the seat in Parliament.

The other important flag-bearers are the National Unity Platform Jackson Kathika Mbaju, the former MP (FDC, 2016-2021) and who ran as an independent in 2021, but is returning as a NUP Flag-bearer in 2022. He was the runner-up in 2021, as the NUP flag-bearer of 2021 was Michael Masereka and he came in at 9th out of 10 candidates. So, they went for a more viable option this time around.

While the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) own flag-bearer is Kighema Alozious Baguma. In the 2021 elections he came third and after the then independent candidate Mbaju. That’s why this campaign and by-election will be interesting. Mbaju lacked about 100 votes to win over Mujungu in the General Elections, while Baguma needed about 700 votes to conquer the NRM flag-bearer. Therefore, these three are neck-in-neck.

We should also wonder if Kafunda Boaz returns to the polls again. As his a former MP (2011-2016) for the region, but only came in 6th of 10. Maybe he wants the “pure democracy” as he wanted applause for celebrating the arrest of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. Well, time will tell really.

Here is another contested race and Kasese has been a stronghold for the FDC. That has been well known for some time. That’s why at one point they had all MPs, but now times are maybe changing. However, it is interesting that the NUP picked up a former FDC MP and former Independent for this race. This will certainly make it contested and make it harder to gain the total majority of one of the opposition. That will benefit the NRM flag-bearer and could be a reason for victory. This is just speculation, even as we all know that the NRM state machinery is in the works and eventually the malpractices and the intimidation will start. That’s why by-elections looks like war-zones and not “democratic inspired events” anymore.

It is also interesting that the NUP is fielding a candidate, as the NUP knows the history of Kasese. As they have a statement of unity and planned to work together in elections. They are certainly doing so elsewhere in By-Elections. However, right here… they are seemingly very keen on contesting. I wonder how that will play out or if this is a strategy by both parties.

Busongola South By-Election will be something to look out for. There are so many flag-bearers that this will turn interesting… Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: The NRM is ready to repeat what they did in Soroti East…

We’re very ready to gain that victory in all the remaining by-elections in Gogonyo, and Bukimbiri. Our teams are already on the ground and we hope to repeat what we did in Soroti,” NRM party EC boss, Dr. Tanga Odoi said” (The New Vision, 05.08.2022).

The ones that believes the two by-elections scheduled for 11th August 2022 will be free and fair. Well, I hate to say it in advance: “It will not be”. Because, the National Resistance Movement are already prepared and Dr. Tanga Odoi know what went down in the Soroti East By-Election. So, the truth is in those words and the public shouldn’t be hoodwinked.

The Prime Minister Nabbanja flew in with a helicopter to campaign together with other high ranking officials who is in the area. They are clearly ensuring the path of victory and having the manpower to “ensure victory”. If that being Dombo or NRM operatives on the ground. These will do whatever it takes and that shows with how the NRM has invested in the PM to be there.

Here are some more important statements into the race, which we will be run like Soroti East…

The PM:

PM Robinah Nabbanja, pitches camp in Kisoro to campaign for NRM flag bearer, Eddie Kwizera Wa-gahungu ahead of this week’s Bukimbiri by-election. Nabbanja rallied the locals to support Kwizera, if promises and pledges of gov’t are to be fulfilled” (91.2 Crooze FM, 08.08.2022).

Joint Candidacy of the Opposition:

Kampala, Uganda: The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has withdrawn its candidate in the Bukimbiri county by-election, in order to jointly support James Owebeyi, a candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party. Voting in Bukimbiri is scheduled to take place on August 11, 2022. The by-election stems from the court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the victory of Kwizera citing irregularities following a successful application by Owebeyi” (Flash TV Uganda, 07.08.2022).

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

That Mutabazi (NUP) is withdrawing his candidature is in line with the united forces in the by-elections. This means the NUP and FDC will combine their efforts and be behind one candidate in the race. It shows that the statement released after the Soroti East By-Election is in effect. The parties are coordinating and ensuring the possible best outcome.

The FDC Owebeyi was able to pull off the petition in the courts after the General Elections of 2021. However, now in the By-Election it is a whole other breed. The state will use all means and tactics. The NRM EC Chairman is even saying it out loud. Expect it to become a military exercise. We should expect mass-arrests, pre-ticked ballots and other malpractices to ensure “victory” of the NRM flag-bearer. That’s how they are doing it and it’s so obvious.

That’s why I have little to no faith in the opposition in these races. Not because I want the NRM to win. I do want anyone else than the NRM to win. However, the way they operate and continues to take the elections. The will of the people isn’t the vital one. It is the total annihilation of the opposition. That’s the goal and the objective…

I don’t see a positive outcome. The FDC flag-bearer James Owebeyi could be a genuine man and an honest actor, the best sort of candidate, but that doesn’t matter. Because, the state is preparing their machine and rigging. The FDC polling agents and activists will soon feel the agony of facing the state. They are getting into the firing line and they tend to answer with brutality. To think otherwise is to be naive in 2022… Peace.

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