Civil Society Statement on the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: “Uganda’s Rise – Our Responsibility!” (07.03.2016)
I write what I like.
We want to congratulate the gallant people of Uganda for coming out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right to vote in the just concluded elections.
You braved the hot sun, persevered in the long queues and triumphed over police brutality and harassment to ensure that you answered to the greater call of democracy.
To the candidates who participated in the elections, you fought a good fight. We acknowledge your contribution to the democratic process and your determination to make Uganda a better place.
Nevertheless, we take note that the integrity of the election results has been contested. As stated by election observer missions, the “elections weren’t free and fair” due to several incidences of irregularities and election malpractices.
But we urge the Ugandan people never to give up. The fight for change and democracy is never an event but a process. The journey may be long and torturous but it must be won someday. We begin to fail only when we give up.
We’ve also taken note of a statement swiftly issued by our president, Mr. Kenyatta, yesterday, purporting to congratulate Mr. Museveni, who is his personal friend and business partner, for “winning” the elections.
We want to clarify that the statement is his personal note to Mr. Museveni, it doesn’t in any way reflect the views of the majority of sober Kenyans.
For your information, Mr. Kenyatta is another illegitimate and compromised president who rose to power after Ugandan judges misadvised Kenyan judges to declare him president.
On very few occasions do we take him seriously as a people as his penchant for putting personal and family business interests above those of our country is a very well known fact.
As you face the realities of the future and challenges ahead, we’ll keep you in our prayers and continue to support your fight for a greater democratic space in your country.
May God bless you.
“I declare Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who attained the highest number of votes as a duly elected President of the Republic of Uganda” – Badru M. Kiggundu.
“The commission declares candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the elected President of Uganda this 20/Feb/2016 – Kiggundu” (NTV Uganda 20.02.2016).
Abed Bwanika 0.93%
Prof. Baryamureeba 0.55%
Dr. Kizza Besigye 35.37%
Joseph Mabirizi 0.26%
Maureen Kyalya 0.44%
Amama Mbabazi 1.23%
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni 60.75 5%” (NTV Uganda, 20.02.2016).
“Electoral Commission Chairperson Eng. Badru Kiggundu has declared NRM’s Candidate Yoweri Museveni winner of the 2016 Presidential Election!!!!! According to EC’s Kiggundu, Museveni scored 60.75%. As Kizza Besigye Wrn. scored 35.5%” (Hello Uganda, 20.02.2016).
And there was total silence when the result was delivered, only “three people clapping” after the result was delivered. This here is proof of the silence of the result. I don’t expect the result to be served in the public like it was in 1996. AS the military and roadblocks shuts down the Kampala and the tension in the country is still strong! Peace.
“I will not say the fact that there are no European Union observers at an election means that it will not be fair and free” – Olesegun Obasanjo
In the midst of and in the end of the pre-election period 2016; the town of Kampala went into turmoil. The Military Police and ordinary Police went into a violent streak. That manifested itself at Jinja Road which turned into a war-zone like scenario; as in the aftermath the blood of the hurt and the diseased. Visible was the empty shells, the dust and dirt, even metal-boxes as murals of the tear-gas.
As the Police used force and hurt people to the extent that some blood touched the scorched earth and dust; the people in the area scattering in fear while the police continue to push them away as the resilience to the violence committed by the state. The sounds of bullets and metal hits the ground makes the tarmac shake. People we’re running; mixed sounds of shoes knocking grounds while the sounds of gas flowing into the air as the area goes from being casual to pink.
This is the signs and scenes of the 15th February in Kampala. The reactions and chaos as the Police went into the procession of Forum for Democratic Change to the planned rally at Wandegye and Makerere. So the continuation of violence from the state security outfits as the military, the police and the military police; as they have been tools in the machine hurting the public as they want to greet the opposition leaders in the sub-counties, towns and districts. There been steady violence against from the Police as the execution of the Public Order Management Act is more used then paper-towels at the Police Headquarters in Kampala. The sadness is all the hurt people and shot people during the pre-election period.
The reason why I got into Ugandan Politics was because I became a board-member or council member in a project supporting and building a library in the town Uvira in Southern Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Later I became an exchange student to Uganda. Where I read the Daily Monitor and the New Vision Daily; that together with the books I had read about the adventures of UPDF in DRC, I was still ignorant about the politics there. But the moment after staying in Uganda for month changed it for me.
What changed me:
I was on the way with a group going for a training conference in Mbale. On the way we stopped at a Total or any gas-station. While the Hiace we’re getting fuel. I was looking around the area as I lived in Kampala was curious about the environment. This was on the road and no big place. We had passed Mabira forest, but were not too far on the road to the bigger Eastern town. As I was looking it was this GIANT ad for NEW VISON. And saying something similar to this: “‘I am the only one with a vision” and “Publishing the Vision every day”. When I saw that and hadn’t thought well about it. I asked polity with a grin: “Are they serious, only one man with a vision?” The little moment of silence before he answered me: “You can say that, but I can’t; and please not speak about it”. That ate me and made me wonder; why we couldn’t speak about the wonders of the” man with a vision” in public by a gas-station. And why he wouldn’t’ say anything and asked me to not speak about it. On the broad daylight without anybody near us; hours later on the same day we would be stopped by Police and had to convoy to nearest police station; reason missing valid insurance card in the window. The same brother who wouldn’t want to speak about politics gave the Police men some money because of the hunger of the Police men. The first introduction to the bribery culture of East Africa! This day was an eye opener for me. How he could not speak his mind and question the one man with the vision that The New Vision printed his Vision every single day. I started to questioned the vision that they printed every single day.
The election violence in Uganda is massive and has been in all corners of Uganda. In Kabale, Soroti, Jinja, Maska, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Bukwo and so on. More than twice in Kampala as when Hon. Erias Lukwago started his campaign the Police shot a Journalist when he was planning to campaign. Later was the election violence ushered in by the Police before FDC campaign convoy could come to Makerere Rally on 15th February. The was violence at Jinja Road and at Wandegeya as they demonstrated that Dr. Kizza Besigye wasn’t allowed to campaign there. There been so many times during the calendar-year as the consultation meetings and also campaign rallies has been shut down by the Police and Army. Even campaign venues has been closed for the opposition leaders, while days before been open for NRM and President Museveni as Makerere, Kyambogo and Lira where opposition leaders at one point was not allowed to take part.
There is so many malfunctions and hurt people by the way the government security outfits has hurt both emotionally and bodily hurt that they have inflicted during the recent time. As the canisters and the left clothes is still lying in the corners of the streets. As they did in days after the Rukungiri where the FDC cars was demolished and the police shredded a woman’s respect.
The bullets and the tear-gas towards the general public is not an security issue, but an democracy issue, freedom of speech issue, and issue of trust between the public and the security organs. As the Electoral Commission is not trusted as the high payed leadership prays on the loyalty towards the regime. The NRM electoral Commission is highly flawed and the reactions to the primaries has been burning offices and membership cards, that was even happening in Nakawa Division as the Police turned against the happy celebrating people looking forward to be parts of Besigye’s rally that day. The result of the tear-gas and dispersing of the public instead of proving any steady progress! So the certified message is the tarnishing the venues of opposition while the ruling party keeps up as business as usual.
As my brother told me that day, that I should be silent and not talk about; I feel it still is the same and the reports make it feel the same; as the opposition has not the same rights as the ruling party. The violence ensures the fear and insecurity of a volatile state instead of bringing the positive changes the government might already have brought. Without the Police State and the Militarization of the Politics it might even brought in other type of investments that could have raised the economic climate in the country. As the export of natural resources and natural products instead of finished products and industry; as the assembled industry happens in other parts of the world, it could been in Uganda if the Government tried to pull that in and facilitate it or even used stronger Co-Operations between farmers to bring educating to earn more and yield better quality agricultural output instead of ending struggling to get the maize and matooke to the market. That is not bringing the men with cash-money in (to invest).
Certainly the fear and semi-democratic environment isn’t making the bargain, the talk I had with my brother; I am sure people are still having today even in the midst of the polls that starts in hours-time. As the conversation stays put in my mind and still eats my heart out. The issue of not letting the truth out or speaking their mind out; as the people has to stay put and silent as the ruling regime does as it please. Only giving away money to the villagers in pre-elections period to buy the votes, but when the ballots are gone, the representatives are long gone and forgotten the promises like old-sweethearts who never got the ring. The same seem to be with the talk of choice of the people and the right to speak your mind.
