“Now the Lango cultural leaders under the leadership of the Paramount Chief Yosam Odur want the vacant Oyam North constituency seat to be reserved for the family of the late Engola” (…) ”Robert Ajal, the Prime Minister of Lango Cultural Foundation came up with the motion of fronting a family member for the Oyam North parliamentary seat during a cabinet meeting. “We should consider a possibility of being replaced by his son in parliament. We implore government to do proper investigation and get us information before the burial,” Ajal said. Dr. Christopher Oleke, the Deputy Awitong of Otikokin clan, also emphasizes that picking one of the late Engola’s children to help complete his term in parliament will be such a great gift to the family in his memory” (Charity Akullo – ‘Lango wants late minister Engola replaced by son in Parliament’, 08.05.2023, KFM.Co.Ug).
In the 11th Parliament there is clearly a sentiment that is set. This happened in Omoro County By-Election and in Serere County By-Election. Both the sons of the late Members of Parliament was elected.
In Omoro County the President designated and ordered everyone else to back down for the son of the late speaker and MP. While in Serere County the National Resistance Movement (NRM) went with another candidate, but the constituents elected the son on a independent ticket.
Now in Lango Sub-Region and in Oyam North By-Election the cultural chiefs and leaders are now wanting the same fate. They want to ringfence the MP position to the family of Charles Engola. These leaders want another son to takeover from the late father. It is keeping the MP in the family.
Though after two recent elections, I would think the NRM should go for the former UPC and Independent Charles Krispus Ayena. While the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) should or could have Eunice Apio. However, that is up for the UPC Primaries.
This will be battle between the NRM and UPC. These are the two parties that have held offices and gotten elected in Oyam North before. Therefore, the other parties have little to no favours here. Alas, they can field candidates, but I doubt they will get any traction. Unless, they have a magnificent character out of leftfield.
The NRM will now feel the pressure, as they cannot go after the second-best option. They got to either stick with nepotism and heirloom. If not they are risking it by doing the same as they did in the Serere County By-Election. Where the was calls for the same, but they instead went for a NRM Primaried candidate. Which after Party Laws are legit but wasn’t beloved or the one the constituents wanted.
This race is already panning out and the Electoral Commission haven’t even announced the roadmap to the elections. We knew this was bound to happen, but it certainly becomes interesting when family matters are put into the mix. Peace.
The unfortunate death of the State Minister and MP of Oyam North, Charles Okello Engola has some consequences. First it is opening up a seat in Parliament and a Ministerial post. What will happen in the first few day, there will be plans for burial and proceedings concerning the later Minister. That is just the way these things goes, and as early as the burial is over. The plans for the seats and the offices are getting prepared. Meaning a By-Election and an appointment of a new State Minister in his stead.
Just like he goes from being a minister, he is becoming a former minister and ex-MP in the afterlife. That’s why someone will takeover his office in the cabinet and another person will takeover the seat in Parliament. This is why because of the unfortunate there will be a new By-Election.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) would do whatever it takes to retain the seat and command dominance of the North. They want to have a grand majority and want to win By-Elections. The NRM will use the state machinery and all of their tools. This means the army, police and all the intimidation will be in order. Also, in addition voter tourism, bribes and other means to prepare a victory for themselves. They would also “pre-tick” ballots and toy around Returning Forms just to “win”. So, don’t expect fair game.
What I do expect now is that the Independent Charles Krispus Ayena might vie for the NRM seat. As he was the biggest independent candidate in 2021 elections. He also came in second in the 2016 elections as a UPC candidate. Maybe even Dilla Benson would like to try and get ahead. Since he has tried to get elected as LC5 in the 2021 elections.
The Uganda People’s Congress should field a candidate in this race and should have a fair chance here. They are already elected in other parts Oyam District and UPC has a stronghold in the North. That is not only historically, but also by default in the recent elections. We can wonder if Eunice Apio wants to be the UPC candidate again.
In the last two general elections the other parties didn’t field candidates. There was only other independents. These didn’t fare well in the races. They only got scraps or bare minimum. Therefore, the ideas that an Independent candidate will get the cake is ridiculous. Especially, knowing how heavy artillery and machinery the NRM puts forward in a By-Election.
The UPC is the only party here who has a shot. The others are only fools hope. The NRM wants to retain it, but will they go for the likes of former UPC like Ayena or go for a leader like Benson.
