“Justice looks for no prize and no price; it is sought for itself, and is at once the cause and meaning of all the virtues. . . . The worst kind of injustice is to look for profit from injustice.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Pardon me, but I got to ask a foolish question. Just to prove a point. It is tiring to know, that every single time the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is trying to convene their party, hold rallies or even meet up. The Police Force is on their tail. The Calvary is hidden behind the bushes, ambushes them with tear-gas, arresting key people and as scheduled programming. Arresting FDC Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat. As well, as silencing the meetings between the Central Leadership of the Party and Local Leadership.
The Democratic Principle from the 1995 Constitution:
“II. Democratic principles.
(i) The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance”
This is so common, that I got to ask, because the Republic, still has laws. More laws, than just the Public Order Management Act, even if that is more used or accessible, than the Penal Codes. Alas, the Political Parties Act of 2005 article 10 states:
“(1) A political party or organisation shall, in its internal organisation, comply with the provisions of the Constitution, in particular articles 71 and 72 of the Constitution”.
So, as the law states that, the key paragraphs of the Constitution is as follows:
“71. Multiparty political system.
A political party in the multiparty political system shall conform to the following principles—
(a) every political party shall have a national character;
(b) membership of a political party shall not be based on sex, ethnicity, religion or other sectional division;
(c) the internal organisation of a political party shall conform to the democratic principles enshrined in this Constitution;
(d) members of the national organs of a political party shall be regularly elected from citizens of Uganda in conformity with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this article and with due consideration for gender;
(e) political parties shall be required by law to account for the sources and use of their funds and assets;
(f) no person shall be compelled to join a particular party by virtue of belonging to an organisation or interest group.
72. Right to form political organisations.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the right to form political parties and any other political organisations is guaranteed.
(2) An organisation shall not operate as a political party or organisation unless it conforms to the principles laid down in this Constitution and it is registered.
(3) Parliament shall by law regulate the financing and functioning of political organisations”
Why do I mention all, this, well, the FDC cannot convene or meet. They cannot even hold a meaningful meeting in nearly any parts of the Republic without any interference or legal blockade from the state. Today, was just another day of that in Tororo. This is getting old, as these laws I am reciting is the basics. It is the mere justification of this Republic. The Constitution of 1995 and its words of wisdom. It isn’t me as foreigner explaining common sense. This is the laws of the land.
If rule of law mattered to the National Resistance Movement, if the laws had any values, the FDC would have been allowed to meet, greet and strategies. However, that is merely impossible. As every step of the way, the Police is following, the ISO and Flying Squad is on tight leach. Awaiting orders to block, depose and destroy the venue. That is just what they do. All over the Republic.
The NRM wouldn’t do this, if this was a friendly and a party they didn’t see as a threat. Because the NRM and the Police Force, apparently fears the FDC. That is why they have no issues stopping the internal works of the FDC. They are really just disembarking from the Constitution and making their own justifications with the use of the Penal Code and the POMA. At all means, to silence and oppress dissidents.
The Constitution of 1995 with the articles 71 & 72 is fine on paper, the Political Parties Act 2005 article 10 is perfection too, but what has the power to superseded these ones is the POMA. It is evident, again and again.
That is why the FDC must have violated the 71 & 72, because if they haven’t, why is it so darn hard for them to do internal party politics without the coppers knocking on their door?
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is insecure these days, since he is writing and typing like there is no tomorrow. Long time since he has written this much, could think he was running a president another term. Well, this is in defence of the Local Council Elections, which was recently held for the first time since 2001. That is showing how little it really matter, when the state cannot afford or care for the elections to be held for every term. They are hold whenever the state feels like it and the keepers of the LC1 can keep it until next scheduled election, which means over decades and close to two if they are very lucky.
So, President Museveni is lecturing, I am just taking my favourite passages, I don’t want to waste our time with bottlenecks and empty promises. Just so the pure venom of his words against his own people. While defending the so-called victory!
