Burundi: Portant Nomination du Porte-Parole et du Porte-Parole Adjoint du President de la Repulique (06.03.2017)

Opinion: Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress turns more and more into NRM-Lite!

Akena M7

“Power is a curious thing. Who lives, Who dies. Power resides where men believe it resides. It is a trick, A shadow on the wall.”  ― Lord Varys (Game of Thrones).

Adjective: Denoting a low-fat or low-sugar version of a manufactured food or drink product” (…) “Origin: 1950s: a commercial respelling of light, light” (Oxford Dictionary – Lite).

This here isn’t something based on evidence, but more a genuine feeling I have is not only one I share, but many others. There is something at stake and someone who has agreed the negotiations so these so-called opposition parties isn’t really so. That is why the Uganda People Congress has some MPs in the Cabinet and the same with Democratic Party. The same can be said that both of these parties, still have slots or parts of the delegations to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha.

What we do know is that James Akena, the newly concurred leader of UPC could easily do some trade-off with NRM in 2015. That isn’t just mere speculation as his party did decent and there haven’t been any controversy or lashing out from NRM MPs towards the UPC in ages. Secondly, the DP has become the good DPs and the ones that even are parts of NRM Celebrations. There is something up with these two parties, just like Uganda Federal Alliance and Beti Kamya all of a sudden is a bigger support of the NRM government than the former NRM historical’s and the NRM hardliners.

The President and his NRM CEC must see their State House visits as a blessed and ease ways of figuring out how to undress the opposition and how to deal with them. All needs a meal-ticket, the question is who will give in to the regime and at what cost. Therefore, the arrangement and the deals behind the close doors show the conning way of the illegitimate regime who uses all sorts of methods to undermine the opposition. The FDC has clearly given in too, in my book, with even becoming the shadow-government in Parliament. Something the FDC NEC shouldn’t have considered and agreed upon, because when NRM together with the President agreed to get a UPC minister and DP minister, it would be hard to have shadow-government with members from these parties. That would be rare and weird to explain.

DP Mao

We can even wonder if Norbert Mao even cared of losing his slot as Member of Parliament in the 10th Parliament, as the DP was behind Amama Mbabazi Presidential Candidate through the The Democratic Alliance (TDA). Why I say that now? Since he is snickering and defending the NRM on NBSFrontline, attacking Lord Mayor Lukwago and the FDC when he can, just as we would expect Akena, since he has been bought sometime during the 2015. The price and the value of the UPC is for him and his closest allies to know.

DP’s Mao on the other hand is worrying, that Fred Mukasa Mbidde went so easily and elected into the EALA, also how little care the DP has given to the DP Cabinet Member Florence Nakiwala. Who could have thought the party would trade these folks that easily? That without any worry and without care has let it go, that they have set the standard of being a mediocre party who has no courage and no fighting spirit.

Maybe, Mao has gotten tired of fighting as the campaign he himself has a Presidential Candidate was sour, it wasn’t a joyful journey as the promises and the ride against the police force wasn’t ideal. Therefore, the battle even for his own MPs place got lost and as a leader who isn’t in Parliament, while the ones in Parliament are getting cosy with the NRM. That might be why Mao is complied with the forged friendships and trading in Parliament, to make sure they can gain the most. Still, the value and integrity of DP is dwindling, with every forged agreement with NRM makes them more and more alike, less different.

The NRM regime and NRM caucus in Parliament is adding DP and UPC, they are just turning into branches of the regime instead of being rooted on their own and on their own framework. It is just like Mao and Akena, just shift-bosses instead of being their own factory leaders. They work less for their own product and delivery, more and more to please the Executive through agreements and negotiations.

That is why the NRM has swallowed their paths and the lacking spine of DP and UPC has given way for this. Therefore, the current affairs and state makes them like a light version of the NRM. For this reason DP = NRM Lite and UPC = NRM Lite. Both parties are old and have a long history; they were established long before NRM, still the abolishment from Obote, made the other obsolete. So Museveni’s trick of being in the shadows of these parties before and after the parties, this is essentially killing of the multi-party system. That the NRM are tarnishing the DP and UPC to becoming NRM knocks-offs.

NRM UPC Arua 16.11.15

All of this is mere speculation, but still, there aren’t any official agreements in public between UPC and DP towards to the NRM, but their friendliness and co-operations are evident of certain negotiated deals. You will not hear Akena or the UPC complain about the NRM, just like Mao suddenly defends on national TV their position towards NRM and attacks Lukwago. There is just some uncertainty of how and what they have done behind closed doors. Beyond a shadow of a doubt some worrying signs that can and should be questioned, especially not accept as the acceptance of these parties to the NRM gives way to establish deep concerns of the value of opposition at all in Uganda. Since the DP and UPC have been thresholds for such, now it is FDC, even with a FDC NEC who doesn’t concern their legitimising the Parliament.

