EALA Elections: NRM wins 8 out of 9 [and DP get the final seat]

UPDATE: The elected EALA representatives and the votes attained.

Akol Rose Okullu 422

Namara Denis 415

Kakooza James 405

Odongo George Stephen 403

Paul Mwasa 401

Kadogo Babirye Veronica 383

Mugenyi Mary 367

Amongin Jacquiline 338

Siranda Gerald 233” (NilePost, 29.09.2022).

My prediction got hit with one seat in the East African Legislation Assembly (EALA) Members of Parliament (MP). The one I thought was a go was the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Fred Ebil. He didn’t get his seat and the UPC lost their seat in the EALA this period. Now, there is only National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Democratic Party (DP) who has EALA MPs in the 5th Assembly.

Today, the NRM got their 6 candidates, which was anticipated. They got in addition two more “independent” candidates. So, in the numbers they got 8 out of 9. Jacqueline Amongin is a member of the NRM and a Pan African Parliament (PAP) Member too. So, she has represented Uganda on a NRM ticket already. Now she ran as an “independent” but everyone should know that she is associated and a member of the NRM.

The second “independent” Babirye Veronica Kadogo was the Woman Representative in the 10th Parliament for the NRM in Buyende District. She lost her re-election bid in the General Election in 2021. She ran as an “independent” but certainly is connected to the NRM as well. To think otherwise is naive at this point.

That’s why it’s only Gerald Siranda who is from another party, the DP. The DP who had this in their agreement with the NRM. The DP-NRM Agreement had this stipulation and Siranda takes over the seat after two terms for Mbidde. Therefore, the DP gets a seat and an EALA MP.

While we saw a boycott from the National Unity Platform (NUP). The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had a candidate that was bound to loose. Justice Forum (JEEMA) also lost, which was also scheduled to happen, as it is associated with the NUP. However, the shocker was that UPC lost their seat and didn’t get Ebil elected. Especially, since the NRM was supposed to back the UPC with this seat, but that was hallow.

The opposition didn’t really loose much. They had nothing to get to begin with. The NRM was bound for a pyrrhic victory, but today was just a painful exercise. The Speaker decided to have an early poll before the deliberations in the plenary session. This is creating the possibility for “pre-ticked ballots” and open rigging. Which is just foolish, because the NRM got the majority in the 11th Parliament and this would be a walkover.

The ones that should feel betrayed is the UPC. They are surely not valued and isn’t getting real support. That is the party which has made agreements with the NRM. Now, their dialogue and such isn’t considered. That is saying something. We can see that Mao and DP got their way. However, the UPC was kicked out by NRM leaning “independent’s”. Peace.

Opinion: The IPOD is a lost cause

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinion: The EALA MPs race is already finished

The ones expecting any sort of shocks or sudden changes in the East African Legislative Assembly Members of Parliament (MP) race will be in a dire loss. The EALA MP race which is already scheduled will most likely be a settled affair already.

It is the MPs that elects them and the majority will go to the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The NRM has already 6 candidates or Flag-Bearers and you should expect all of them to be settled in. The Democratic Party (DP) will get one MP as that was signed off in the DP-NRM agreement, which was signed of earlier in the year. That means 6 of the 9 slots is already taken. Further, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) should also get a candidate in for their loyalty and working relationship with NRM. That means 8 of the 9 MPs are already elected without much say. The last will be to a NRM leaning Independent and a “vetted” one like that. This is what you should expect and anything else would be weird at this point.

The NRM will have the majority and that is reflected in the NRM Caucus with their 6 Candidates. This is an easy pick and securing plum-jobs to former MPs and Ministers who has lost out. That’s why the EALA is a nice place for them to be put. When there is no parastatal or government entities to get appointed into. Therefore, the EALA is a well fitting place to do so.

The others are giving favourable and friendly parties of the Parliament a “shout-out” or “props” for their loyalty. They are getting a EALA MP slot and that’s why its easy to see the 6+2 or 8, which is al but missing 1 of the EALA MPs.

That Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is fielding a flag-bearer is futile. The same can be said about whoever the National Unity Platform (NUP) would pick or have in this role. The Justice Forum (JEEMA) has also a flag-bearer, but that person will not go nowhere either. As the JEEMA has been an ally of the People Power and the NUP. So, with that in mind these parties candidates will go nowhere. There is no way that the majority of the Parliament will give them way. They are really wasting their time and only playing into the procedural games of the state. Yes, they have a right to have a flag-bearer or a EALA MP candidate, but it’s totally pointless. The opposition could have the best man or woman. They could have the incarnated saviour of the planet and all souls. That person still wouldn’t have a chance, because the NRM has decided and there is no turning back.

The FDC, NUP and JEEMA has no chance here. They should just give up. The DP and UPC will get the other spots. There is little chances for the independent candidates in this race, if any. Yes there is a talk of 15 MP candidates, but as long as you don’t have suction or pre-arranged agreements. These shouldn’t expect much. They are fillers on a paper or if even that…

The ones believing this will be free and fair elections. I hate to say it’s partly sealed already. The only last seat is what is unknown. While that one will most likely go to a NRM leaning Independent and someone in favour of the NRM without being on it’s ticket. That meaning all of the 9 of 9 EALA MPs.

The ones thinking the FDC, NUP or JEEMA has a shot at this… well, I cannot see it happening. It isn’t like the NRM or the ones in power has allowed that before. No, they rather see their own there and no one else. The only reason why UPC and DP has a chance, is because of their working arrangements with the NRM. That’s why they are getting favour and office. Not because of their representation or the will of the people. No, it’s because of ceremonial reasons between the NRM and their allies. There is nothing else too this. Peace.

Opinion: Mao is officially Museveni’s minion

The agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and National Resistance Movement (NRM) yesterday has in some regards made DP Party President Norbert Mao the underling of the Head of State and the Chairman of NRM Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni. Mao might not like that, because he might find the solution and the compromise reasonable. However, his quest and his journey is now ending in a culprit of the state.

Mao cannot say his not bound by it. The DP will be a significant partner of the ruling regime. Just like the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has been since they signed a secret agreement in 2016. Both parties are no silent partners and trading off their integrity and possible options to get some favourable terms or perks from the NRM. That’s really it.

We know that Mao will act like he has won a price or become a bigshot. That’s only in his mind. He maybe gets a renewed title and a office. Heck, the party gets to continue to have Mbidde in the EALA. However, the party isn’t getting anymore action or traction for that matter. No, its just another hallow shell of its former self.

Chairman Mao can act supreme and use big words on NBS Frontline, but his game is rigged. There is no way he can reassure or ensure longevity now. The DP has already looked lack-lustre and the ones that fled did so wisely. The did leave the DP before it got totally compromised. The DP will now be a division of the NRM. They have signed off and ensured that with the agreement.

Mao will ensure that he is favoured and get pleasant gifts from the State House. The man who is now a softspoken ally of the President. There is no way he will defy or even stand up to him. No, he will kiss the ring and be the loyal servant that Yoweri always wished to have. He got that from Jimmy and now Norbert follows.

The man who has been the DP President for ages, who hasn’t been able to show political finesse for a while. A man who has burned all the bridges politically in the opposition. He had only one way left and that was to beg for mercy. Which he apparently did, but by doing so… his just another crony and another figurine in the cabinet of sold-out politicians to Museveni.

Museveni got a bargain. It is not a coalition agreement, but a cooperation agreement. Which means that the DP is compromised, but not finalized. His pushing the blood out and letting it blead out in public. There is no way the DP can survive the onslaught in a long run. The party would lose its edge if it had any left…

Norbert Mao has now ensured this, and he will be remembered for it. He will not be favoured or be remembered kindly for doing so. The government he traded the party with is doing what it can to silence and go after its critics. That’s why you know this deal is shady and will be sign of oblivion for his party.

The DP will not get any stronger or competitive. It will instead be more stagnate and lack charisma on the way forward. Because it cannot be a viable party when they are involved in the day-to-day politics of the NRM. That’s because the deal is signing of vital parts of the game, and they have to be loyal to the same cause.

Mao isn’t brave… and he has become Museveni’s fool now. Oh gee, the mighty have fallen… Peace.

Opinion: DP follows UPC’s journey into the hands of Museveni

Today was the day that the Democratic Party (DP) sealed its fate. It is following Uganda People’s Congress who signed a similar agreement in 2016. Both of the oldest parties of the Republic now has signed agreements with the President and his party the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The DP and UPC will now be gallant side-dishes of the political spectrum. They are neither in government or coalition partners, but they are in cooperation with the ruling regime.

