The preliminary results are that National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag-bearer Andrew Ojok Oulanyah is projected to win. That will unlikely not change and the opposition will loose the chance to retake the seat, as the NRM retain it yet again. This is not shocking, because of how the state operates and uses the machinery for their advantage.
The NRM and the ruling regime uses all techniques possibly to win. They are using their appointed local leaders, national secretariat and government institution to serve their candidacy. This being the army, the police or any other sort of “help” for a push of their candidate. The Residential District Commander and the Regional Police Commander both will coordinate and fight for the NRM flag-bearer. Therefore, there is little left to chance or option to object to the one favoured by the state.
The ones who are canvassing and working for candidates of the opposition is naturally in danger of arrest, kidnap and kept incommunicado until the “victory” is sealed. This happened here and the soldiers will make people bounce. The county had road-blocks to stop people from entering and blocking “strangers” from entering. Meaning, anyone who could sway opinion or gain interests for anything, which wasn’t NRM isn’t allowed by definition.
The whole affair and polls just shows how important bribes, voter tourism and intimidation is to win at this stage. The NRM cannot pull or win with honest intentions. No, they have to rig it and block the opposition. They have to use force and be ill-willed. This is just the nature of things and the beasts are all out to play. The victims, the opposition or the ones associated with them are the targets. That’s their price of playing and participating in these elections. Even if the opposition plays by the rules or regulations, the goal-post changes and the authorities are using all excuses to go after them.
That’s why NRM can use government vehicles, institutions and appointees to secure their candidate gets elected. The soldiers and police officers will play out for their orders too. There is nothing that isn’t accessible for them and they uses all means to get there.
The by-election county looks like a war-zone. The Electoral Commission can put in guidelines, but the NRM don’t have to follow them. These are put out to limit the opposition and not for the ruling regime. Because, they can electioneer, rig and use violence to win. That’s what they do and they are proud of it too. Even if the election isn’t legit or the result isn’t transparent with the will of the people. Since, it has all been a game and it was rigged before the people stepped into the polling station to vote.
That’s why the NRM is a sorry state of itself. A place that used to have the Regional Party Vice-President of the NRM, the former Speaker who used to be the fourth high ranking official of the Republic. Still, in that constituency which the father won in 2011, 2016 and 2021. Even with that… the Son of Jacob needed all powers and all the help he could to get across the finish-line. It is not easy when you use all of this to get elected.
We are seeing that the Son of Jacob is happy about the result and becoming the winner. However, he should be concerned about how it happened. The whole system was on his side and there was no mercy served. It was a systemic brutality and usage of force to retain the seat. There was nothing in it showing a free and fair election. That is very obvious… therefore, it is false start to proclaim grandeur and solidify victory.
Ojok Oulanyah should know that he got elected not by the will of the people, but by the force of the gun. If that’s how he wants to be a representative and be known for. That’s his choice, as he got bills to pay and got a mansion to finish after his late father. So, most likely he doesn’t care, because he secures the continuation of his fathers legacy. However, he will also not be fondly remembered by all. As people have been scarred, taken into custody and been arranged by the authorities for just doing their mission for their candidates. That shouldn’t be the case, but is what went down in Omoro county.
The NRM cannot speak of being a nationwide party, when they operate like an army with a political wing. That’s how it looks like in these sorts of by-elections. Not looking like a strong or a popular people’s party, but an army with political figureheads. Peace.
“Voting in the Omoro County by-election continues with low voter turn-up at most polling stations. Over 38,000 voters are expected to cast their ballots in a bid replace former MP & Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who died in March this year” (Daily Monitor, 26.05.2022).
It is clearly not all rosy at the polls of the Omoro County. That’s because of the usage of authorities and state machinery to gain advantage. That’s why the polling agents are arrested and the coordinators of the main opposition is out of play. This is deliberate acts to ensure the counting and the ballots are cast in darkness. As there is only government friendly polling agents and such in the area.