We all should ask and question the recent efforts from DP and UPC as legitimate opposition, even as parties without connections or how possibly they have accepted agreements with Movement. This surpass the judgement and the recognition of their existence, it is more the mere fact of lacking attention to transparency and accountability, as they are giving way to a regime who certainly does not care about procedures or acts or rule of law. The parties are therefore giving the Movement acceptance and are silently supporting their rule with these sorts of acts. Certainly, something the founders of these parties would turn in their graves and wanted to resurrect to adjust the malfunctions of these parties. Peace.

UNSC Report of February 2017 on the Burundi Crisis: Staggering human rights violations has unfolded since 2015!

nkurunziza-press-conference-30-12-2016

The Burundian crisis as described by the United Nations and a report delivered to the United Security Council on the 23rd February 2017. This is the most recent compiled report on the situation of safety, human rights and peaceful work in the East African republic. Where the President Pierre Nkurunziza, decided to run for a third term, even as the constitution after the Arusha Peace Agreement, was set to be possible to have two terms.

So we are in March 2017, as the crisis has been going on since 2015. The Burundian government have continued to assassinated, detained and intimidated their population, as much they have also created a political climate where the Nkurunziza regime is hostile to foreign interference, as well as the toil of the crisis, also creates a vacuum in economic and fiscal funds for the state.

All of this is reports made to the United Nations and found by the UN Human Rights Observation Group that been stationed in Bujumbura and had to request and notify the government of their arrival. The Government are keeping their hands more tight and controlling as they want to supervise even the experts from the UN. Therefore the report has been criticised by Burundian government as expected. Because who would like to have these sorts of allegations and reports about their government. When you put the Burundian government acts together you can see a systematic oppression of the citizens of the republic. That is not a look any government want to be put in the public space, but this sort of aggressive police state and use of political youth wing to oppress the people. Just take a look!

Political Crisis:

“Nearly two years have passed since the beginning of the political crisis in Burundi, which was sparked by the decision of the ruling party, Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie — Forces pour la défense de la démocratie (CNDDFDD), to support President Pierre Nkurunziza ’s candidacy for a third term. Since then, the political impasse has only deepened. Political space has been narrowed further through repression. In lieu of meaningful dialogue, the exchange of political views, primarily in the form of accusations and counter -accusations, is taking place across social media and in public communiqués. I n a new development, President Nkurunziza suggested in a statement at the end of 2016 that he might seek a fourth term in office “if the Burundian people decide to change the Constitution according to their wishes” (UNSC, P: 1, 2017).

Violations of the State:

“While the Government insists that the situation in the country has normalized, political opposition and civil society leaders continue to appeal for urgent international action to avert the risk of further deterioration, widespread violence and mass atrocities. Despite a decline in overt violence and fewer incidences of armed confrontation, reports of human rights violations and abuses continue, including killings, enforced disappearances, gender -based violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and ill -treatment, along with the discovery of unidentified bodies. The allegations of more than 200 cases of enforce d disappearance since October 2016 are of particular concern. From April 2015 to 31 December 2016, OHCHR documented 593 violations of the right to life, and hundreds of people continue to be arrested every month” (…) “Many Burundians live in fear as a result of widespread repression and increasing intimidation by the Imbonerakure, the ruling party’s youth wing. There are also unconfirmed reports of attacks and human rights abuses committed against Government supporters and security forces” (UNSC, P: 2, 2017).

Establish a new Constitution in violation of the Arusha Peace Agreement:

“On 16 November 2016, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of a constitutional review commission mandated to study amendments to the Constitution. The commission is reportedly tasked with analysing articles of the Constitution to be amended for Government consideration and, with the latter’s agreement, proposing an amended draft Constitution. It further stated that the Council’s decision had been informed by: (a) recommendations on constitutional amendments contained in reports of the National Independent Electoral Commission, the National Independent Human Rights Commission and CNDI; (b) the resolution adopted at the 11 October meeting of political parties and leaders; and (c) the need to harmonize certain articles with EAC law. Opposition political parties and civil society criticized the Council’s decision, warning that any deliberate violation of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement would only worsen the current political crisis” (UNSC, P: 3, 2017).