President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has gotten these two parties for cheap. He don’t even need to dance or play the violin. Just throwing some EALA MPs slots and possibly seats in Parliament for the high ranking officials. Heck, he might appoint someone from the parties to an honourable parastatal and call it a night.

Museveni now has two silent partners in Jimmy Akena and Norbert Mao. They have both diluted their parties for a treat or a favourable office of sorts. Who knows how beneficial it really is. The UPC isn’t trying to run for the Presidency any longer. The DP might follow suit, because why bother right? They are already entangled and they get coins for doing so. This is easy money and the parties don’t even have to work for it. They are just served by the President and his getting no challenge from them.

The DP is now trading off. The DP can now just rebrand itself or becoming silent on issues. The UPC isn’t that vocal. They rarely have pressers or releases statements. The UPC doesn’t challenge in the plenty of races and back-downs easily for the NRM. Now we can expect the same from the DP.

Museveni should be happy he gotten cheap trade-offs and it doesn’t really cost him anything. These parties will lack trust within the electorate and neither strengthen their leadership either. Mao will soon look like and sound like Akena. Because, he cannot be vocal or challenge someone he has partnered up with.

That’s why we know Museveni was happy to announce the agreement today. He knew he got the best deal and the DP is the losers. The DP is the “Good DP” now, because the NUP took all the “Bad DP” away from him. The party has shifted this and it’s obvious. Mao has given up and rather be another stooge.

Both parties are now eating of the hands of Museveni. This is why they will be toothless and be silent partners. It is really tragic… and the founders of these parties would have vomited or turned in their graves. Because they would never have believed that their predecessors could sell their parties this cheaply. There is nothing long-term to gain and neither is there anyone who will trust them now.

The NRM-UPC deal has tarnished the party since 2016. No matter what the UPC leadership and others says. They cannot say they have become a vocal voice of reason or a party to seek. If so, why are there no face or MP, which the people are listening to from the party? Secondly, the DP will become the same sort of tragic party in Parliament. Not that it’s showed finesse or ability to sell it’s vision of late. Nevertheless, the NRM-DP will be a slow death of the party.

If you thought the DP Block or the SPV was a failure of an enterprise… well, the recent development will be like a massive downturn or a self-made recession. The DP will go into a depression… while the leadership will have their SUVs and bank-accounts filled to the brim. However, their wealth will not salvage their parties. No, they are being traded on the altar of being in the mercy of Museveni. That is just asking for a brief or prolonged death. Museveni will not see any value of them for long. Sooner or later, when the steam and the additional costs are seen as unsustainable.

The only other way they believe they have the same sort of maverick moves like Gen. Moses Ali who always linger around the President. In the same way his never leaving his sights. Mao and Akena better hope that they are treated like the old general. Because, if they are not… than they have traded their gold and heirloom for shiny things that only glimmer, but has no initial value. Peace.

Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC): Tribute to the Rt. Hon. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah (30.03.2022)

National Unity Platform (NUP): Statement on Propaganda about IPOD Funding (18.02.2022)

Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC): Update on EALA Nominations (09.02.2022)

Opinion: Have the NRM amended article 29 of the 1995 Constitution? [Since Besigye is warned about demonstrating again!]

1995 Constitution states in Article 29 (1):

(1) Every person shall have the right to—

d) freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition; and

(e) freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political and other civic organisations” (Constitution, 1995).

You could think we are retuning back in time, but however… we are in 2022 and not in 2015 or 2016. Neither are we in the 2010 or 2011. The Public Order Management Act (POMA) is still enforced in combination with the Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) in consideration with the global coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) is directly warning Besigye in end of January 2022… is like a deja vu.

As reported earlier today:

Addressing journalists on Monday, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said security has got intelligence information indicating that in order to pull off the planned protests, Dr.Besigye is planning to reawaken the Power 10, a structure formed towards the 2016 polls as FDC’s election mobilisation task force. “We have intelligence information that Dr. Besigye and other opposition activists intend to reactivate Power 10 to cause acts of disobedience and mayhem in the city. They have so far recruited five persons per village and cell but we know Dr. Besigye as a professional agitator for violence and warn him that the Public Order Management Act is still in place and they have to ask for permission from police before carrying out their activities,” Enanga said” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Dont be tempted to organise protests- Police warn Besigye’ 31.01.2022, Nile Post).