The UPC will have it hard, but this one would be possible to crack. Especially, if they field someone within reason and maybe even the same as in 2021. Apio might have a shot, but we never know. She got 17,000 and Engola got 22,000. Time will tell, but this is now mere speculations.
As a By-Election is coming and it will be between the NRM and the UPC. Peace.
“A military bodyguard has run ‘amok’ and shot dead a boss, a State Minister at that, in Kyanja, Nakawa Division, Kampala this morning. The guard later fired several rounds of ammunition in the air and later shot himself (dead). All this happened this morning” (Red Pepper Uganda, 02.05.2023)
“Initial reports indicate that Charles Okello Engola was stepping out of his home, heading to work when one of his bodyguards shot him dead. The bodyguard then started roaming the neighbourhood while continuing to shoot in the air. He eventually retreated to a nearby salon, ordered the people cowering inside to leave before he turned the gun on himself. Witnesses claim that the soldier was yelling that he had not been paid for a long time despite working for a minister” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Bodyguard shoots Minister Engola dead, turns gun on self’ 02.05.2023, Nile Post).
Today was the final day of State Minister Charles Engola. A man who has been a Member of Parliament since 2016 and been a Junior or State Minister ever since. The man who Represented Oyam North has been a loyal National Resistance Movement (NRM) MP and served the government over the years.
In his last term he was appointed as the State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial relations. Before that he was the State Minister of Defence in the 10th Parliament. Therefore, he was a well-versed person and had connections to the high above.
That’s why it’s tragic that a man who was an elected official for all these years. He has been elected to local government, all the way back to 2006 and only aimed for Parliament in 2016. This man had achieved a lot and gotten ahead over the years.
When you know all of this and see what is happening. You just know it’s tragic. A man who had the world and who ate from the finer things. A man who had connections and held a high office. He just got greedy and stopped paying the ones surrounding him.
The State Minister could most likely not phantom this or consider this to happen to him. He thought it would have no consequences, as a high ranking official and respected individual could get away with it. It was a decision he made and ensured the troubles of his body-guard. A man who had weapons and knew about his whereabouts. That was the man that he decided not to pay.
It is like the State Minister didn’t learn from history. The hired guns turn on you… when you don’t pay them. That what happened to Rome and now happened to Charles Engola.
Just read this statement from Uganda Police Force:
“The territorial police in Kampala Metropolitan, is actively investigating the tragic murder by shooting of the Hon. Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Hon. Rtd. Col. Charles Okello Engola, by his home bodyguard, identified as Pte. Wilson Sabiiti, which occurred at the Minister’s home in Kyanja, on the 2.05.2023 at around 9am. The bodyguard fired multiple shots at close range and killed the Hon. Minister as he was entering in his official vehicle. He died at the scene. The suspect also shot and wounded the ADC, Lt. Ronald Otim, before fleeing to Kyanja trading center on foot, where he entered into a salon and shot himself dead” (UPF, 02.05.2023).
Just imagine, as the State Minister was about to go about his day and do his duties. His guard came to him and shot him. That’s how brutal and how hopeless the situation is. As a man only see it fit to kill someone, because your in a dire situation. The guard has gone for a long time without pay and certainly needs to pay to live. While he see the lavishness and the riches of the State Minister. The man he guards who is living large cannot pay the shillings it costs to take care of his security. Than you know there is misgivings and trouble ahead. The man who carried arms and secured your whereabouts. That man you decided not to pay.
It is just tragic. An unfortunate incident and manslaughter. A death that could have been avoided. An unnecessary one, that could have been stopped and the State Minister could have ensured payments on time. However, that wasn’t a priority and it cost his life. Peace.
As the day has gone and some first results is coming. I will not comment on them now, as they are not as interesting as the reactions and violations of democratic values and vile display of disgrace of the public will from the authorities and the ruling party in Uganda.
As the Uganda Communication Commission together with Electoral Commission banned Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook, even mobile-money transfers services. As this could give biased news and dangerous bribing of voters, as the voters has not been bribed during the pre-election period at all. Well, the public found other ways of finding the social media and avoid the issue with Uganda Telecom (UTL/Mango), MTN and Airtel. As they download different VPN services on their phone and still got in to the social media outlets. The actual numbers of downloads this day was staggering 1,432,653. By my reckoning also the apparent ghost that will also in total vote in the election when the tally is done.
At one point of the day the Special Forces Command took control of Nakasero Referal Hospital as it had a technical and importance for the authorities as the Presidential guards needed to secure the premises.