Security Situation:

“The security situation remains fragile. While incidents of overt violence and clashes between armed groups and Government security and defence forces had ebbed for some time, daily allegations of arbitrary arrest, ill -treatment, torture and enforced disappearance, along with the discovery of bodies, continue to be reported” (…) “The Imbonerakure reportedly also routinely participate in joint operations with the police and intelligence services and are reported to have been implicated in numerous cases of arbitrary arres t and disappearance, ill-treatment, killings and some cases of sexual violence” (UNSC, P: 5, 2017).

Burundian and Rwandan Relations:

“Relations between Burundi and Rwanda remain tense. Throughout the reporting period, isolated border incidents, as well as trade and movement restrictions, were witnessed. On 29 July, the Council of Ministers decided to stop the export of all food products to neighbouring countries, repo rtedly in response to insufficient domestic production. On 23 August, the East African Legislative Assembly decided to investigate issues affecting trade and free movement of citizens between Burundi and Rwanda. Burundian security forces frequently arrested individuals travelling to and from Rwanda, as well as the United Republic of Tanzania” (UNSC, P: 6, 2017).

Political Rhetoric:

“Since the beginning of the crisis, political figures have used inflammatory and hate-filled language in speeches, on social media, in communiqués and in the press, calling on the population to “protect” the country against so-called traitors and plotters allegedly trying to destabilize Burundi. Rhetoric has included incitement to violence, as well as attacks on the opposition and against civil society, while neighbouring countries have been accused of involvement in attempted assassinations” (UNSC, P: 9, 2017).

Effects of the Crisis:

“There has been a four-fold increase in the number of people who are food insecure — from 730,000 to 3 million — owing to the rising prices of basic food items, the seasonal rain deficit during the 2016 agricultural season, chronic poverty and poor harvests. According to the World Health Organization, some 8.2 million Burundians (73 per cent of the total population) were affected by malaria in 2016; 3,826 died. The number of internally displaced persons is estimated at 170,000, while the number of spontaneous returnees identified so far in some targeted provinces is approximately 37,000. The monthly rate of arrival of refugees in Neighbouring countries from August to October 2016 doubled from previous months, and the increasing trend was confirmed in the first weeks of 2017. As of early February 2017, the number of Burundians who had fled the country since April 2015 stood at 387,000” (UNSC, P: 10, 2017).

Human Rights Observers:

“As of February 2017, only 45 African Union human rights observers, 32 of whom are funded through catalytic funding provided by the Peacebuilding Fund, have been deployed to Burundi. Twenty-three African Union military experts have been deployed; however, owing to a scheduled rotation, there were only 10 African Union military experts in the country at the time of reporting. Despite months of negotiations, the Government has yet to sign a memorandum of understanding guiding the African Union deployment in Burundi” (UNSC, P: 12, 2017). “The Office of the Special Adviser and OHCHR are not alone in experiencing Government restrictions. Some members of the United Nations country team have been affected by the Government’s decision to require 10 days’ notification ahead of any in-country travel. There have been delays in the processing of visas, and some local staff have faced intimidation, including instances of arbitrary arrest” (UNSC, P: 13, 2017).

If you read this you couldn’t be shocked as the reports of this actions has been in media, but when you collect them, you can see the evidence of the systematic oppression of the people. This is the reason for the refugees and the hard-hitting report that we’re delivered this February. People should know what is happening in Burundi and not let it pass-by all the other scandals and the atrocities happening in the world today. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘Report of the Secretary-General on Burundi’ (23.02.2017)

Opinion: Mao disappoints with grandeur…

DP Mao

Well, 20-17 just starts and with a bang, the former honourable Norbert Mao of the Democratic Party doesn’t care anymore about nepotism and autocratic regime, which if President Museveni gives away executive power to his wife Janet or Maj. Gen. Muhoozi that it doesn’t matter!

The Democratic Party President Norbert Mao says Ugandans are so desperate for change that they no longer care to whom President Museveni hands over power peacefully. According to Mr Mao, just like many Ugandans especially those born after Museveni captured power in 1986; he does not care whether the president hands over peacefully to his son Muhoozi Keinerugaba or wife Janet Kataha Museveni” (Daily Monitor, 2017).

Well, it is understatement that I am confused about the peaceful transition it seems to be only that the business stays in the family. If Mao thinks that the Mafia, the elitism and the gravy eating regime going to drastically change with the wife or son of Museveni, he is sadly wrong. That is by the mere fact of the history in other countries where family members take-over as in Equatorial Guinea, Cuba, Syria and North Korea isn’t actually splendid evidence of totalitarian regimes handing over or coup d’état from family members to become the Executives.

