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”.
There are clear reports that the Electoral Commission doesn’t have the funds for elections in the new districts, which is: “The districts that came into effect on July 1 are Bunyangabu carved out of Kabarole, Namisindwa carved out of Manafwa, Pakwach from Nebbi, Butebo from Pallisa, Rukiga from Kabale and Kyotera from Rakai” (Mwesigwa, 2017). So from these newly created districts does have new Members of Parliament, but does not have local leadership.
This proves the real value of the newly created districts, as the National Resistance Movement pays it no mind and only create it out of political will. Not creating districts for better governance or service delivery. The NRM and the President have been gerrymandering and paying off his people with making new districts. Why I say the NRM and the government doesn’t prioritize real local leadership, since the Electoral Commission had on the 27th June 2017 in a Press Release said this:
“The Electoral Commission has appointed Monday 3rd July 2017, as the date for election of Interim District Chairperson in each of the newly created districts of Bunyangabu, Butebo, Kyotera, Namisindwa, Pakwach and Rukiga” (Electoral Commisson, 27.06.2017). Still, that date has been postponed because of lacking funds. Therefore, the interim leadership in the new districts get to stay in power without polls.
It was apparently very easy to create districts and than find suitable people to run them. And done so without any scrutiny, since it is done times ahead before the General Election in 2016. This was done with several districts and made into new government organization. Something the NRM regime has done through the decades.
It is more evident now that the NRM doesn’t consider the chairpersons in the new districts. That the LCV chairmen got elected in in 112 districts. But with the new districts its become 118 districts. Since in the 9th Parliament by August 2015, this was totally 23 new districts, not only the ones active from 1st July 2017. Which now the state cannot afford to have local leadership election. Like the report in August 2015: “Last week, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, presented an amended motion seeking to create 23 new districts spread across four financial years. According to the motion, districts to be created effective July 1, 2016 include Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. Those to come into effect by July 1, 2017 include Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabu. On the other hand Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kasanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube districts will become effective July 1, 2018 while Obongi, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi Okollo, Kalenga and Kalaki come into effect from July 1, 2019” (The Observer, 2015). Because the State has been able to hold elections in the ones that came into affect in July 1st 2016. These we’re by-election that has gone in favor of the NRM. These being in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. So it is now the 6 districts who the state cannot afford to have elections for. Which means that the Republic cannot afford having local government officials.
So the state has carved out new districts, but cannot afford them. It is special that during the next two years there will be 13 more districts. There is already launched 10 districts and only 4 districts has elected leadership through ballots. These are Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. The rest are without leadership. The 13 districts that is coming, you can wonder if the state can afford them as well? Even if it will be another fiscal year, but there still need extended efforts because the state has established and created districts, that needs offices and councils. These all needs provisions and budgetary discipline to make it happen.
Clearly, the service delivery and the need for the new districts isn’t there, it is all political motivated to pay off loyal NRM cronies and give them titles. That they can hire Resident District Commanders and others who will work directly for the President and the State House. The Electoral Commission has just to issue an election and get the secret ballots. That is the easy thing, but to build the new district and the government organization. The NRM knows this, but the initial factor is if they cannot hold elections there, can they pay for the structure?
It doesn’t seem likely that the districts are made for the best of the community or the government services. More for cronies loyal to the President. Peace.
Mwesigwa, Alon – ‘Crisis: No money to run new districts, conduct elections’ (07.07.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53724-crisis-no-money-to-run-new-districts-conduct-elections.html
The Observer – ‘Uganda: Museveni Directs Parliament to Convene Over New Districts’ (25.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508260319.html