“This massive win by the NRM is in spite of very active and sustained media demonization of the NRM by the social media users, the enemy paper, the Monitor, some Radio and TV stations, not to forget some elements in the opposition Parties. Some of the elements have even gone to the extent of murdering Ugandans – Sheikhs, women, children, State officials like Kagezi and Kaweesi as well as ordinary villagers like the ones murdered on the New Year. All those liars, charlatans and criminals thought that by these methods, they would make the People hate the NRM or fear to associate with it. These liars, charlatans and criminals forget two things. One thing they forget is that Ugandans, especially the village people, are not fools and they are honest. They are not easy to deceive. When you go to Acholibur, just South of Kitgum, where a new long tarmac road, all the way from near Packwach, passes and you say the NRM Govt has done nothing, the villagers can easily tell who the liar is. That is the same story all over the country. Secondly, these liars, charlatans and criminals forget that there is God who sees everything” (…) “Politically and ideologically, the parasitic groups use sectarianism of religion or tribes or promote gender chauvinism (looking down upon women, neglecting the youth). The pro- national groups counter with the four principles: nationalism, Pan-Africanism, social- economic transformation and real democracy of the masses like we saw recently in the Women and LCI elections. The venom of the unfair media and social- media attacks on the NRM exposes the intentions of some of these groups” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘Local Council election victories prove correctness of NRM ideology’ 16.07.2018).
You know that this is a bitch mode of Museveni, as he is blaming and calling media houses out. It is so common that he picks on the Daily Monitor, that if it wasn’t a big Foreign Investor who owned it, it would have been closed or raided. He speaks the power of his “democracy”, but blames certain parts of the opposition parties. That is not how it works, but in the mind of Museveni it does, because they are not loyal to his every whim. Everyone cannot kiss as Mwenda or even Opondo.
That he defends these victories in the villages and the securing the LC1 shows how weak the NRM is at this point, when they couldn’t have ballots or secret voting, but on the court yards of the villages, like it was peer pressure and the use of military was apparent in and around the country. The villagers aren’t fools, but Museveni still acts a fool. He thinks they are not tired of his ways and his attitude. Museveni uses these villagers as pawns of his power and his party, while forgetting, that the Electoral Commission didn’t field opposition candidates and neither are there a level playing-field, as the elections has been postponed and the meetings of opposition have been closed outlawed by the Public Order Management Act (POMA). So, when Mr. President speaks his heart of about democracy, maybe, just maybe, think of the grounds that the FDC, DP or UPC has to jump through, while the NRM can do as they want. Even ride in the Police Cars to rallies to stop FDC from doing it in the same village. That is how the “democracy” are in Uganda at this point and time.
That he calls them liars, have he forgotten how he had to use a Personal Armoured Carrier in Alebtong in November 2015. Surely, the roads standards have magically become better in these districts since he took power yet again in 2016. He can forget, he is already advanced age and should rare his cows, not be in politics anyway.
It is time to pack his bags and leave, he forgets and cannot even keep his lies straight, while blaming other parties like always. It has grew really old on me. The art of peer pressure isn’t how elections should be, if the EC and the NRM was serious about LC1 Elections, they would have spent time on ballots, on training of officials and also shown tact to have observers from CCEDU at it. However, since of none of that was appearing, we know this was school-yard pick a captain for the football stuff, not a serious election. Even if the master Teacher spent his time writing his piece.
God Forgive him, he knows what he does. Peace.
“a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them. ‘She started drinking in high school because of peer pressure’” (Merriam-Webster – Definition: Peer Pressure)
It is special, that an election that haven’t been held in 17 years. That hasn’t been held since 2001. This election is held in such contempt of the voters. Where there are ghost districts, where the opposition and independent parties are not involved or even able to field candidates. The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) are now allowed to participate or monitor the events. You just know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Electoral Commission are not that professional considering these local elections.
Why I say that? Well, the candidates are placed on the polling stations in the villages. Where the candidates are staying one by one. Where people are lining themselves up and where the voter are going behind the candidate they prefer. However, with this sort of election, there are no secret what you vote for and who you pass as a better local councilor or a LC1.
No matter who they vote for, the whole village or neighborhood would know. If you voted NRM, Independent or the looney-bin who should never run in the first place. These elections haven’t been much about the candidates, more the lack of resources, the postponement that has lasted for close to two decades.
The Electoral Commission should have especially after the last postponement, been able to find the ghost-villages and the ghost-voters, made sure the local polling agents could verify the voters and the voter-rolls. Even as the voters even wasn’t there or they just counted heads. In some districts even talks of ferrying voters to the polling stations.
There where 60,800 villages to hold elections in and field candidates, and in that sense, the NRM would conquer most. Precisely, because they have the advantage, the misuse of government funds and the massive spending from the ruling regime. They have spent billions on these elections to make way for these Local Councilors. In over 600 villages there was no elections, in some regions the voters defied the authorities as they had voters slips for the election made in 2017 and not gotten new for 2018. There we’re people sent away, even with National ID Cards. So the EC have a long walk to justice and to secure these sorts of polls.