That Norbert Mao wants to give way for another unelected family member to the throne is a mere demonstration of the meagre effort of opposition to the Movement. That he accepts the draconian and all eating Museveni and let his family go forward before the Republic. It’s an insult to all Ugandans. That only the Clan of Museveni is fit to rule the Republic. There we’re a Republic before Museveni and be one after his time. Still, now it seems that Mao is so tired and has so little faith in the Ugandan people, that he gives way to the Museveni clan.

He should care as he should be voice for the ones really wanting change and a peaceful change from the government and regime that only cares about Museveni. So Mao shouldn’t lose faith. Mao should fight with fellow comrades and want a substantial change for the Republic, that doesn’t owe anything to the Museveni clan. Peace.

Reference:

Daily Monitor – ‘I don’t care whether Museveni hands over to son or wife – Mao’ (01.01.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-hands-son-wife-Mao/688334-3503756-format-xhtml-13ewxl2/index.html

Opinion: Post-Kiggundu – The brutal truth about the new Electoral Commission in Uganda

Uganda EC Wall

No matter who get appointed or picked as long as the His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is in charge and the Commander in Chief. So as long as he is there, his decrees and orders will matter. So the results and the final say are in the hands of the President. He will not care what the locals of Karamoja votes or the ones in Mbarara, what matters is what is needed for the Movement and in the end him!

The Electoral Commission under the Dr. Badru Kiggundu has been a useful tool for the regime. He has used all kind of ways to get the results that we’re needed. Also all kind of explanation to avoid the reasoning or even trying to shuffle the defence as the relevant laws to sustain the needed excuse to exhaust the courts. This has been done as the Opposition has questioned the legality and the just behaviour of the Electoral Commission.

The all of sudden 100% in counties, the ghost voters, the unregistered voters showing up and the moving of place of voting for the citizens, the lack of delivery of ballots and equipment to key areas. This has been tactics as well as fixing the elections into the schedule of the Movement. Free and fair was never important for the President as long as his loyal men and woman we’re plated and sent to Parliament. Or his loyal men and woman elected through the Resistance Councils and the Local Government positions as Local Councillors and such.

This will not change as the appropriate men and woman is not in circle of the new Electoral Commission. The cleared name from the President is more loyal men and woman who want to eat of the Presidents hand. They want to eat and are hungry like the rest of the MPs who has cars and no income tax. The same level is what the EC commissioner’s wants and therefore wants to be hired. So they can live in mansions and have government perks that citizens don’t get.

ec-appointment-14-11-2016

So no matter who is put up in the Movement and who they want to appoint will be working for the President and his elite. The regime will not change their pattern even if Badru Kiggundu is out of the picture. Will just be a new face that will eat the same level of crap.

The reality is that the names put forward now by the President is his loyal cadres, they are not bi-partisan or even becoming of people who the citizens can trust. That is for the same reason as the ones before, they will be the loyalists for the pay-check of the President; they will not be there for people. They are just useful props for the President to get his fake-elections and votes when needed, but not something he cares deeply about. If he did he would have set in place systems where the people wasn’t starving and had water-irrigation to secure the harvest even in dry season. He has 30 years, but hasn’t left much behind because what he has is fragmented and eaten by his ego. Therefore the EC will be marked of his loyalist, not of the ones who is best for nation, but who is the best for the “only man with a vision”. Peace.

Security Council Press statement on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (18.07.2016)

dr-congo

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 18, 2016The members of the Security Council stressed the crucial importance of a peaceful and credible electoral cycle, in accordance with the Constitution, for stability, development, and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the DRC.

Recalling UNSC resolution 2277, they underscored the urgency in convening an open, inclusive and peaceful political dialogue among all stakeholders focused on the holding of elections, while ensuring the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paving the way for and ensuring an environment conducive to free, fair, peaceful, credible, inclusive, transparent and timely elections in the DRC, in accordance with the Constitution, while respecting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The members of the Security Council expressed support for the decision taken by the African Union to undertake consultations on this dialogue and the appointment on 6 April 2016 of Edem Kodjo, former Prime Minister of Togo, as Facilitator for the dialogue. They welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC, Maman Sidikou, including through his good offices mandate, and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, to facilitate this dialogue among political stakeholders. They took note of the communique issued on 4 July 2016 following the inaugural meeting of the support group for the facilitation of the national dialogue in the DRC and urged all national stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the international facilitation appointed by the African Union, and encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the dialogue.

They expressed their deep concern at increased restrictions of the political space in the DRC, in particular recent arrests and detention of members of the political opposition and of civil society, as well as restrictions of fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of opinion and expression, and ongoing delays in electoral preparations. They urged the Government of the DRC as well as all relevant parties to respect human rights and to refrain from violence and provocation.