My brother and the conversation is why I am focused on Uganda Politics, as I can’t help that he didn’t have the ability to even comment the “only one man with a vision” paradigm in the country. The canisters and the shattered metal should not be stories. The blood and the toil of the people should not be story of the elections. The story shouldn’t be sad as the violence and spoken fear from the ruling party as they have the only man who can control the army and run the government; as the opposition doesn’t have the manpower to do so; which is lie the ruling party lives on. The ruling party uses security outfits to hurt the public and blame the opposition parties for their activities to deflect the issues of the campaign. Christopher Aine the diseased security agent for Hon. Amama Mbabazi the now opposition leader is the epitome and manifestation of government violence against civilians together with the one that lost his life on the streets of Kampala on the 15th February. Two people who have lost their life for a struggle that is far from over. The Democratic values is rendered down by time and cronies that has spoiled the potential as the movement system turned into the big-man system built with the head-of-state deciding it all; while giving when needed and taken the rest for himself or to his loyal fellows. This here together with the semi-autonomous and militarized politics as there so many former military men in the parliament the public knows the value of the elected or hand-picked men from on top is on the scale they can follow the chain-of-command instead of delivering the pledges and governmental service they deserves.
As it ate my heart out when my brother said he couldn’t talk about it years ago. It hurts to see the same state of affairs and struggles still, and it continues. It is time to let it pass and move to the next level of democratic values; and also good governance with state institutions serving the public instead of making the government officials fat and rich. That is not why the state and government exists; they exist because they supposed to serve the public, not for the governmental officials to take the money supposed to go. The same with the Security Organization as the Police and the Army, they follow the orders up high instead of serving the people and generating peace. As we saw on 15th February Kampala the Military Police didn’t secure the public, but made the citizen in fear and hurting them instead. That is the hurting to hear again and again, as the day is different, the place is different, but the opposition party and supporters are the ones in the cross-fire getting hurt for supporting the leaders of opposition instead of the old-man with the hat.
I never want to hear in any state that you can’t comment towards a ruling party, when that happens I know something is wrong. And knowing it still is like that with the canisters in the streets, the burned yellow membership cards in the bins and the people getting healed after police violence. The families losing their loved ones during the calendar year should not only vote, but only mourn the loss of the valuable people who was a part of the struggle to gain true freedom and respect for the people; as they now are now in invisible chains as the government keeps them tight knit in fear and in a police state using the militarized politics that ate my heart that day and haven’t let go. As I also understand is that the people who has lost their family members because of political affiliation; I understand if they don’t want to do their civic duty, still we all should and shall not forget the people who died for the cause. As we should not forget the people who are jailed and detained for following a political belief that counter the ruling-party and the NRM-Regime. And it wont until change that gives progression and let the accountability; the true transparency and let the will of the people shine as the template of the representatives that deserve to work-hard to be there for the citizens. Something that not been important, what has been is to be loyal to cadre-line and to Mzee! Peace.
The Special Forces Command was early around Serena Hotel to secure the premise before the debate happened as pictures of them walking around the premise from early morning. This here piece will be certain quotes and not every ones as the debate is like a long book. I have taken the ones I have though is worthy of compelling and thinking of. This here will be different then my first debate coverage as President Museveni, the ghost of Bushenyi was at the event; even if Shaka Ssali was mediator somebody who was under fire from NRM before the event as he has been forceful as a journalist under Voice of America African desk and channel.
It seemed like the famous show-up of the Yellow booklet of the President as every time he was hit with “facts” he lifted in the air as he had answers of the other candidates; like he is only one who knows and have the arguments. The worrying part was that the moderator’s was that Shaka Ssali was not asking question to the President, but to everybody else, check the footage again; if I am wrong! The other ones gave lot of more time to the candidates even if certain got less, but they gave more freedom then in the first one as Allan Kasajja was not a part of the team now.
I will start with a few fun quotes from Museveni, as I don’t fell taking the Mabirizi jokes, as they will you know get spread online by other people anyway; as he came late as he was eating Rollex at Kawempe and forgot time. Mbabazi was deflecting and diplomatic again, without saying much, but this time not sounding like NRM imposter which was refreshing as he promised a change with his manifesto this time. Prof. Baryamureeba was just talking education and wondered if he would show some more character as a man and a leader, which took too long time, so he didn’t make any progress from last time. Bwanika and Biraaro continue to sound like exiting outsiders. But they were not really rebuttal by Museveni, Mbabazi or Besigye. The trio was the Markie and especially Museveni. What angered me was his arrogance in the beginning; it was like he was mumbling when Kyayla had her opening statement. As he was not used that people questioned his leadership. He never got used to it or appreciated it as he had to use long time answer everybody; more than anybody else! I know I am not wrong in that assessment.
Top Quotes of the Debate – That we’re unnecessary:
Museveni: “Problem with this debate is that we don’t have enough time to exhaust the many points raised”. Second one from Museveni: “If you want good accountability don’t make false accusations. There is no government that is accountable like the NRM”.
I will now take the best Opening statements as I see it. They speak for themselves!
Bwanika Opening Statement: “30 years ago I went to Kabale to get into high school. I saw a group of men pull a young lady to rape her. With the help of1 man we rescued her. That’s why I am in politics. I cannot continue to watch while our country goes down the drain. I believe I can help this country to move forward our economy”.
Dr. Kizza Besigye opening statement: “Serena Conference Center has profound influence on his being here tonight. 1981, I was incarcerated in this building. Actually, in the direction where candidate Museveni came from, In Feb1981 I was incarcerated in this building (Serena hotel). In1980 I supported Museveni; when he was running for Uganda Patriotic Movement We fought a war because of rigged elections. But we disagreed later. I’m here because off mismanagement of our politics. I am here to help in any way to set that foundations for our country. Museveni spoke about the problems of Africa is leaders who don’t want to leave”.
Museveni Opening Statement: “Other time I did not come because I was far away. I am here to talk about Uganda, not fiction. In 1900, Uganda was made up of different kingdoms. In 1962, it became an enclave economy. In 1962, Uganda was hinged on 3 Cs (cotton, copper and copper) & 3 Ts (tobacco, tourism and tea). NRM has revived economy. I’m glad I came here to talk to you directly. I’m not sure about mode of debate because it doesn’t give enough time. Talk about Uganda as it is, not as it should have been because it wasn’t”.
Now I will show the basic different views on certain cases and themes of the evening; as the Debate took a lot of the many topics that was hard and also very specific. The candidates had different view on the matters and how they think of solving or the natural answer to the topic. The most highlighted for me was ICC and DRC/Somalia. Or the Army in the politics and the army abroad as a tool for the government, the important issue of accountability in any issue; while certain candidates fixed on that; the other ones deflected that one.
Kyalya: “I would make sure there’s total peace among the kingdoms”.
Museveni: “On regional insecurity, insecurity is ideological, sectarianism, religion or tribe. It is a step forward that we no longer have wars in Uganda”.
Mbabazi: “Democracy can thrive in Uganda; Ugandans are free to vote whoever they like”.
Biraro: “Ugandans don’t need to go to Somalia to develop it, Somalia should develop itself”.
Besigye: “You can only go to a country to support it if they already have stability but if it doesn’t have it, then you can’t add value”.
Baryamureeba: “Involving ourselves in other countries’ matters, we will raise more enemies thus creating terrorism”.
Bwanika: “Uganda should have pulled out of ICC yesterday, it doesn’t show any fairness, we should build our own African systems”.
More on ICC:
Museveni; “A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” .
Here we see the different approach on the matter as the candidates see different reasons for the insecurity. The strangest thing was Bwanika and Museveni totally agreed on something and had an accord. It was a miracle that even Justice Ogola could not have for-seen!
When it comes to the basics of insecurity their approach either seemed to be on the rights of Ugandans and their life would not be safe if they was not taken cared of; as if the borders and army is strong, but not food on the table what is the value. And certain like Kyalya was putting it in the hands of having peace in between the kingdoms as they have been pushed together by the British colonial power and now has to be sorted out to generate security in the country. This here was not the most heated piece of the evening that came when they started to discuss the exploitations and army invasion of Democratic Republic of Congo.
