A red Cross ambulance arrived at the scene when Kwesiga Elias was reportedly still alive, stopped briefly nearby and proceeded without pickibg the gunshot victim. Kwesiga was shot by Police as they dispersed opposition leader Dr Besigye’s procession in Wandegeya yesterday!
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).
We live in interesting times as the Pre-Election period is getting to the final face. There been movement, as the parties acts move swiftly towards the final end. This here is about how the state-organizations goes against the opposition as they have done since like forever, as they are working partisan for NRM
Some things here will be more interesting than others. Take a look!
The Electoral Commission met with FDC and UPF:
On Saturday on the 6. February 2016: The Electoral Commission, Uganda Police Force and officials from Forum for Democratic Change held a meeting related to the conduct of peaceful campaigns and polling. The Electoral Commission explained the systems put in place to achieve a credible 2016 General Election. The FDC officials committed to comply with electoral guidelines. The UPF assured on the security of the electoral process. The Commission encouraged to regular interactions to address any emerging stakeholder concern” (the Electoral Commission, 06.02.2016).
In Kayunga NRM struggled to ferry people to the Mzee’s rally:
“On February 8, 2016, for Museveni’s campaign in Kayunga, the residents refused to get onto the trucks and buses which had each been allegedly paid sh. 200,000 to ferry people to his rally. Kayunga has very strong opposition but last week it was besieged by the regime which saw posters of opposition members Dr. Besigye and Mbabazi defaced, their supporters beat up or arrested. We are told that Museveni subsequently cancelled his main rally in Kayunga Town Council and proceeded to Kayonza, Busana and Kitimbwa. This might be the reason why residents refused to take the Yellow Bus” (Martha Leah Nangalama, 2016).
In Kayunga district the Police did this:
“Police commanded by both the RDC and DPC of Kayunga district are moving with over 20 policemen in Kayunga town defacing all Mbabazi posters and beating up youth who tried to question them. This happened from 2.00 AM and security is still patrolling Bukolooto trading centre and Kayunga town council which is the backbone of Hon. Amama Mbabazi and Uganda Poor Youth concentration”.
Go-Forward have more issues in Kayunga District:
Kalinda Iddi, a youth who is the coordinator of the Go-Forward Task-Force in Kayunga district and chairman of the Uganda Poor Youth movement in Kayunga has disappeared. Police and men with guns in civilian clothes invaded his home in the night and arrested him but he is not at Kayunga police station and police has denied arresting him. The regime is now arresting people brutally and killing them extra judicially. Let us pray for Kalinda Iddi!
DP MP Candidate for Ntenjeru South in Kayunga District on the 7th February 2016:
Mr. Anthony Waddimba was kidnapped on Saturday night, stripped naked and taken to unknown place because his clothes were found in the nearby trading Centre. However, an unknown contact informed Waddimba’s father on a telephone that his son was dumped into River Nile. The hunt for him is on. We call up on the public to join the search for our Young Democrat, as they also mind about their security.
The Tororo Second Parliamentary Public Debate:
“On Sunday conducted at Hotel Meritoria Tororo. Among the candidates who managed to appear on the day include Hon. Kibang Moses (FDC), Cyrus Wanyama (Independent), Opata Peter (Go forward), Hon. Ochwo Godfrey Etiang (Go forward), Odaka Asuman (Go forward), Omaido Robert Etatai and Dr. Jagire Onyango. During the debate, Hon. Odaka Asuman Marjan of Go Forward contesting for Tororo Municipality Parliamentary seat pointed out restoration of Tororo municipality as force which pushed him to contest. He argues that in history, Tororo was one of the most developed towns not only in Uganda but all of Africa. Hon. Godfrey Ochwo an aspirant of Tororo North County on Go Forward stressed the need of building Community management structure. He says by so doing, the community will be able to monitor government projects. He pointed out the case where drugs for Hepatitis B in Molo Health centre III were stolen and found in one of private clinics. Mr. Ochwo says if the community had been sensitized on how to monitor government projects, such act of drugs being stolen will not have been happened. This is the second time NRM candidates are shunning such debates having missed in the first debate held on 31st January. The debate was organized by Uganda Radio Network in partnership with TWAWEZA” (100.2 EAST FM “Midundo Zaida”, 07.02.2016).
Disfranchised office of a UFA candidate in Ntungamo:
“Intruders broke into the office of Uganda Federal Alliance candidate in Ntungamo Municipality and took away her campaign materials and several other items, including Shs10m. Mr Prossy Nahwera Alleluyah, whose office was broken into, is contesting for the female district councillor’s seat to represent Ntungamo Municipality in the district council. She said all the posters she recently printed, appointment letters for her campaign agents, three computers, TV sets and a public address system for the campaigns were stolen” (EA Biz Info, 08.02.2016).
Fall out from Go-Forward Today:
“Issa Otto Falls Out With Mbabazi: Ishaa Otto Amiza, a member of Amama Mbabazi’s national campaign task force is bitter with the ex-prime minister for failing to extend financial support to them and the joint candidates. According to Otto, following the failure by The Democratic Alliance-TDA summit to select a joint presidential candidate, Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress, Federal Alliance and Justice Forum joined hands with Mbabazi to form TDA (U) Go-Forward Alliance. He says the parties signed a new protocol to guide their relationship, adding that they also discussed funding for the joint candidates. Otto, however says to date, Mbabazi has not given them any funds yet the joint candidates are campaigning for him. Peter Mayeku, the National Chairperson of the Uganda Federal Alliance-UFA who also sits on TDA (U) Go-Forward summit says Mbabazi will support the joint candidates” (94.3 QFM Lira, 2016).
NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba went to facilitate Mzee’s participation in the 2nd Presidential Candidates today:
“Secretary General Of NRM arrives at Inter-Religious Council of Uganda headquarters P10 Satellite remote sensing and telemetry systems tracking the presidential campaign agents meeting. She arrived in a 500 million /= cruise, escorts paid 5 million per day all together, with daily expense of 60 million a months. Hon.Mbabazi and Besigye weren’t called in the setup but the rest of independents are being Oiled” (Gen. Sejusa, 08.02.2016).
I think this here was interesting. I think the stories and tales speaks for themselves as we have seen this so many times before. As we see the Police as the actors of NRM who act upon the public and opposition as they are pawns for the NRM-Police to play around with. So the NRM continues their arrogant approach as they even had no candidate in the Tororo Debate, as they followed Mzee and skipped the shindig as they couldn’t be gracious to grace the event, and tell the locals about their local policies; and also be questioned by the public and opposition towards their level of progress as there are the ruling party in the land. 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.
The attempt to have a presidential debate in Uganda is not new. There has been an attempt at every of the previous elections to have a debate.
At every election that I have participated, I have been ready to engage in a debate. But at each of those attempts, it was the failure of Mr. Museveni to accept to have a debate that led to the failure of having a debate.
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.
But even then, when I challenged Museveni to a debate, I really knew that Museveni was not up to it because he has untenable positions; the positions he has taken over the last 30 years and the consequences of those positions are indefensible.
So I really knew he would do everything to avoid the debate. In fact, I was surprised by his initial response when he appeared to have agreed to the debate. I was surprised because I thought he would avoid it right away.
But as I have now heard, it is clear that he is not going to engage in the debate for 15th, Jan, 2016. This does not come as a surprise.
Secondly, it ought to be understood that we don’t have a multiparty democracy in Uganda; we have a military dictatorship. It is that military dictatorship that we intended to examine and interrogate in the debate.
The military dictatorship has been in power for 30 years and it has espoused certain policies that have had serious consequences on the country. So we cannot have a utopian debate about what is good for the Uganda without questioning and interrogating the 30yr incumbency of Mr. Museveni regime.
In fact the contestation in Uganda, to my mind, is between the dictatorship and the organizations challenging it. So if the dictatorship in the debate is absent, then is it a primary election of those who are challenging the dictatorship? Is it a primary contest of only those who are challenging the dictatorship?
Therefore, my view is very clear: that if Mr. Museveni declines to have a debate, then we cannot have a debate alone; the debate simply collapses.
I think it is disingenuous for people to suggest that the opponents of the dictatorship debate amongst us to demonstrate that it is only Museveni that declined to engage in the debate.
Thirdly, it also ought to be understood that the anti dictatorship organisations are engaged in this political contestation from a point of severe disadvantage.
Mr. Museveni has been campaigning for the last five years using state resources while we were restricted. Even in this campaign, we have severe obstacles from the poor roads to partisan security organizations that try to interfere and obstruct our campaign.
We also have severe challenges of financial resources to fund our campaigns- we have to raise funds from our very poor supporters while Mr. Museveni has unlimited access and supply of state resources, funds and even uses a state helicopter to facilitate his campaign.
So it is us that treasure every minute of this campaign more than Mr. Museveni. If Museveni is not going to be available, it would be madness to take off a day or two to go and talk to my colleagues with whom we are fighting the dictatorship.
It is most unfortunate that Mr. Museveni has more or less at the last minute opted out the debate. It is sad.
I was actually informed by chance of the date of debate by someone from Inter Religious Council of Uganda whom I had a meeting with on Monday.
The gentleman informed me that the date was set by Mr. Museveni in July last year before he became a candidate. That in itself is very curious that a none candidate sets a date for a debate presuming that he will be a candidate; that he fixes the date of the debate which six months later, he is not able to honour.
I was informed of the date in one week and immediately agreed to the debate but the one who set the date unable to honour his commitment. I had even promised to cancel my program in Tororo to attend the debate.
So surely, this is very unfair but it is not unaccepted that Mr. Museveni would turn down the opportunity for a debate.
Today the FDC Presidential Flag-Bearer we’re on his way to rallies in Northern Uganda. We’re they didn’t get peace because of the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
The other issue for the clashes between the candidates was that Oulanyah we’re having a rally when Dr. Kizza Besigye wer’e supposed to have a campaign rally in Alalogi Sub-County. Will elaborate more on that…
While this was happening the NBS TV crew was attacked by the men of Oulanyah. Also the NTV men were busy and the one running was NTV Camera-man Galiwango. This attack on journalists following the FDC Convoy was in Agago. The reports say that some of the attacks on the journalist was not only controlled by the Mr. Oulanyah and goup of locals at Aketket primary school Alalogi sub-county, Amoro-county Gulu district. Journalsts attached are Ronald Galiwango NTV, Anthony Palapande NBS and Francis Tumwekwasize freelance journalist. All camera men the incident happened when journalists were covering the scuffle between FDC supporters Deputy speaker Jacob Olanya. It’s alleged by FDC mobilisers that Jacob Olanya had occupied the same venue FDC had organized to hold the rally. When the woman MP Guru district Betty Acan to find out why they occupied the venue. Olanya ordered his body guard to block her. Acan also claimed Olanyah’s rally was illegal because of the Electoral Commission have suspended the rallies for Members of Parliament. Because she said so, that is why the havoc and madness happened in the area.
At the same time there we’re already before the convoy was coming to Gulu, the Gulu Hospital we’re shut and closed down so they would not a visit from the opposition presidential candidate.
They did also attack the FDC-Supporters. This can’t be justified. Another day in Uganda with election violence; wish it didn’t happen especially not into the Christmas season, but for the political candidates and their henchmen that doesn’t matter.