They acknowledged the ongoing efforts by the Congolese authorities and especially by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), with the support of various partners to revise the voters’ register, and they emphasized the need for the Congolese authorities to take all necessary steps to proceed without delay, and called on international partners to provide the necessary support.The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to MONUSCO and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC.

Adm72/01: Press Statement from the Electoral Commission of Uganda – Progress of Electoral Programmes for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections (25.11.2015)

Badru EC

  1. Introduction

Our esteemed partners, members of the press, it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome you to this press briefing.

Today, the Electoral Commission would like to update the country on the commencement of the campaign period for Local Government Councils Elections, preparations for nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections, as well as other activities related to the Roadmap for the 2015-2016 General Elections.

  1. Conclusion of Nomination for Local Government Councils Elections and Commencement of Campaign Period

The Electoral Commission concluded the nomination of candidates for the following elective positions at Local Government Councils countrywide:

  1. Candidates for District/City Chairpersons, District/City Directly-elected Councilors; District/City Councilors representing Women, the Youth, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons;
  1. Candidates for Municipality/City Division Chairpersons, Directly-elected Councilors, Councilors representing Women, Youth, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons; and,
  1. Candidates for Municipal Division, Town Council and Sub County Chairpersons, Directly-elected Councilors; Councilors representing Women, the Youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and Older Persons.

Campaigns for the above elections commenced after the harmonization of the candidates’ programmes, for each respective category yesterday, Tuesday November 24, 2015, and will stop forty eight hours before polling day for each category.

The Electoral Commission urges all candidates, their agents, supporters, and members of the general public to adhere to set rules and regulations guiding the campaign period, and to particularly ensure that campaigns are held in accordance with the harmonised campaign programme.

Candidates and/or their agents must not use or publish any foul language or defamatory words, which incite public disorder, hatred, violence or which threatens war.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has appointed the following polling dates for the above electoral positions as follows:

No. Elective Position Polling Date
1. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for District (LC V); 24th February 2016
2. Lord Mayor, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Kampala Capital City Authority* 24th February 2016
3. Councilors for PWDs, Older Persons and Youth to District Councils and Kampala Capital City Authority; 26th February 2016
4. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipality and Kampala Capital City Divisions; 2nd March 2016
5. PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipalities and Kampala Capital City Divisions; 4th March 2016
6. Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils; 9th March 2016
7. PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils; 10th March 2016

* The nominations for Councilors representing Professional Bodies at KCCA have not yet taken place because the Commission is still waiting for the list of members of respective electoral colleges, namely:

  1. Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers;
  2. Uganda Society of Architects;
  • Uganda Medical Association; and,
  1. Uganda Law Society
  1. Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2016

The nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections will be conducted on 2nd – 3rd December 2015.

Aspiring candidates for the following elective positions at Parliamentary level are advised to collect the nomination forms and guidelines from the Office of the Returning Officer in their respective district across the country;

  1. Directly Elected Member of Parliament (representing constituency);
  2. District Woman Member of Parliament;
  3. Member of Parliament for Persons with Disability (PWD).

The nomination of candidates for Directly Elected Member of Parliament (representing constituency) and District Woman Member of Parliament, shall take place at the respective EC District offices across the whole Country beginning at 9.00 a.m. and ending at 5:00pm on each of the appointed dates.

Please note that the nomination of Members of Parliament representing Persons with Disability (PWDs) will be held at the Electoral Commission headquarters during the above period.

The National Conference for elections of Members of Parliament representing Persons with Disability (PWDs) will be held from 21st to 22nd February 2016, at a venue to be communicated by the Commission in due course.

The Electoral Commission calls upon the Uganda Police Force to ensure law and order during this period.

Please note that the Electoral Commission will not organize nomination for representatives of the following Special Interest Groups to Parliament, during the above period until Parliament of Uganda addresses the concerns raised by the Constitutional Court.

The affected Special Interest Groups include;

  1. Member of Parliament for Workers;
  2. Member of Parliament for Youths; and,
  3. Member of Parliament for Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF);
  4. Requirements for Nomination of Member of Parliament

An aspiring candidate for Member of Parliament shall be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter;  