On the DRC and Somalia:
Biraaro: “The UPDF’s continued role in Somalia is not a threat to stability in Uganda.
The only weakness with UPDF in Somalia is that it has no end. We need to put a time limits to operations”.
Besigye: “It is not a bad idea to send UPDF to help other countries. The problem is how it is done. Not only did we go into Congo without consensus but our mission was also contentious.
Deploying of UPDF must only be to support a political process. Going to enforce a political solution is reckless”.
Museveni rebuttled: “I object to Besigye’s stand. We intervened in Congo to defend ourselves. Congo was harboring rebels who were killing our people. We couldn’t accept that. Rwenzori is now peaceful. We defeated ADF and Rwenzori is now peaceful. Nobody can play with the security of Uganda when I am president”.
Besigye: “Unconstitutional behaviour of our government in Congo led to unpaid reparations worth $10bn. Ugandans are as aggrieved as the people of Congo as per the actions of our government”.
Mbabazi: “as an authority on the DRC matter, the ICC decision wasn’t based on the presence on Ugandan troops in Congo. He went to defend the Ugandan stance in the Hauge”.
While this question and topic was heated and made reasonable depth to the occasion as President Museveni was really irritated with Besigye questions on the actions done in the DRC, and also the way UPDF has been a part of the AMISOM mission in Somalia. While Museveni more said was a self-defense, though getting rid of two DRC presidents in short amount of time, doesn’t seem like self-defense for His Excellency, you would not just get rid of Mobutu, but also Laurent Kabila after that, that was not to destroy ADF and LRA, that was more and an government enterprise. But dear President, please continue to lie to yourself and your cronies. Mbabazi knows this an was very silent on the matter, nearly defending Museveni in a rare banter and tone, as if he tried to prove his loyalty towards him. Not being an alternative to him in a way; and a dangerous stance to do so if you supposed to candidate in contrast to another one, right?
Later the President had to say this:
“When I listen to the talk here, it confirms that there is one person who can manage Uganda”.
This one here is just classic Museveni as he want to confirm for himself that he can only run Uganda, that he believes as he eats of everybody in the country and want to continue the party that he has had since 1986. I expected him to say 1986 a little more than did, though he had to be a history teacher and count back to Amin and Obote, as he can’t counter to other presidents, as there been none other in the last 30 years.
On the Economic Prosperity:
Bwanika: “”Uganda’s economy is only $27b. It cannot even attract McDonalds”.
Kyayla: “”Ugandans have not endeavored to even learn Swahili yet it is a and official East African language, how do we expect to get jobs in Kenya and Tanzania?”
Besigye: “”If you have a corrupt system you cannot attract genuine investors, Ugandans should be helped to invest in their country.”
Barymueeba: “”If you go to our supermarkets here you will find mango juice manufactured in Cairo,We need to look at global competitiveness indicators. Rwanda beats us. So we do not compete”
Museveni: “Tax collection has gone up because of the investment. Indians are very dynamic business people… The talk here confirms that it is only me who can manage Uganda. These candidates want ready-made things”.
The issue here is the way Museveni thinks that his tax-collection is the basis of the investment climate, as if the stability and added workforce that does not add to the statics. The system need an overhaul as the State is not prioritizing or sufficient has mechanisms in place to generate the added value or regenerate the economy as it stagnates. Even if the corn or maize production has tripled since 1986, that does still not tell enough consider all the unemployed youth and little industry that are existing. That Uganda export is true and the country has ability to do so much more if the infrastructure and roads network had been a priority. The EAC is weak since the states has not used it well, or wanted to use it well, since they all have agendas. Nobody want to be the weak one. I was surprised by Prof. Barya as he proclaim that Rwanda has a better state then Uganda, as if the coffee export there is on the same level as Uganda and as the economy is better? That is a fiction as the size of the Rwandan economy is smaller and more fixed towards the government then in Uganda, as in Uganda it is a single elite who controls the economy and the materials that are exported. Something that need accountability and look into as the Kenyan need to look into the Tea and Sugar Cartels!
Mabirizi: “We need to invest more money in agriculture and tourism, Oil can spoil our environment. When you go to the international market oil is going down. So we should invest in agriculture”.
Bwanika: “Oil does not belong to anyone. It belongs to the people of Uganda” Abed Bwanika This notion that oil belongs to individuals should never be heard of. Oil belongs to Ugandans and not individuals”
Besigye: “Oil is certainly a curse in the hands of an unaccountable and corrupt regime. Oil can create complications including environmental disaster when mismanaged. In our plans, we think oil should be given specific attention and should have an authority. part of oil revenue should be saved for future generations”
Museveni: “The oil was discovered by the NRM… under my leadership and direct command. Uganda is now an exporter of human resource in terms of petroleum experts. Oil money will be used for infrastructure, science and innovation. It will not be used to import perfumes. I don’t think there is anybody who can be more accountable on oil revenue… we have a law passed by a multiparty Parliament”.
Besigye Rebuttled: “Oil was known to be in Albertine, even before Independence. He says NRM caucus was ‘ferried to Kyankwazi, drilled and came back to Parliament & reversed resolutions on oil law”.
Museveni: “”The British looked for between 1920 and 1956 and wrote a report that there was no oil”.
This here topic got heated as did the DRC adventure. The issue was how the Oil and what the oil-money can do. As the accountability is not there, as the WikiLeaks have shown and also how the Government has courted Tullow and sold the operations to other companies after that; there certainly some stories that is not told in the saga of Oil in Uganda. That I am sure of since Museveni want to eat that money, since he has been waiting on the operations of the oil-industry. The lie from Museveni was about the British as he want accept it wasn’t found before him. Since he is the man knows everything in Uganda and can assess anything; especially if he can earn money on it while the people or citizens will not. That is why he had to address Besigye and say he was wrong, as Besigye could never be right on any topic as he is not the man with the hat or the Museveni. Because Museveni is the only one who understands Uganda, you see how stupid that is Museveni? I don’t think so, because you were lying to your citizens on live-TV yesterday and without any scruples, you who started the evening as the history teacher and ended with lies!
Let me take the lie for what it is:
“In 1925, E.J. Wayland, director of the Geological Survey for the Uganda protectorate, mapped out indications of oil in the country to help re-spark exploration interest. In 1938, the Johannesburg-based African European Investment Company drilled the first exploration well, Butiaba Waki” (Oxfort Institute for Energy Studies, 2015).
I rest my case. 1925 and 1938 is ages before NRM even was birthed by President Museveni, even decades before he started Uganda Patriotic Movement. Get real or go home Museveni!
On the Age and longevity in Power towards the end for President Museveni:
“I think this is a wrong argument. It’s a diversion. People need to be given the right to choose”.
Well that is all you as you cannot see other people then yourself Mr. President. It is not a diversion. Your former self mister President said it was problem with African leaders that they overstayed in Power! Therefore you became what you claimed was an issue. Therefore it is not a diversion except you want to deflect it as you never seem to want to leave power as you see yourself the one fit. I am sure there are more people who can be fit as President as they can either be able or live into the position. As you weren’t born a President Museveni, you took the power with arms and rifles mister President! The People can choose you or not. But the way you play around with it is to keep the guns and rise fear to continue to stay in power. Which is not letting the people choose, but your choosing for them. And when you go to your farm, please take with you the Yellow Booklet or binder; enjoy the cows and calls to Daniel Arap Moi! Peace.
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies – ‘Oil in Uganda: Hard bargaining and complex politics in East Africa’ (Ocotber 2015).
As we go in the final week before the polls happens on the 18th February as the public and citizens will go to the polls and give their votes. The parties are doing the final preparations and rallies to generate the outcome the want.
This has been three horse race, as the five other candidates has not shined as much as NRM’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, FDC’s Dr. Kizza Besigye and Go-Forward/TDA Amama Mbabazi. Not as Abed Bwanika of the People’s Development Party hasn’t had done a bad campaign; I would say the opposite; but he is not in the league of gentlemen first noticed. Another candidate who has done well considering the beginning is Gen. Benon Buta Biraaro of the Farmers Party has done a decent job and said certain things that have been spot-on. Still, his reach has not come to any level of challenging the big-league. Joseph Mabirizi has become a punchline and not a candidate that justify the time he has spent or the money his campaign used. The only female in the race Maureen Kyalya Wamula has not been great sport, she is smart and wise, but loses the final touch as she speeds away a month in London; when arrives back travers Busoga again. She should instead tried to become a MP from Busoga, then becoming President as it would be fitting by how she did her campaign! Professor Venansius Baryamureeba the independent candidate haven’t made any noticeable progress other than pledges that are out of his league and I personally lost touch of him after the #UGDebate16 as he been in the wind.