In Gaba a suburb of Kampala the public first waited for hours. This happen:
“In Gaba at St Dennis church a full box was brought with ballot papers already ticked in favor of the incumbent who triggered a riot by locals. Military, Police and black mamba security in tinted cars without number-plate were seen patrolling the place. Voting has ended”. As well as the actions contained this as well: “The voters set fire on all the ballots boxes brought”.
Even early in the day there we’re little or no voting material in vast amounts of polling stations in Wakiso District and Kampala Capital City as the Electoral Commission hadn’t delivered the ballots-papers to the stations. As people came early as the voting starting 07.00 and was to end with the new time 16.00 but with the late arrival nearly at 13.00 or 14.00 even as late as 14.54 that gave the long waiting ques simmering anger at the incompetence or deliberate plunder of time of the people in the area. Even the with the UCC and Telecom bans the Electoral Commission wanted people on Social Media around 14.00 to tell that the Polling stations in the affected areas would be officially open to 19.00 as the people should be able to do their civic duty.
In Kajanisi, Kampala a Police Officer was arrested and taken away as he held over 600 ballots-papers pre-ticket for the NRM and President Museveni. Radio One report that Kajjansi B health center polling station in Kampala closed after 3 boxes with pre-ticked ballots in favor of President Museveni and Peter Sematimba were found in a car. Live Bullets in Namuwongo Taking Place. Police and Military Have Intimidated Voters hence forcing them NOT to cast their votes, remember, voting had just begun late at 2:03pm
As of Makindye:
“9:18PM Voting at 22 polling stations in Makindye affected by late delivery of voting materials postponed till tomorrow: Electoral Commission” (NBS TV, 18.02.2016).
In Fort Portal:
“At public library polling station in south division, Fort Portal, 450 ballot papers were received yet the number of registered voters is 429, an excess of 21 ballots. And yet Nyakagongo parish Headquarters in East division received less ballot papers than the number of registered voters. They received 10 booklets some containing 46 ballots, some 50 and others 49 instead of all containing 50 each booklet. There was a total of 500 ballot papers. They have 471 registered voters. They started voting at 7:15am Report: Scovia Atuhaire & Felix Basiime (Daily Monitor, 18.02.2016).
“Polling agents in Kizungu, Masaka Sports Club have confirmed to Kampala FM that they were not given basins where voters will tick from. This has therefore delayed the voting process since they (agents) too can not afford buying basins” (Kampala FM, 18.02.2016).
More about elections in Masaka:
“Unindentified people have been with fifty Museveni pre-ticked ballot papers at Kaboyo Primary school polling station in Lwengo. The voters who were present at the polling station did not allow police to take the culprits and instead resorted to caining them. They were later on told to go back home and the pre ticked ballots were burnt”.
“Karamojong tribeswoman casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential elections in Kaabong in Karamoja region”.
“NRM’s Evelyn Anite slips her ballot paper into the ballot box in Koboko Municipality in northern Uganda”.
Early in Apac Town today:
“Voting in Apac town area commenced by 07.10 am. Most polling stations have not had chaos yet, as they voted, Police are all round in Polling stations. Most of the busiest business centers are closed. The number of people in town has also gone down and a few petty businesses are going on” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).
“Last evening, 170 polling officials in River Oli Division in Arua district threatened to boycott work unless Electoral Commission increases their allowances. They include polling assistants and presiding officers. Geoffrey Drani, one of the affected presiding officers, told URN during their recruitment Electoral Commission promised to pay presiding officers Shillings 60,000 and 40,000 for polling assistants. He however, says they were shocked yesterday to receive appointment letters showing that they will receive Shillings 20, 000 each day. According to Drani, as a result, they have declined to sign the appointment letters until Electoral Commission increases the money”.
“No incident has been registered while in Alebtong, Amolatar, Otuke and part of Lira districts by 9:00am the voting have not started despite the fact that many electorate turned up to cast to their votes. “You cast you votes and you come back and continue with your business,” said Betty Akello shorting after voting at VH primary school polling station. Patrick Okello of Omoro Sub County in Alebtong said at Onyeroiye polling station business is going on well and the turned up was overwhelming. “We think the turned up will be 80% because people are voting seriously,” he said” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).
“Elections of the MP kween district have been postponed until further notice reason the symbols for the candidates didn’t match instead vice versa I mean interchanged for FDC was in independent and for independent in that of FDC”.
The Woman Parliamentary MP Vote for Yumbe was cancelled today! (88.7 Arua ONE FM, 18.02.2016).