  1. The nomination shall be made by two (2) registered voters from the constituency, who shall appear in person before the Returning Officer, and present a nomination paper filled in duplicate indicating the following:
  1. The names, age, address, and occupation of the aspiring candidate;
  2. Names and address of a person appointed as the official agent;
  1. A list of names and signatures of a minimum of ten (10) persons, who must be registered voters in the constituency where the candidate seeking nomination supporting his/her nomination; each of the persons so signing shall state his/her village, occupation and Voter Number or National ID Number or Application ID Number;
  1. Aspiring candidates shall also be required to present the following:
  1. A receipt being proof of payment of non-refundable nomination fee of Shs. 3,000,000/- (three million shillings) only. Please note the nomination fee can be paid in any commercial bank which collects Non Tax Revenue, in accordance with the issued guidelines;
  1. Three (3) postcards size copies of a recent straight face, color photograph with a light background;
  1. Certified copies of educational qualifications showing the aspirant attained a minimum formal education of Advanced (A) Level or its equivalent;
  1. Certified copies (if qualifications were attained from outside Uganda) from the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE);
  1. Proof of resignation, in the case of public officers;

Please note that a candidate who uses a convoy for purposes of nomination shall have a maximum of two vehicles bearing police stickers and each shall carry a maximum of ten persons.

  1. Update on the Presidential Campaign Meetings

The Electoral Commission would like to commend the Presidential candidates for the smooth start to the campaigns, and especially compliance with the harmonised campaign programme. We urge the candidates to continue in this direction, so that together, we achieve a peaceful campaign and elections.

However, the Commission has also noted with concern, the consistent calls by Candidate Kizza Besigye, one of the Presidential candidates, for defiance as a campaign strategy. This kind of campaign is likely to have serious impact on the conduct of peaceful campaigns and elections.

The Commission condemns this kind of conduct and hereby warns the Presidential Candidate, his agents and supporters, to desist from taking this path, but instead conduct the campaign in accordance with the law.

The Electoral Commission has also noted several reports of malicious acts of defacement and/or removal of candidates’ posters.

The Commission warns the general public, candidates, their agents and supporters, that a person who malicious defaces or removes or tears any election poster of any nominated candidate commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment.

  1. Misrepresentation of the Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission has further noted that several stakeholders, especially the media, have continued to call this institution either the National Independent Electoral Commission, or the Independent Electoral Commission. I would like to clarify that the name Electoral Commission has never been changed

We, therefore, caution the public, and our stakeholders to stop using unauthorized name and logo when referring to the Electoral Commission.

Similarly, the Commission took note of the article published in The Sunday Monitor (November 15th 2015) where the Chairperson Electoral Commission is said to have stated that the Electoral Commission will announce the right winner, because the Electoral Commission of 2016 is different from the Electoral Commission of 2006. This has created an impression that the Commission did not announce the right winner in 2006, which is very wrong.

I wish to state that the statement attributed to me was not correct. The Commission has always announced the winning candidate at each elective level; this has always been the case in all elections we have organized, and it will be the case in 2016.

  1. Message on Papal Visit to Uganda

Finaly, the Electoral Commission joins with all Ugandans to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to Uganda. We congratulate the people of Uganda on this unique opportunity to host the Pontiff a third time.

This should serve as a reminder to all Ugandans of the special position our country holds in the world.

The visit takes place at a time when political campaigns are taking place by candidates contesting for various elective positions. Let us use the visit to promote the virtues of unity and peaceful co-existence.

Thank you for listening to me,

For God and my Country,

Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu

Chairperson, Electoral Commission

WikiLeaks Series – Pre-2010 General Election in Burundi: Part Four

This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part IV. Enjoy!

Radjabu and UPD history:

“Hussein Radjabu fought in the bush with President Pierre Nkurunziza and Chief of Intelligence Adolphe Nshimirimana, reportedly appointing them to the roles in the CNDD-FDD that they parlayed into their current positions. In 2002, he created the UPD-Zigamibanga as a strategic alternative when, before beginning demobilization, the CNDD-FDD was still negotiating political party registration” (…) “In February 2007, the CNDD-FDD party congress ousted Radjabu, a move most observers believe was to strengthen Nkurunziza’s control of the party. Police arrested Radjabu and a group of his supporters in April 2007, charging them with “threatening state security.” In April 2008, Radjabu was found guilty and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment (ref A); subsequent appeals have been denied. After the trial, Radjabu’s lawyer, Prosper Niyoyankana, claimed the trial did not proceed according to the rule of law, but according to the goals of the ruling party. He stated, “In this case, the judges are tools for the ruling party like a pen in the hands of a writer.” (…) “The UPD’s president is Radjabu’s cousin Mohamed Feruzi, but Radjabu is openly acknowledged as the party’s true leader. The UPD’s representative in Makamba province, Egide Ndayizeye, referred to Radjabu as the party’s “advisor,” informing PolOff during a June 24 meeting that “Father Radjabu” remains very active from jail” (…) “Nevertheless, in the past Radjabu has reportedly courted and received monetary support from donors in Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Sudan and Iraq” (…) “Egide Ndayizeye claims people are turning from the CNDD-FDD because of the party’s failure to fulfill its promises and to the UPD because the party promises development, peace and reconciliation. Ndayizeye stated that since the UPD’s July 2008 start in Makamba province, the party’s popularity has grown to over 80% in Nyanza-Lac and 70% in Makamba, the province’s two largest cities. Nyanza-Lac is also the fourth-largest city in Burundi” (…) “Sources indicate that Radjabu has never forgiven his former bushmates and colleagues for his expulsion and cares more that Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD falls from power than that UPD achieves any significant electoral victories for itself” (…) “Radjabu’s 13-year sentence was harsher than most observers expected, leading to speculation that President Nkurunziza’s administration used its influence to sideline and silence Radjabu (ref A) before the 2010 election process moves into high gear” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