So I will not discuss the 5 candidates unless they did something magical. As there been moments, but not many. Just as the media report Museveni and his NRM has “owned” the media, had most space in papers, radios and TV, even with the issues Museveni has had with NTV, Daily Monitor and a rare bunch of local radio channels; Mbabazi comes second most of the time in the report, but either the same as Besigye or not; Besigye been third or second with around 20 %.. So when President Museveni has cried foul it’s been because his make-up hasn’t been perfect while the drones driving over the campaign venue or the headlines in the newspapers he never reads is written in wrong fonts so he can’t find out what it means. As he is watching the pictures and cartoons as that is deep enough for the Mzee!
We can easily see the hurt in NRM, as Go-Forward and Mbabazi is getting crowds without ferrying them, even when they work hard to pay people to shun his rallies, while they people to come to rallies; but never in the same place as the rally, the buses has to go into the villages and give UGX 5k and a t-shirt to get them to show-up at the Mzee venue. While Mbabazi Go-Forward has had massive deflections even major parts of his security detail went to the NRM and Go Forward officials in Teso region have disowned purported defectors, from their camp to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party. On Tuesday, more than 700 people were paraded before the First lady, Janet Museveni at Soroti State lodge claiming that they had defected from the camp of ex-prime minister. Even in Karamoja Janet Museveni has paid people who supposed to be FDC or Go-Forward to deflect to NRM.
While the NRM front-man was really humiliated in Kayunga Town on the 8th February 2016 as the NRM Poor Youth would not mobilize for him. As he didn’t get the news from Isa Kato that NRM Poor Youth becoming Ugandan Poor Youth Forum on the 6th January and pleading their alliance to Mbabazi. That must hurt Mzee! As his former outfit have distanced themselves from NRM by giving their credentials to Mbabazi; it’s not a good luck when especially his NRM Mobilisers like Mike Ssebalu (Sebalu) didn’t contact the locals in other ways, as also the locals did not want to be ferried to the campaign venue. That must be slap on his face!
Besigye, the People’s President is really having a blast on the campaign trail and his campaign rallies has been massive as he has not gone into the meager display of the NRM, which has to ferry crowds from other parts of the country or villages with their yellow buses or even hire other transport companies to send people to his venues. While Dr. Kizza Besigye get people hyped and walking with swagger before arriving, they washing the roads and making the venues ready, the roads are blocked by crowds in procession to the stadiums and main squares as the people is really ready for change of the guards.
NRM seems exhausted even when dropping millions upon millions to every village, having the NRM Mobilisers and NRM leaders giving money to villagers. NRM continue to give money to bribe people to vote for them, this is the way have to because they have no legitimate ways of political framework as everything seem more to corrupted by the position the leadership of NRM handling it. As the Primaries was a strange nearly fictional event which was marred with malfunctions.
Just as the NRM EC under Dr. Tanga Odoi has been capable of doing some strange things during the party elections; the Electoral Commission have recently hope that the Ugandan citizens and NGOs continue to be ignorant about their actions. As they introduced a new voting slip system that you search on their site to get your place to go to vote, also where to pick-up the slip.
The Electoral Commission have also dropped the voters register who was compiled with deceased people and ghost voters in the size of 20,000 that took the Chairman nearly two weeks before he addressed. Before he addressed it the rumors of trying to leave the country during this week, while being stopped by 7 military vehicles and not able to leave as he has to do a service for the Mzee. Badru M. Kiggundu is soon looking like a Thomas Moore kind of man; as he is a blind Yellow Fellow who has sold his soul to Mzee, while missing the ingredient of the he getting his head chopped for not following the orders the king gives to him.
The NRM people is addressing the public with fear and telling that the world will dismantle into pieces if they don’t go for the NRM. That is an terrifying way of rhetoric and that Mzee even had to address Lukwago in a dismissal and unfavorable way that none deserve, as the old man with the hat should show some respect to other leaders in the country. The Police continue to oppress the FDC and opposition parties.
The Army is deploying more and more people in the streets as pictures of trucks and soldiers to spread fear in Kampala as the legitimacy is gone. The only way people staying loyal to the ruling-party is if they are payed enough or facilitated to the max so the houses and cars paid by the NRM; not on their own original salary.
New Vision continues writing fictitious polls giving the NRM and Museveni 53 % as servicing the ruling regime until the end. But while we know the Vision Media group and it’s radios and newspapers are owned by Museveni; so they will write in favor of Mzee at any cost, even if it is far from the truth, because they got nothing else.
The interesting last thing I will say my piece on is the second #UGDebate where Museveni actually said he will show up, but he needed to send Justine Kasule Lumumba to facilitate the events in favor of her meal-ticket. As the other parties has no issues about the event, NRM can’t handle that the one person moderate Voice of America own journalist Shaka Ssali from Kabale. They would rather have a UBC journalist or anybody they could pocket to make it beautiful fairytale the NRM want to portray. While Mwenda has said he is not Museveni’s campaign manager and would advise him not to show up and grace the event. That tells more about Mwenda then the debate, as Mwenda is more a closet fan of Museveni now than he will ever admit and seems like he has switches he googles and seen the Resistance Light as he has changed his view 360 from 2008. NRM might attend the event. The rest has promised like last time and will show up. We can be sure about that, they got nothing to lose.
The NRM and Museveni will look even more foolish if they fear Shaka Ssali, then he really is a Donald Trump character as he can’t handle Megyn Kelly of Fox News. There is a picture for you. This is my view of recent; it changes with information and the movement on the ground. This is how I feel, not how mr. Zeke on Kampala Road feels, this is all me. Peace.
When we going into the final stages of the pre-election period. This here has been interesting and will continue to be as the final works of the parties, the electoral commission and the other actors into action in the final phase.
There are two or three missing pieces for me in this time, silent leaders who has been like blown in the wind; they have been cast into shadows and need a strong flash-light to reappear on the surface. If there was like American Milk-Carton they would be “missing”.
First up! I wonder what is up with is the UPC, Uganda People’s Congress, not their sold-out NRM henchman Jimmy Akena, then you are wrong, he doesn’t even have the ability to scrap enough funds to pay up the nomination fees for the parties MPs and LCV men and woman, which should make his father turn in his grave somewhere; together with the pact together with Museveni. But Akena is not the one missing from the political map, the one is Honorable Olara Otunnu, I am not sure if he really is on the campaign trail with Amama Mbabazi as he was loyal and confident in the The Democratic Alliance in September 2015, while Akena was taking down the UPC flag at the compound. There has since then been drama and escalation of political struggle between them, that till this day is not fully resolved because of the arrogance them both. Playing a game between them for the Presidency in the oldest party in the country! What I miss is the wise-man and accurate touch of the political landscape that Hon. Otunnu has been like a shadow. A missing component that could have made a difference for the opposition and showed more progress of the political parties, which he could have been. Please Mr. Hon. Otunnu come back!
Second man that I wonder where is Ken Lukyamuzi of the Conservative Party, the whole party sounds like it has dissolved. He is in the same league of Justice Party (JEEMA) leader Asuman Basalirwa is the third leader who is gone in the wind. They are leaf’s that hasn’t surfaced between the bottles of Fanta Berry and Matooki while listening to KFM Radio. They are maybe part of the TDA. Still they are not anywhere in the landscape, they could be eaten by wild lions for what the public interests knows.
Norbert Mao has been visible but not for the right reasons, unlawfully violated by the Police in Acholiland, while campaigning for another candidates in his Democratic Party in the Northern Uganda. Norbert Mao himself will not be voted in for the Gulu Municipality, because of the Electoral Commission want somebody else to represent the DP there, as it is a stronghold of the party. Mao has been loyal towards Mbabazi and the TDA since he arrived there from the wilderness in September in 2015.