As reported by several media houses:
“Police have cut off the Omoro Central Police Station after the arrest of NUP agents as well as MP, David Kalwanga. The police say that the arrested were conducting themselves in a manner contrary to the guidelines issued by the EC” (94.3 QFM Lira, 26.05.2022).
“Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpunga, NUP Secretary-General Lewis Rubongoya and other NUP party members are currently at Gulu Police Station after some of their members and agents in the ongoing Omoro by-election were arrested” (NBS Television, 26.05.2022).
“Security personnel have arrested Chua West Member of Parliament Philip Okin Ojara and three other members of the FDC party in Omoro District. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, revealed that security personnel raided the FDC office in Opit Town Council before violently arresting Okin” (Baba TV Uganda, 26.05.2022).
“Police has arrested several people in the ongoing Omoro by-election. According to the Police
spokesperson Aswa region ASP Ongom David said: We have intelligence that there are organised people with the intention of disorganizing this election” (Gugudde TV Uganda, 26.05.2022).
We should be worried that the authorities are using these tactics. That just shows that they cannot trust the voters and their choices. As they don’t want to have oversight or accountability for their actions.
We can anticipate the Special Forces Command (SFC) to put all the pressure on the pressure-cooker and ensure the results are boiled in favour of Andrew Ojok Oulanyah. That is all we can await for. The state has put all their prestige into it and wants to secure the Seat for the Son of Jacob.
Instead of having an honest, free and fair elections. The polls and the day of the by-election is marred with police brutality and use of force. That is not how you run trusted polls, but electioneer in favour of the ruling regime.
There is reports of kidnapping and keeping mobilizers and polling agents taken away in the polls ahead of the final hours of the vote. That is just proving that the regime don’t even want to try to conceal their actions to secure the result in their favour. Peace.
The war-zone was to be expected and the nerve, the tension and the intimidation too. Because the yellow of the Republic cannot win without using these means and the authorities to get ahead. The reports from both National Unity Platform (NUP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is familiar with previous by-elections of this era.
That there are prolonged arrests of mobilizers, activists and use of roads-blocks to “stop strangers” for interfering. While the National Resistance Movement (NRM) walk around like demi-gods who can break any law or electioneering as they deem fit. The reports of giving away money to voters, soap and other minor donations in the hot-minute before the polls. There been already reports of NRM Teams in coordination with the Residential District Commander (RDC) and canvass all parts of the county that way.
No one should be shocked, if the offices of the FDC was raided in the evening before the polls. As their first candidate for the polls was even bribed himself and they had to field another one before the nomination. So, the continuation of voter bribery and intimidation as well.
There is even reports of possible pre-ticking of ballots ahead of the polls tomorrow. So, there is nothing left to chance here. Just to take it even further the state has deployed government vehicles without number-plates and army vehicles without number-plates to the county. That is all to ensure the votes and the polls goes after plan. These things are not for the weak or the ones who don’t want to fight. Because, these sorts of affairs are just a proof of how the game is rigged.
The ones thinking that the President and his hand-picked candidate would be let to chance. Those are not familiar with protocol or how these things operate in the Republic. All that mention has been done before and what we are seeing is similar to what has occurred in the past. It is not an election under Museveni is peaceful or fair. They are battleground and a place where the state interferes with everything at their disposal.
What is striking is that all of this is done to retain a seat and further the nepotism of the NRM. Just so their guy and their flag-bearer Ojok Oulanyah can takeover the seat of his father in Parliament. The candidate who didn’t need a primary election, but be directly picked by His Excellency. Therefore, this is high stakes for the President and he don’t like to be humiliated. Even if it is all a charade and mockery of an election. As the war-zone, rigging and intimidation only further shows that the NRM doesn’t even believe in their own propaganda or agendas. Since, they need to use all tricks from their book to get a “result” that’s worthy of the Fountain of Honour. Peace.