We know that this time around that Dr. Kizza Besigye has his own pressure group and coalition, which is the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) and the Red Card Movement. It is clear that the state still fears for his reach and popularity. As they are warning him to not demonstrate or riot. Which is blocking the rights of any citizen and it’s stipulated in the 1995 Constitution in Article 29.

It is not new that the Anti-Besigye Act or the POMA act has been made to stifle and stop demonstrations, after the near successful Walk to Work demonstrations in 2011. The POMA is made in such a fashion, that anyone has to apply and fill certain criteria to be able to demonstrate or protest. Therefore, we know if Besigye or any allies applies to do so. It will be denied or not get allowed to do so, in regard to public safety. While the state can gather and show-up everywhere with the convoys, meetings and conferences for that matter.

The PFT and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) will not be able to show a public disdain. That is deliberate by the state and we know it. This have been done for years and is nothing new. However, the state and the NRM would be more sincere, if they just amended the Article 29 and took away the right to demonstrate. As it is near to impossible… and the ones who wishes to do so cannot really do it.

Besigye is only one who would get this warning. This could be equally be given to Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) or the People Power Movement. As they would get under the same scrutiny or pressure from the state to cease these sorts of activities. Since, the state wouldn’t allow that to happen. Just like they haven’t allowed concerts or plenty of gatherings by the NUP in the recent years.

Therefore, Besigye is just having … the same problems as before… the FDC and PFT should anticipate this and it’s nothing new. The UPF and the NRM is just continuing their oppression and lack of tolerance towards dissidents. Peace.

Opinion: Todwong’s fool’s errand

The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) is still engaging the National Unity Platform (NUP) so that it joins them. In a document released by the IPOD council chairperson who doubles as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general, Richard Todwong, he said as leaders of different political parties, they are still engaging NUP as to convince them to join IPOD. “We want them to work together towards finding solutions to the governance and political challenges we may experience as a country,” he said” (Simon Peter Tumwine – ‘We are still engaging NUP to join IPOD, says Todwong’ 04.01.2022, New Vision).

The National Resistance Movement Secretary General Richard Todwong and IPOD council chairman has work ahead of him. In the same article the National Unity Platform Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya says at this point it’s not purposeful to join the IPOD. Where he stated the IPOD has to change and listen to the stipulations the NUP gave, which we know the NRM won’t do.

That is why we know the document and IPOD mission to get the NUP in the fold is a suicide mission. Unless, they are open for a revolution and total changes, as we know the IPOD haven’t dropped anything of sense in ages. The last big conferences or heads of parties has been a big presser and an envelope session.

So, I understand why NUP doesn’t see the relevance to be sitting around with Party Presidents and await for His Excellency to lecture everyone before dipping back to one of the State House’s or ranches. The NRM SG could be honest about it, but don’t expect it.

The IPOD didn’t help the parties in the manner of Public Order Management Act (POMA) and the other means of the state to oppress the opposition. This forum is a wasted forum and an organization who only buys the President time and make him see who he can compromise. The IPOD isn’t all that and I am glad that the NUP see this.

The NUP is just showing it has no intentional works in the future. They just wants everyone on the platform and at the venues when they are gathering. It looks better when all the major parties are at the event and conferences. Just like it looked bad the times Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) boycotted it. Clearly, that wasn’t enough and it wasn’t like that changed things either.

The NRM SG can make it believe that the IPOD has a mission and wants to achieve things. However, that is far and beyond at this point. The ones funding this should see it for themselves. Nevertheless, they are just the credit-card and the bank willing to fund this foolish enterprise, which leads to a road leading to nowhere. There is no end in sight and neither any objectives. It is just existing and become a pathetic organization.

Todwong can act like IPOD is relevant and has a place, but that doesn’t make it true. I cannot remember any achievements or any sort of “governance” changes coming out of IPOD. That is just the mere fact. The NRM Caucus and it’s documents has more value than any of these gatherings… and that says a lot. Even forgotten letters from the President has a significant possibility to change things. But… IPOD… who …. are …. we …. kidding?

Right?

Todwong stop this charade and get out of here. This is nonsense and you know it. Peace.

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