Erias Lukwago has not been missing, he has been in the spotlight and together with FDC; here and there ever since the Nomination rally in November in 2015. Hon. Lukwago has been representing Gen. Sejusa at the recent court trail before he was sent to Luzira, he has had issues with the Police in Kampala as he started his campaign for Mayoral position again, as he won it in 2011.
The NRM has continue to ferry and Voter Tourism; NRM could have their own bus-company and ferry people after the election with Ofwono Opondo as the spokesman for the company as they can recharge the Uganda Media Centre and add a Costumer friendly app to tell when the buses are in the district; something they should already operate since November 2015. NRM bus company comes to rescue if need a hitch a bus from Mbarara to Lwengo or to Masindi!
As I am talking about: NRM has paid for their flag-bearers recently they paid UGX 20m each. They have 32178 of them. That is a massive amount of funds. Just to put in perspective the total fee is UGX 643,560bn that the party has splashed out. While the FDC payed the MPs nominations fees of UGX 800m, which tells the difference between the parties.
Mzee has ferried people for weeks on weeks, that has not been the only thing, his fellow loyal companion for ages Hon. Sam Kutesa has tried to pay people 20k each for not showing up for rallies in Sembabule district, as much as that did not work. NRM has also tried stifling Go-Forward rallies with destroying campaign material, paying security detail to shift to NRM, and also trying to pay boda-boda drivers from not doing their job; to get people from the villages to rallies. The same the NRM has done to the FDC in the pre-election period; they can’t help themselves to try to corrupt the whole population, so they can mirror themselves in them. The sad thing for the NRM is that people is not buying into the cheap tricks of the NRM!
Mzee is losing touch with his people so he had to relaunch his 20 year old autobiography “Sowing the Mustard Seed”. With a second edition; as his YES MEN says is a good idea. The thing it makes it look like is more publicity stunt than coving his achievements, something the original edition did in 1997. In 2016 his legacy is tarnished by the history of corruption, wars, power-struggle inside the NRM and paid cronies instead of bringing development and prosperity to Uganda as he promised after the coup d’état in 1986. This event today was a shallow event. As much as the speech he held the day before at the ‘Tarehe Sita’, one of the memorable days of the victory of the Ugandan armies. There is something missing from Mzee these days, as the spark is gone!
Even Gen. Benon Biraaro of the Farmers Party of Uganda (FPU) has said in the recent day this about Mzee: “I hear Mr Museveni and his NRM have started pledging sanitary pads, hoes and condoms, [but] such pledges cannot transform Ugandans economically”. That tells how spot-on Biraaro is. Biraaro might not be a top-candidate who fights together with big trio. As Mbabazi, Besigye and Museveni, still his words and ideas has tractions and should be listened to, since he speaks with his beating heart and common sense, something that is rare. As a NRA historical he can really dismiss Mzee on the grades of the struggle and reason for why they original fought for in the 1980s. Biraaro deserve credit and has been visible!
NRM the big monster has used it force in words recently spreading fear to the public in a fashion that is outrages. While they are talking and excessive towards the public! This is also manifested with the UPDF getting a bigger space in the pre-election period. The Police have ordered and gotten heavy equipment to make sure of being able to shut-down demonstrations, the post-elections that are expected by Parliament and NRM-Regime, as they have assured by Badru M. Kiggundu has already the election results in his pocket as his pay-rise proves loyalty to the NRM.
There even reports of supposed ferrying of Rwandan nationals to be shipped in on the General Election polling day on the 18th February, as they will vote in Kisoro and other districts close to the border of Rwanda. The need for using funds from the NRM-Regime to get this people to vote for Mzee!
Mzee doesn’t have appeal as he ones had. That has been seen in the districts as Dr. Kizza Besigye and the FDC Campaign Convoy has made the villages and towns on fire, they have prepared the towns, while the NRM have done the same, but with monies from cronies and hiring people to fix the towns yellow; which is different from the FDC that has been on their own and own machine, as they cleans towns roads and make the venues ready for the People’s President! Something that differs from the NRM; NRM has bought loyalty and only a little part of rallies are die-hards. As the people show-up to see Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool, even the magical Crime Preventers and ferried crowds.
Andrew Mwenda continues to praise Mzee until the bitter end, his own person from the KFM Radio as Radio Host would vomit while reading and listening the words coming out his mouth and articles, he is even published page on page in the New Vision. Tamale Mirundi will both praise Mzee and pull him down, while sounding as a confused hyena until the end of the pre-election period.
NRM is doing what they can to prepare for fear! More fear the better is the tool of the NRM. As Ofwono Opondo is sharing on the Uganda Media Centre; while Gen. Sejusa is imprisoned, Gen Tukumunde and Gen Katumba Wamala is continuing to work as partisan politicians for the NRM, as Gen. Sejusa is not allowed to the same for the FDC! The Same with Gen. Kayihura in the Police Force is working as NRM-Police. Something that should not occur; though it is the modus operandi of the NRM-Regime; their generals can work as they please.
The one thing bothers me, and should bother others who follow’s this pre-elections time. Amama Mbabazi and his Go-Forward Group I must question. Mbabazi is saying to be a NRM-Member still he is an independent Presidential Candidate under his own umbrella. And as a Joint Presidential Candidate for the opposition coalition TDA! If he is a Go-Forward/TDA candidate and being still a part of the ruling party NRM. It is understandable he has ties in the party that he has used his life in. Mbabazi sounds wrong… and make me doubt his will of Going Forward! As he still says he has a foot inside a National Resistance Movement. He can’t be either or!
There will be more interesting things to follow, as the UPDF will drive more through the streets of Kampala as a sign of the election coming near, and the Bush-War general of Museveni, can’t leave the guns to speak for himself, as that is the only tool he knows how to use properly, as he is not a great statesman as he should have been by now! Instead the cronies, militarism, fear, pre-rigging, police shooting and killing, and much more will happen in the coming days. Even with the Electoral Commission, with EOM missions from COMESA, EU, Commonwealth and the EAC. They will not this before after in their reports, as the Government of Uganda has told of the American Embassy as they came with a poll describing the percentage of Mzee lower than Besigye. Peace.
Well, the day finally came and the Presidential Candidates of these elections have step-up to the plate and showed their platform while certain journalists would keep them in check.
Even UMEME had to tell the public today:
“#UGDEBATE16. We have standby teams to ensure you enjoy the presidential debate. All teams clothed, cars fueled, and tools in hand to ensure any outage is resolved as quickly as possible”.
Well, the UMEME has been reported that in Fort Portal, Entebbe, Jinja and so many other places the electricity went down so that the citizens couldn’t get the feed and watch the debate, even in parts of Kampala the power went off in Ntinda, Kiwatule, Naalya, Njeera around 21:00PM. This is just a little trait’s of the reported suspicious malfunctions and glitches in the system that let a lot’s off people lose the live feed, because Mzee was busy having his campaign rally in Bushenyi and wouldn’t let the people listen to the rest of the Presidential candidates. He was moving his mouth and brain there while the rest of candidates where explaining their manifestoes and programs in a civilian and peaceful manner to the citizens and the world.
There will be many set of commentaries on this, I am sure mine will be biased as, well as it should be, because this will be that. First my favorite quotes, then what I think about their performance. Seems fair right?
One memorable quote from each candidate:
Joseph Mabirizi said: “I am the only candidate who has Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. I won’t allow vote rigging so please vote me in”.
Amama Mbabazi said: “My clear answer is that I am not aware of election rigging. I have heard some stories, but I have no personal knowledge”.
Professor Baryamureeba said: “oil companies must publish what they pay to Gov’t and Gov’t should publish what it earns from oil so far”.
Maureen Faith Kyala said: “There is more tear gas at every police post as compared to medicine in the hospitals”.
Abed Bwanika said: “I have never mentioned that Baganda should support me, I asked for support from the people in Buganda”.
Gen. Biraaro said: “The only soldier who has been in power lives in state house, this regime has not served me well, that’s why I am here”.
Dr. Kizza Besigye said: “The real change is that power moves from those with guns to the citizens that is the project I am working on. The urgent change that our country needs is empowerment of our citizens. I have promised that in every Ugandan will walk with swagger”.