All of what happen today can be seen as peer pressure, village wise, because nothing was hidden. If they just had a tick or ink on their finger for voting. It would be fine, because no one could talk or discuss what you really voted for. It could be anyone, the looney-bin or the actual good councilor of the village. However, when everyone walks behind a person and says this is the man/woman I want. Than, your telling the whole village and putting yourself on display.
This was a mockery of an election, if this would be picking the school-yard captain or even the captain of the local football team; it would have been fine and dandy, but this was seriously contested elections, where the Electoral Commission decided who could stand in the village.
Therefore, the EC and the NRM should have gotten the buckets out and the ballots, made it a secret vote for the people. Especially when the Councilor will be the local representative for God knows who long. Because it is not like these elections been steady, that is because they really doesn’t matter that much. That is why the EC haven’t spent funds on slips, ballots or voting material in general for these election.
That is why the art of Peer Pressure was used. It isn’t a soft or silky way of electing people. It is schoolyard or even teenage way of doing it. That an election made by 32 year old regime done as pupil, says how far from progress there is. Well, well, the NRM haven’t really cared since they moved from the Movement System to the Multi-Party Democratic Elections. They still want to act as the kings and the One-Party rules all. Therefore, the reality on the ground becomes a lot like that.
This election was mocking the intelligence of the people, but also name of an “election”. When your standing in line behind the one you choose. You just know that it will be talk if you go to the other one next time you meet or greet. The neighbor will wonder: “Why did you go behind Abe and not vote for Ben?”.
You just know that will happen, why did you go independent and not voted NRM? Do you want this village ill?
The Art of Peer Pressure is what this was. Nothing else. Nothing different. Nothing brilliant, nothing genius. Just child-games done the public, hoping it sticks. Peace.
Why? Simple reason, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their prepared victory of most councils. They are not even given the opposition the chance to field candidates in every village. Not strange as the ruling regime is banning political rallies and without connection to the Election Road Maps, the Police will track them down and arrest them. The level playing-field is non existing. Therefore, I am not looking forward to the 10th July 2018.
It is the first time since 2001, that the Local Councilor Elections are appearing, but it is mere facade of local elections. Where the big-men passing through villages in SUVs and the state will later deliver bicycles. Also, where the NRM are doling out 900 million shillings to the candidates, as they are preparing to rig and pay the villagers for their votes. Some reports that the NRM are spending 11.8 Billion Shillings on this election. While the number of 900m has come up, some more reasonable number is the 100k shillings for each flag-bearer. That is more,mere shillings for the opportunity to have the local cronies on their side. So that there will be no shock, that the NRM are the winner and no one else can topple them. That is because no else has the opportunity or the time to field candidates.
Just to top this off, just as the madness is like this, there are 3,800 villages without elections for some reason. Maybe the Electoral Commission couldn’t calculate them. Maybe the NRM couldn’t handpick the candidates there. Who knows why, but that says something about the importance of this election. When your nearly losing 4,000 villages. You know it is kind of pointless exercise.
There are reasons for why it isn’t hold for 17 years, it has always been economy, even as the NRM has gone broke for any Presidential and Parliamentary Elections since the start of the millennium.
If this was real sincere from the regime, they would have opened it more up and not just suddenly said: “there are elections”. It is just last week: “10th July 2018” become a public holiday, so that people can go to vote and not work. However, if they are even interested as there are so many uncontested constituencies.
These Local Councilor Elections are already managed, people doesn’t really need to care. Why should they? Not like the NRM really wanted this to happen or have been concerned about this. This is really not important at this stage, when it has taken 17 years to happen. Not like the Movement System matters or even the modernization of that.
That is why I haven’t addressed this before, they are pointless and the NRM has proven that themselves. It is a play for facade, a mere mirage in the desert. There are nothing else, the NRM knows that, the people knows that.
When 10th July hits the clock, sleep longer, drink a cup of tea and take it easy. No need to go to vote. There are no need, the NRM are winning anyway. Stay home, even just visit friends and relatives.
This is pointless exercise. Take it easy and forget about it. When the residents around ask you, why your not going to the polling station, just answer: “the NRM doesn’t really care about this, why should I? Why should you? The NRM are winning anyway. Let’s take another cup of tea and enjoy the day”.