FBI investigated the murder on Manirumva:

“Government of Burundi in investigating the murder of anti-corruption NGO OLUCOME’s vice president and chief investigator, Ernest Manirumva (ref A); the GoB accepted the offer April 21. In an April 28 meeting with Special Agent Horton and the RSO, however, Stanislas Nimpagaritse, the president of the Independent Commission assigned to investigate the case, refused to show Horton the evidence accumulated to that point, stating that he had no orders to do so” (…) “Horton and the RSO met with 1st Vice-President Yves Sahinguvu on April 29 to clarify the FBI,s role” (…) “he could to ensure that the FBI was given complete access to all evidence and received full cooperation from the Commission. He underscored the GoB,s commitment to conducting a thorough, transparent investigation, fully aided and supported by the FBI, to demonstrate that the process is genuine” (…) “The Manirumva murder has caused serious concern among the international and NGO communities, and inspired a strong sense in this conspiracy-prone nation that the government or some elements thereof are behind it. Manirumva was known to be investigating cases involving corruption at high levels among the police, intelligence services, Finance Ministry and others. Consequently, the news that the GoB had accepted the offer of FBI assistance was greeted with significant relief and hope that the real perpetrators and their masters – whoever they are – will be brought to justice” (…) “The 1st Vice President, who discussed the FBI assistance offer with President Nkurunziza, seems genuinely committed to pursuing the case wherever it leads. He clearly understood that an FBI report stating that the GoB was uncooperative in the investigation would feed the conspiracy theorists and convince the public that the government was indeed behind the assassination” (…) “Horton discovered that the victim,s cell phone records stopped at 19:00 the day of his murder, although it is believed that the murder occurred sometime after 23:00. When asked why the records did not cover the hours immediately surrounding the murder, police dismissed the records gap and stated without further explanation that the later records were somehow more difficult to obtain, and that the police were still waiting on the phone company to deliver them. One witness, however, claims that he saw a man in a police uniform at the victim,s home make a phone call to the victim,s phone well after 19:00. Similarly, the president of the Commission summarily dismissed a report from an eyewitness stating that he saw eight men, three wearing police uniforms, in the victim,s house the night of the murder. However, two informants currently external to the police investigation corroborate this story, and say that they believe the powerful intelligence service and police were involved” (…) “President Nkurunziza is using the FBI,s arms-length investigation to rid himself of the now too-powerful head of internal security Adolphe Nshimirimana (who may well be implicated); or whether the President and 1st VP genuinely want to find the murderers; the FBI is distinct value added to this process” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

Human Rights worker in the country:

“Eighty UN human rights employees work for the two administratively different but operationally seamless human rights agencies in Burundi. In addition to the 40 employees based at the headquarters in Bujumbura, 40 employees work in one of five field offices based in the interior of the country” (…) “The UN has done a great job establishing effective communication with GOB security forces. Each week, in coordination with civil society, the UN leads a meeting with police, intelligence, and military representatives to discuss and follow up on investigations and alleged human rights violations by security forces” (…) “The UN is doing extensive rehabilitation of Burundi’s judicial infrastructure throughout the country, and is providing logistical and financial assistance to the judicial branch to help expedite the overwhelming backlog of cases facing the court system. Thousands of cases remain to be handled, but thousands more have already been processed” (…) “Critics in civil society argue that the integration of the OHCHR into BINUB has prevented the UN from being more outspoken in criticizing GOB actions, as BINUB tries to limit its political exposure. For example, BINUB is part of a group of international actors negotiating the provisions of a cease-fire agreement between Burundi’s last rebel group, the FNL, and the GOB. According to one civil society critic, in order for the UN to maintain its “neutrality” in the negotiations, it cannot be overcritical of the government, lest it find itself on the wrong side of the GOB and no longer an effective negotiator” (…) “high-ranking Hutu member of President Nkurunziza’s staff told the director of UN human rights operations in Burundi that the UN and its agenda is manipulated by its mostly Tutsi local staff and therefore not reliable. Opposition parties’ representatives also told Embassy officials in January that even if UN human rights criticisms complement their own condemnations of the ruling party, it is difficult to assess if the UN has a meaningful impact” (Wikileaks, 2009).