The moderators that the organizers put in place we’re BBC’s Newsday programme presenter, Allan Kasujja and KTN’s Nancy Kacungira. The one who was persistent with the candidates was really Kasujja, but it seemed that he was not a fan of Besigye, since he always cut him of in the middle of reasoning and addressing a question he had.
Kacungira was more the soft spoken mediator who levelled the hardheaded Kasujja, at one point I was waiting to see the red-eye-machine in light from wall to turn into the shades of mediator; so he would look a macho terminator. But that was just me.
Professor Bayra got the questions first, but didn’t earn that well, his quotes got easily forgotten and his stamina during the debate died down. I am sure in writing as professor he could have argued with strength, but he proved more to mayoral of a town in the eastern town in Tororo district then being a president. He has the words and etiquette of leadership, but doesn’t have the program or manifesto to really seem deemed for a lower-level position, as he has already been in-charge of the university of Makerere.
Maureen Faith Kayala seemed more focused on her gender as the questions tended to become focused on that. She was also on her own will more directly telling the issues of Busoga instead of the national issues, seems like she should become an MP for the district or a sub-county fitted for her in the area, since it’s also where she has moved the most and campaigned. When she hasn’t been lost in London; she could be more interesting with time and like wine become better in her game, but right now she is unfinished and seems to scattered to focus national.
Joseph Mabirizi must have had bad advice or lost his tongue at some point. Seem like he was stressed by the cameras and public watching his every move. He was walking through the wilderness stuttering and thinking… pounding the matters into the first thing that pop-up into his mind and wasn’t really address the question properly while saying it in such a fashion he was cracking Ugandans up, instead of making sense of the political issues. If he will gain crowds in the same stage as Professor Joel, no wait, Professor Joel should have come in President Museveni place, well, we come to the shadow of Bushenyi later!
Gen. Benon Biraaro the NRA historical who stood firm and was very apologetic in his tone. Much more than I expected he seemed clearer than and not as aggressive as the reports from the campaign trail. This man made more sense and was intelligent. Something I was not expected to say. But if this will make a giant difference in his whole campaign, I doubt it. The thing is that he will be more respected for his attitude and progression then some of his peers by the mere fact on how he precieve the matters.
Abed Bwanika was a gentle surprise and show lots of character at the debate. He had a much bigger presence then I expected, he ate of the hands and was shining actually. This was unexpected since he seems very uninteresting while following the campaign trail. The candidate showed that he had class and also thought through manifesto and plans for development.
Now I will take the two big-men who was at the shin-ding and debate the two of the three since the ghost of the event where in districts campaigning thinking that UMEME let the public miss the debate as they was ordered too. Who is the fool now? If his men will tell him something is that the Twitter #UgandaDecides and #UgandaDebate16 was going hectic in the hours. Before the start even discussion and had the spotlight of CNN telling about the historic event happening in the country that Mzee had to miss, because Ofwono Opondo and Mike Mukula said it was waste of time, seems like Bushenyi was really wasting time. For the NRM-members this must have been time is a wasting!
Let me continue on the two last candidates while done with Mzee and NRM for the moment, just have to throw a snag at them. They deserve them. Well, Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Mr. 30 years under the NRM and parts of the NRA. He was very defensive. Extremely defensive except for the matters of the detaining and Christopher Aine; also cleaning his hands on the land deal with NSSF which have followed him and still be a torn in his flesh. It did seem like he never was ready for the debate or that all the questions from the other candidates. It was like hot-water into a glass and not a cup that he wasn’t ready to hold it while drinking it. He addressed things more as an former NRM Prime Minister than actually address the Go-Forward manifesto or wishes. The most extreme was that he hadn’t heard or could talk well about the borrowing money that the government has done; and that it was a good thing! That bugs me and shows that he was just washing his hands instead of taking leadership, showing character like Gen. Biraaro og Besigye. So as knowing he was a lawyer before becoming a politician in the NRM, he has lost touch with good arguments that Bwanika and Biraao had compared to him. And they do not have the new machine for elections that Mbabazi has!
The last candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye he had for me a slow start it was a bit out of character for a man who has a gift for speeches and give’s the people show for the money; while at the same time address the matter at hand. This took time to get there and to show his plans to the public about the manifesto of the FDC. Besigye was slow, but had lots of energy when it came after the first commercial break. There where points where there was heavy with questions to him, like the other candidates singled him out, it often came to him or Mbabazi, not like Professor Bayra would ask Mabirizi some governance questions that would just be out of touch with formula of the debate. Besigye came after the accusations of the closeness to the first-family because of his wife, and his answer was clear that they we’re far away anything near them. Also with the answers on economic policies and how it was structured into the agricultural sector, we’re inspiring though sounding alike to Biraaro and Bwanika, though they had the luxury of always to answer before him. So Besigye ideas seemed less enthusiastic since there were modifications compared to them considered to them. I wished for my part that he we’re more on point in the beginning. I am a supporter of Besigye and his cause. Seemed like also one of the moderators tried to stop Besigye from finishing his arguments and answers, more than the other candidates, also cut him generally shorter than for instance Maureen or even Joseph they we’re not stopped in the same way, only Maureen jumped once into the whole madness when it was not her turn; Besigye proved leadership and calmness while growing into the debate and taking more and more space. I got more and more enthusiastic on his part, while feeling sorrow over the ways the Mbabazi was portraying himself like a sorry victim instead of being one of the big-men in the race for presidency.
Now that I have gone through the thing, let’s have one thing clear there was like a way of letting Besigye be last or late like every time while the other candidates got early shots, and also being more direct visible. I don’t know if that was fixed before Mzee we’re part of the event, since the empty seat would have eaten the issues and would have made the debate differently, though he would not have stopped talking while the mediator asked kindly to succeed spotlight to the next candidate. The ghost was there the whole evening since they we’re discussing governance, systematic failure and government inconsistency in general. The men who shined was not one or both presidential candidates who is in the top three. Bwanika and Biraaro had the smart ways of portraying and answering. All the NRA/NRM historical persons answered well, especially Besigye, but this was after his mojo was on fire. He ended the evening on the spark, the other last remarks was more humble and obliged then trying to convince them of voting on them.
What saddens me was the way Kasujja kept his composer and acted kind of differently between the candidates, he acted humble and nice against those who shined in the debate, while Amama Mbabazi and Dr. Kizza Besigye was either asked long-long questions or stopped in the middle of their arguments trying to answer the matter. The other mediator asked shorter and easier question, there wasn’t much fuzz about her and was more trying to keep cool while Mabarizi was answering questions. Mabarizi was like Professor Joel and a funny-character instead of acting as presidential candidate, he didn’t make the funniest face that was Mbabazi who looked lost at one point… The picture from that moment tells more than his answers in the debate, though the debate was not a good luck for Amama Mbabazi. That is clear, I myself have many unanswered questions about his past and what he really wants to achieve in the future.
The biggest and strangest about this is that the incumbent President Museveni, the almighty Mzee, the executive ruler and the one who reign in the land. Mzee have had the first chance to show together with other candidates his true self, instead he loved himself up-country where the people would listen to his voice without being asked any critical questions. If he had been in the studio he would have been shut-down while talking to long and had to answer the questions in a manner he is not used to. Mzee would be out of character and without his spin-doctors to make his message soft and beautiful. They could have prepared him, but he would have entered into the only mode he knows, his voice and his achievements, without seeing the issues that are there. Then he would go defensive like Amama Mbabazi and blame somebody else, since the executive wouldn’t order everything and opposition MPs has issues. Mzee would not be able to address the matter in humble way. But humility and humbleness is not in his ways as we all know. Therefore the empty chair show more his blissful arrogance then the attitude towards the debate. The brief and shallow seat where the camera sometimes went to; especially when the questions on the NRM-Regime were heavy! The NRM was not present or had their presidential candidate at the debate. So there was a lose end, and the losing end was not the other candidates, they had an ability show accountability and transparency towards the public. Something that is unusual and not the norm! The NRM can’t be looking weak and Mzee can’t handle not being seen as the almighty his Excellency instead of being just one of the candidates for the elections. He rather blast them in all of his papers and radios until the 18th February then being a man who could move his mouth and brain in the TV-studio, but being critical of him is a sin, therefore opposition mobilizers and members get jailed, while NRM members who insist on violence get’s supported either by the police force or by NRM organizers, then the police and electoral commission wonders why the FDC candidate have the campaign of defiance, since they taste the endless violence from the NRM-Regime. It would be an interesting event to see if Mzee could have given a proper answer on the matter.