“Local governments are supposed to be financed with 30 per cent of the national budget but this has never been possible; sometimes it is as low as 15 per cent. This continues to stifle service delivery,” said Mr Cuthbert Felix Esoku, the Mbarara District chief administrative officer” (Mukombozi, Rajab – ‘Government lacks political will to improve district funding, say local leaders’ 09.11.2017, Daily Monitor).
Sometimes I wonder, if the government understand what it does, or if the sins of the 9th Parliament is hitting the 10th Parliament hard. Also, that the President is lax on caring, because he wants his cronies well off, just like former Prime Ministers and Vice-Presidents are getting 20 million Shillings Yearly as a Pensions, without the perks they are getting too. Therefore, the silence from them, as they are highly paid without doing anything for the NRM. Their ills and the growing Local Government is costing. Not only in Parliament, but in the districts itself. Today, the issues of Parliament is hurting, but none is addressing the local issues. Which is the reason for the lack of money and needed supplementary funds for the Members of Parliament (MP). Take a look!
“Parliament is seeking Shs 3.3 billion for the emoluments of twelve more legislators starting July 1, 2018. According to the parliamentary service commission, the number of MPs will increase from 453 to 465 at the start of the of 2018/2019 financial year when new districts and municipalities come into effect” (URN – ‘ Parliament seeks Shs 3bn for 12 new legislators’ 22.04.2018, The Observer).
I am amazed about the amounts of districts and the rise of cost. This not only the share Members of Parliament, the lack of space for their seats and the possible rebuilding of the Chambers. Because the amounts of MPs wasn’t built for this amount of people at the same time. Therefore, the Parliament needs funds and budgets to fit. That says the foolishness of the new districts in that regard alone.
We know, by recent news that the state cannot afford to hire civil servants to Local Government that as is, and that is without the new enclaves or districts created by the state. That is not just the salary of the MPs whose recently elected, while the Electoral Commission are stretched in getting the by-elections and the MPs their seats. That is just beginning, as the growing debt and the interest are growing. While the Parliament is lacking space and the infrastructure and the local hires are not there.
That the state has under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gone from 33 districts in 1986 to about 136/7 after 1st July 2019. Which was ushered in July 2015, a year before the General Election 2016 and fitted the needs of the National Resistance Movement and keep up with pledges made by the President. So every single town is a District and none is inter-connected it seems. Every hill and top is Sub-County. Just the way NRM Regime like it.
In 2017, the Parliament gave a tender about 260 Billion Shillings to ROKO to build a 500 seat size of chambers there. So the payments and monies are there, when needed, as the state can configure and find money for this. But they are usually lacking funds for the civil servants and for the ones serving in public offices in low-level positions. Even not hiring the needed ones in the districts, schools and so on, as there are thousands of jobs that the Ministry of Public Service is not allowed to hire by direction of Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary of Treasury said there was no funds for that.
But now, suddenly, just like there is funds to athletes, there are funds for new MPs. This is happening as the new possible Social Media tax and also the Tax on Mobile Money. So not like they don’t have projects to use it on. It is all of them districts that needs mansions for District Police Commanders and Residential District Commanders, who all need a palace to live in. Also the need for a local government building and facilities, they cannot run the district from a shack. If that means all citizens has to bleed, that is okay, they deserve this cronyism.
This is the pile of bills made by the amounts of districts, the running costs isn’t just the 3 billions supplementary for the MPs there, it is the new civil servants, buildings and develop these districts. Unless, they want to be ghosts on the paper like schools, teachers, students, refugees, roads and development projects in general.
So, if you don’t see the issues I see, then your either in on it or your just thinking. Its a lost cause, because the President is ushering it in and sanctioning it. This to feed off his cronies and making sure they get jobs locally. Instead of building good districts, he has just chopped them in two or made new ones. So the development and local changes can be made right before elections. That to secure his own candidates for the Parliament too. So for the President its a win-win.
Nevertheless, this has clearly stretched the budgets, the need for public officers and civil servants, as well as more appointed local leaderships. All of these needs salaries and pensions, which means the grows and becomes more expensive with the growth of expenses like these. This is happening at a rate and time, as the growing debt and interest rates are rising. Therefore, the negative affects of it all needs to be put in perspective. However, that is not interesting to the NRM as they cannot question their king, without insulting his intelligence or his will of staying there. That is shown too…
Well, this was a bleak and sad story, but needed this perspective, since the cost of 136/137 districts should be discussed, not only the cost of MPs and the cost of building a new chamber at the Parliament. Peace.