Electoral code:

“Minister Nduwimana’s proposal has the electoral process beginning with presidential elections and calls for multiple ballots – one for each candidate” (…) “In the 2005 elections a separate color-coded ballot was used for each candidate, which the CNDD-FDD claimed helped illiterate voters select their preferred candidates. In those elections, CNDD-FDD local leaders pressed voters to return their unused ballots, thus revealing their votes” (…) “Opposition party leaders have often predicted that the CNDD-FDD would push for presidential elections first, saying that President Nkurunziza is more popular than his party and CNDD-FDD candidates in subsequent local elections would gain momentum from Nkurunziza’s popularity. CNDD party president Leonard Nyangoma and FRODEBU spokesperson Pancrase Cimpaye informed Embassy officials on July 16 that the GoB’s proposed Electoral Code amendments, in addition to violating the spirit of the consensus-building project, also violate Burundi’s constitution” (…)”pposition party leaders have asked the international community to weigh in with the GoB and encourage it to put the consensus draft to the parliament. Some political party representatives, including FRODEBU General Secretary Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, said to EmbOff July 16 that everything should be done to prevent the government’s draft from going before parliament because, he asserted, it will cause political deadlock” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

The elected individuals of the National Independent Electoral Commission:

“The Burundian Senate and National Assembly confirmed February 13 President Nkurunziza’s nomination of five individuals to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), voting 41-5 and 108-4 in favor, respectively” (…) “President Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, a Hutu with no party affiliation, who once served as Minister of Communication under ex-President Buyoya but has been involved with civil society since 2006” (…) “Vice-President Marguerite Bukuru, a Tutsi with no party affiliation, who served in several Ministerial positions in the early 90s” (…) “Prosper Ntahogwamiye, a Hutu, who is the Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Solidarity and a member of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) political party” (…) “Julius Bucumi, a Hutu, who is a member of the Judges Council of the Supreme Court and of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party” (…) “Adelaide Ndayirorere, a Tutsi, who is a senior staff member at the Central Bank and a member of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) political party” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

EAC Secretariat Deputy Secretary General Beatrice Kiraso thoughts on the Elections 2010:

“shared concerns about the lack of international oversight of Burundi’s peace process and agreed on the need to establish a facilitation mechanism should things go awry in Burundi’s elections process” (…) “Per Kiraso, the electoral support mission found that Burundi’s CENI has the confidence of the population, but is lacking the capacity to coordinate all election observer activities” (…) “Kiraso reported that the EAC is tentatively planning to send a team of six to eight eminent persons to Burundi as long-term observers beginning in February 2010. In the second phase of election monitoring, the EAC proposes to send two observers to each province one month before Burundi’s May elections” (…) “Kiraso, who led the EAC mission, noted with disappointment the electoral support mission’s report had not yet been published. She reported that the November Council of Ministers insisted that the EAC’s report be endorsed by the Burundian government before publication. Tanzania, she confided, was the most opposed to publishing the report, even questioning the authority for EAC’s electoral support mission. She opined that Tanzania is concerned that the EAC is moving too fast towards regional integration. Uganda may also be nervous that a similar monitoring process might be used in its 2011 elections” (…) “Kiraso is keenly aware that the outcome of Burundi’s elections, whether positive or negative, will have regional ramifications: “The interest of the EAC is to ensure that peace and stability return permanently to the Republic of Burundi, otherwise there will be a spill-over effect on the rest of the region.” (WikiLeaks, 2010).

Afterthought:

I hope you have enjoyed the series and that it has given you some new knowledge on Burundi. It gave me a lot. Peace.

Reference:

WikiLeaks – ‘MINISTER OF INTERIOR PLAYS WITH ELECTORAL CODE’ (17.07.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA339_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RADJABU’S UPD PARTY GAINING GROUND’ (27.06.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA356_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘AU SUMMIT — S/A WOLPE ENGAGES EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ON BURUNDI ELECTIONS’ (18.02.2010) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10ADDISABABA332_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI LAWMAKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR ELECTORAL COMMISSION’ (18.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA83_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI: UN FIELD COVERAGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ (03.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA60_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘FBI INVESTIGATES MANIRUMVA MURDER’ (06.05.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA222_a.html