Mediator: “What are your take on the recent election violence and campaign harassment of opposition parties?”
Wonder if Mzee would have had it in him to answer that or if he had gone the IGP Kale Kayihura road, and said it is the laws and people have to follow the rules, secondly there is also bad police and violent opposition so there can’t all be wrong in the NRM or the Police. Well, we didn’t get that kind of fashion because Mzee doesn’t have it in him to be together with the candidates unless he is in the spotlight like when the Papal visit we’re in November 2015. This here was a small-time event for him and Bushenyi was more important.
The other candidates were graceful and tactful, even when asked very critical questions. Hope the next time there will be a mediator who doesn’t act like Kasujja and stop Mbabazi and Besigye constantly while giving space to the other ones. There were some unjustified actions from his part, instead of being a peace maker and making the transition between the candidates going smooth. For me he was the Terminator with those shades and light. But that is just me. Hope this was enough of one evenings debate, and I sure there been pointed out at many venues and media-houses, but this here is how I saw it.
Look forward to the second Live TV Debate in the history of Uganda at the 10th Feburary 2016. When the second live presidential TV debate will be hold, and what a grand event that will be and in the closing stages of the campaign trail. Just a week before the polls and actual voting! Peace.
It’s hard for me to write this in all seriousness. Since I writing about an African President whom himself said this in 1986: “The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power” (Ross, 2011). The President in particular is His Exellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda for 29 years and counting!
Mzee said this in 1980 while running as a presidential candidate:
“Using a government position to a mass wealth is high treason. If the UPM is not going to be supported because it denounces such methods of getting rich, let it be”.
This he said while campaigning in Bushenyi and Mbarara districts(Weekly Topic, August 27. 1980).
So Mzee have had a few points back in the day and knew this was an issues. Now he deflects them to the extreme, to a point where it nearly get’s boring. Still here is his recents comments on the matter of riches and staying in power.
This was what Mzee said in November 2015:
““I have my own job at home of keeping cattle. Why would I stay when I have been defeated in the elections? I am not power hungry but I have missions to accomplish. I can’t leave without finishing with them” (Kazibwe, 2015).
Well, he has promised to step-down before, doubt he means this for long or even if this utter words was sincere other than for a show. This was for show from Mzee because of the coming Papal visit in Uganda (all seriousness the visit happen around 2 weeks after this interview). Well, let me continue on what he has said over the new-years and his ordinary modus operandi. When the pope has left the country and he could do what he normally do!
Mzee saisd this on 5th January 2016:
“I have been hearing people accusing me of sticking around; that I don’t want to leave government. Why would I want to stay in government?” (…)”First of all I am a very rich man. I have a lot of wealth and therefore it cannot be riches that I am seeking in government” (Waswa, 2016).
Well, you have in been in power since 1986. That is sticking around for a while in government and as executive power for nearly three decades. We know you are rich you have a giant farm in Ankole, you and your families own a dozen businesses, some hotels and even some transport businesses as well. You started earning big bucks on transport under the DRC war in the 90s, but that is a nearly forgotten chapter for you and your brother Salim Selah, right? Still you’re in government because you fear what will happen if you leave it. Especially when there is oil-money soon coming into the accounts of Uganda and you want that slice to. The minerals and wood from Kisangani will be small-fry a bogoya. Well, we know about that and as your businesses and family businesses can be lost if you leave government. Therefore you want to secure those, it is a valid argument to stick around in government for wealth as man men make their wealth that way, one of the reason why you went to the bush to eradicate corruption and embezzlement. Well, that chapter is also forgotten and loyal cronies is more and more important therefore we have NRM-Independent and NRM Flag-Bearers in the coming elections, this is new and the NRM-Independents are breach of inner-party law. We know it is okay as long as Mzee,says it’s okay; he even pays the fees for the NRM-Independents to the Electoral Commission. This is to gain their loyalty as well as the ones the members picked in the district and sub-county. That is beautiful right? So, that is the reason why people wonder why you stick around and what can you do now that you haven’t already done? Still, let’s continue to the 10th January 2016.
Mzee said this on 10th January 2016:
“cannot leave power now because all he planted has started bearing fruits” (…)”Those who say, let him go, let him go, they need to know that this is not the right time. This old man who has saved the country, how do you want him to go? How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?” (…)”We can’t be in the middle of a forest and want the old man to go. This is not right. We must concentrate on development, my time will come and I will go. I don’t fear going because I have where to go, but we must first see where we go” (…)”We can’t be in the middle of a forest and want the old man to go. This is not right. We must concentrate on development, my time will come and I will go. I don’t fear going because I have where to go, but we must first see where we go” (Rumanzi, 2016).
Now he is proclaiming that he has made a country into a banana-plantation, where it is finally bearing fruits. That means sweat bananas with good yields. That must be from the mustards seed he planted in 1986. Wait, this isn’t a mustard farm, but still the metaphor can be extended to the Banana farm. Yes, he has made the country into a Banana farm or should I say a banana republic. Now that all of that was daft, but the point is clear.
The economic state is getting dire in Uganda, the loans rate on the government budget is going up while the aid and donor funds goes down. While the oil-price lowers before the oil-monies are getting in. The sale of coffee is growing but it has not the yielded price on it neither is the sale of the tea. Like they are not producing enough sugar for consumption and have to import from Kenya.
IMF in July 2015 wrote in their report this: “Short-term benefits of the oil price decline have been less pronounced in Uganda than in other countries in the region. In the past nine months, petrol average pump prices have declined by 10 percent in domestic currency”.
He surely isn’t done by seeing all the campaign teams struggling with the villages roads his been building since 1986. Since FDC Campaign Convoy have been stuck in Rwenzori and in certain northern districts, while Mzee himself needed a military vehicle to be able to get to campaign rallies in Abletong. Well, the Banana-plantations don’t need a good road as long as the banana gets to market?
Or is it the growing amounts of districts, sub-counties and municipalities? Is that your proud work to make sure that that every corner of the country have a local council to control 1000 people and have loyal payment from you? That seems like the final goal while going through your banana-plantation. In 1967 there was only 18 districts, by 1989 where already 34 districts and 150 counties. By my reckoning in late 2015 there are 111 districts and 167 counties. So the numbers has grown staggering amount of districts and steady rise of counties. Was this the big plan in 1986 make sure that there 3 times over district then when you came to power?
You might feel that you’re in the forest and not really in the mellow place of the banana-plantation since the situation economically, infrastructure, youth-employment, industrial-development, police-violence and so on. There are much darkness in the forest and not any sweat yields of the banana-plantation. The development that you have left is surely questionable; secondly the legacy you’re leaving behind is not the ones you wish you had. You could have been a man who led to real progress and stand for something new. Instead you’re the same old tribe of African leaders who overstays in power and does let other people rule.
The economic state, together with the lower prices on coffee and oil should be worrying. Together with edged prices on imports as Uganda imports are higher than their exports. The weaker currency and higher inflation makes the trading barrier even higher. There are so many signs that the general election together with the laws that parliament passes gives more and more power to the Executive and his regime. Ever since Public Order Management Act there been more and more laws who gives the government more stronghold over the public instead of giving them freedoms and opportunity to evolve and think on their own. The laws that gives the government carte blanche to borrow money through the new Public Finance Management Act; one section of this law says this: “Amendment of Section 36: (5a) In addition to subsection (5), a loan raised by the Government as a temporary advance by the Bank of Uganda, which does not extend beyond a financial year shall not require to be approved by the Parliament” (P5, 2015, PFMA). That says how the government can initially use the Bank of Uganda as an ATM, was that the problem you had in the forest or the fruits your having yield on the banana-plantation?
I know that you have no plan of stopping being in power, I am just wondering when you actual thought of leaving since you have been there as long as have lived. Something not many Presidents have done except your friend in Zimbabwe, and maybe aquatints like Paul Biya in Cameroon, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatoral Guinea. But hey, they are from francafrique countries so I only expect you smile at them when you arrive at African Union meetings in Addis Ababa. Since they know and you know that all the fellows who meet with decades ago are no longer there.