If you ever thought Kahinda Otafiire would go away silent as the audio-tape of his bribing tactics as he tried to buy the seat from his opponent that beat him in the NRM Primaries during 2015. 2016, has not been his year and continues as he has been jailed today as he has been distributing bribes of UGX 20k to voters in Mitooma (theInsider.ug, 18.02.2016). Doesn’t seem that the UCC bribe act with stopping mobile-money service stopped Otafiire from acting up! (I was not supposed to write that or think that, my bad!).
“The shame of Kiruhura, after yesterday all night harassment, detention and forceful eviction of opposition supporters in Kiruhura. Today what we are witnessing is, because of fear instilled on our supporters by the security and armed militias last night, they have stayed away from the polling stations”.
“Police was forced to fire teargas to disperse hundreds of Apollo Yeri Ofwono’s supporters who had threatened to set a blaze the home of the prime minister of Iteso cultural union Paul Sande Emolot in Tororo municipality. Ofwono’s supporters raided Emolot’s home on suspicion that it was used to bribe residents to vote for the incumbent Member of Parliament Sanjay Tanna” (New Vision, 18.02.2016).
Later in the day Dr. Kizza Besigye arrested:
“Besigye was arrested when he joined his supporters and they stormed a house in Naguru, a Kampala upscale suburb arguing that there is alleged vote rigging taking place”. Kizza Besigye have after the arrest by the Police in Naguru, been taken to Kasangati Police Station. That is currently detained.
“Video footage of an FDC raid on a reported safe house in Naguru being used to allegedly tick ballot papers led by Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye in which he was also later arrested for trespassing” (NBS TV Uganda, 18.02.2016).
Shawn Mabiru says this about the detaining of Besigye:
“He was in his home district where he voted when he got information that there was an illegal tally centre manned by the NRM and police” (…)”He walked in and saw them pre-ticking ballot papers. They arrested him and took him to an unknown place”.
In Lira yesterday:
“Lira Magistrate Court today released on Court bail seven people who were arrested over the weekend on allegation of defacing posters belonging to NRM Presidential Candidate Yoweri Museveni. Willy Omodo Omodo the GO Forward Candidate for Oyam North MP, Ibrahim Olong who is contesting for Lira Municipality Mayor and Abura James Walter Youth Councillor for Lira Municipality. Others are Mungu Richard Jakisa the News Editor at Radio North, Otim Innocent , Tile David and Patrick Awongo (Radio Wa 89.8 FM, 17.02.2016).
In Kihihi yesterday:
There was reports that the locals “delivered” and got a 100 Rwandan nationals ferried to vote in the election the 18th had come to Kihihi district to vote for President Museveni. They all stayed in Kihihi Police Station. As they wanted them to ship them home and let Ugandans vote in their election.
In Kayunga County yesterday as the government was kind yesterday:
“Kayunga District distributed more 66 heifers worth 102 million shillings to farmers under the Luwero Rwenzori Development Programme” (17.02.2016); the Government all of sudden share their funds just the day before the election, nothing suspicious about that at all…
The magic is that President Museveni has gotten over 3000 votes while the original papers from the Electoral Commission are saying the total voters are 2098!
Rushere Primary School:
The tally shows another magical result for President Museveni he got 760 votes, Kizza Besigye 2 votes. The magical part is that the School and Polling station has 437 votes!
Fear level at certain places:
As the results are pouring in and the tallies are counted. The Army is deploying heavy forces in Luwero and Nakaseke!
Amama Mbabazi message during the elections today:
“I ask all voters in this election to keep vigilant and report any suspicious incident. I would like to thank the team from Karamoja that is vigilant and have reported the following anomalies. In Abim district, the District Registrar is withdrawing a Presidential booklet (50 ballots) from each polling station and taking to unknown destination claiming that some polling stations were in short supply/under served. We question this logic because it is not only President being voted for today but all Members of Parliament as well. There are 60 polling stations in Abim and this amounts to 3000 votes being taken away. South of Amudat in a place called Karita subcounty, our agents with polling agent letters and supervisors have been chased away by Crime Preventers who are armed. Tell us what is happening at your polling station” (Mbabazi, 18.02.2016).
There will come more in the coming days as the ministers, local council men and all the elections results will come and people will react to the new 10th Parliament and who will become the new president in Uganda, as the results hopefully get rid of President Museveni as his rigging time should be over and let the people’s will shine. Peace.