We know that what you said before new years are utter rubbish since you have promised before to step down and haven’t. That has happened before 2001 and before 2006. Even before you got the multi-party system back into place; Gen. Benon Biraaro said this early part of his campaign in 2015: “When we captured power in 1986, Mr Museveni promised to rule for only five years and after he will go and look after his cows, I never knew his cows would be Ugandans”.
Surely, if his still is in the forest or in the banana-plantation or even with his cows in Ankole, it is for certain he is still the executive power and will do what he can to keep that in 18th February 2016 or make sure the counting is fixed to measure the right way. Mzee will make sure that the counting of the ballots from the Electoral Commission declares him the President, AGAIN! If not he has prepared the police with a bucket full billions of shillings for post-election violence. So he must have looked in the darkness of the forest and worried for the outcome. In the sense that he smells the people are not his anymore. They do not follow him blindly and let him guide them freely. The banana-plantation is not as peaceful as it once was; This means that Mzee is not directly entitled anymore, to get the fruits of the plantation without any questions, from the people who are working on it. Peace.
Kazibwe – ‘Museveni: I am Ready to Hand Over Power If Defeated’ (19.11.2015) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/museveni-i-am-ready-to-hand-over-power-if-defeated/
Ross, Will – ‘Would Uganda’s Museveni recognise his former self?’ (07.05.2011) link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9477930.stm
Rumanzi, Perez – ‘I can’t leave power now – Museveni’ (10.01.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-can-t-leave-power-now—Museveni/-/688334/3027090/-/ldhhetz/-/index.html
Waswa, Sam – ‘It Is Never My Intention to Stick To Power – Museveni’ (05.01.2016) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/it-is-never-my-intention-to-stick-to-power-museveni/
We are at strange place when it comes the 15th January and the general debate for presidential candidates in Uganda. People are throwing blame and I stand by calling Mzee a chicken-out from the debate. We all know why! He can’t spin it to his benefit and worried that he will look weak compared to the other men. His quotes will forever stay there and will be remembered, like Mzee has skipped before in 2011, 2006 and 1996. Well, let see what else been said on the issue during the day, this is starting to farce. Let me elaborate on that.
First the Presidential Candidate Hon. Amama Mbabazi said this: “There are 8 people in the race, if 2 have pulled out of the debate, then that doesn’t mean we can’t debate “.
Other that has verified that they will show-up for the debate is Prof. Venansius Bayramureeba and Abed Bwanika.
Also today Dr. Kizza Besigye commented: ““So this time when I challenged Mr. Museveni to a debate, I knew that he is averse to having a direct debate- which is unfortunate because in a situation like ours where there are deep contradictions, it is important to have a direct debate so that people are able to determine the candidates’ positions and policies.” (…)”The debate should be between two opposing sides its madness of me to take a day or two off my tight schedule to meet my colleagues for a debate”.
While we yesterday got the reports from two of his men and one of his men Ofwono Opondo clarified clearly to the people that President Museveni wouldn’t show up; because he has a busy schedule and would be missed because the trouble with the travel for 6 hours to be at the Serena Hotel and wants to rather be with the people!
So Mzee has decided to alter the debate and add a new figure to represent him. Today we have the new reports the change too southpaw; so he added of the mysterious Minister without Portfolio Richard Todwong. Hon. Todwong will be his mouthpiece when necessary it’s seems in a way to cash his paycheck. In that way we have the fourth candidate which happens to be a representative for the presidency and not himself.
While the James Ogola the spokesperson for The Elders’ Forum of Uganda (TEFU), the organizer of the public debate on live TV which is to be broadcasted through all channels in Uganda from NTV cameras, he said this yesterday: “If the candidate cannot come, we shall not accept representation. That chair will remain empty”.
The TEFU statement said this on the 7th January: “During a meeting held with all the eight presidential candidates’ campaign managers and agents on January 6, at Protea Hotel Kampala, all the participants unanimously agreed that candidates have a lot to gain by personal appearance in the debates and much more to lose by non-appearance,” noted a statement that IRCU released on January 7th 2016.
With this being said and written by the TEFU then the Minister without Portfolio Todwong will not be allowed to be in the chair instead of Mzee. So Dr. Kizza Besigye can’t send Nandala Mafabi or Mugisha Muntu in his stead, though I think they rather stay on the campaign trail as well. FDC have the honor to really shun the event because the President can’t take the time all of sudden.
That Hon. Amama Mbabazi want to be there is understandable he want to gain political capital by being the one left of the giant three to actually show up. He is one of the main candidates. We all know that the Professor Barya and Bwanika would be secondary or third wheels with Amama, Kizza and Yoweri, and they all know it. Ofwono Opondo went a bit far though on Friday on radio the Capital Gang when he said: “I don’t know who you are”. This Opondo utter out the mouth while Abed Bwanika where in the studio. Even I know who he is and that he have campaigned and been a presidential candidate at-least two times before and his party hasn’t the reach yet. Still are more popular than Professor Barya. Since some of his crowds are as big as lines for airtime in the morning Mondays after a busy weekend. Not enough yet!
I wish the People’s President also just showed up even if Mzee didn’t have the guts to. Even if I understand the motive of Besigye; that Mbabazi is trying to get political capital is smart, but he still doesn’t the machine as FDC has, that is why he has tried more than twice to settle the difference between them and get him to step-down for him. That hasn’t actually worked.
The President has already lost the battle of supremacy and it’s viable with the way this have gone, his spokesmen Opondo and the other guy the campaign manager can’t chant a tune to save this charade. Besigye get to look lost in the battle for defiance instead of being the true giant in the matter, he could be golden and righteous in a two-hour battle as well; Even if the commander in chief chickens out instead of proving that his mouth and brain moves.
So that Mbabazi and the other guys might have a ball. The debate will be powerful in its way, but without Besigye and Museveni it misses all of the top three presidential candidates. That is weak and foolish. We all know the TEFU behind it and this will make it look like they don’t have the touch to get them speaking live on TV that day. But it’s their choice and not the parties involved. TEFU is just a tool to Museveni as everything else, and Besigye don’t want to look foolish compared to his nemesis M7.
The other candidates will have the say The Independent Coalition Maureen Kyala Wamuumbe and Joseph Mabirizi will get bigger stage then normal. Just like the other rest of them. They will gladly show up to it instead of being campaigning they will capitalize on it. Besigye and Museveni thinks they earn on not showing up. Where is Gen. Benon Biraaro at this point? Or I am missing the channels where he is occupied all the space? Because nowhere spoken his mind on the matter!
The reason for why Mzee doesn’t show up doesn’t add up to his own fear for the platform and lose of creative control and editing power. Since he can shut-up and will utter some nonsense with the bush-war mentality that he thinks all Ugandans will eat up like matooki. Instead they listen and wonder why that argument where used for building roads between Masindi and Kampala. While the other candidate actually speaks proper policy or regulations on the question; the same is the actions of Mzee. Besigye would have answered properly though anti-NRM rhetoric. The same with Mbabazi who will add with the new fresh spin and also say that he wasn’t an executive power like his former chief. Well, we will not see the whole picture and live broadcast; the first time in history with all presidential candidates unless Mzee wishes to show balls and be a real presidential candidate for once. Presidential Candidates should be able to debate in public with other candidates instead of only singing their own tune on the campaign trail and rallies. Surely Mzee have checked the questions asked from media the press conference to secure him what message that comes out and have control of what is in the press, if the press doesn’t follow then he shuts them down. Like he have done with the Daily Monitor, KFM Radio and other media stations when they have gone too far with the wrong message.
Mzee can’t handle a person like me or the press who questions his authority and rule. So if he would be on a debate he would not have the ability to save his face. Besigye follows suit because he doesn’t see the other candidates as viable opposition and feels that if the incumbent president doesn’t show-up it’s the B-Team on Live-TV instead of the whole group of people. So Mbabazi is the golden kid in this because people will even blame Besigye for backing out and questions remain what it would have been with him in the mix. There is a loss that two of magnificent trio is out. You have the six candidates and one happen to be a major one that makes the tally weak. So Mzee proves yet again that he can’t or doesn’t have it in him to debate or argue for his longevity and perseverance, Besigye will not come with fighting spirit in it, we will have the usual suspect and meager attendance that doesn’t cover the spectrum from PRO-Yellow to the mellow and to the ordinary fellow. Peace.