Opinion: I miss Olara Otunnu, already!

Otunnu

After this General Election of 2016, he promised to step-down after the continuing process of keeping him away from the Presidency of Uganda People’s Congress as there we’re a strange placement of UPC in connection with the NRM government, as they got cabinet positions. The fighter and long-time human-rights activist and politician said he would give up politics.

“Tension at the opposition Uganda People’s Congress Party hit the boiling point on Friday, as supporters of the newly elected party President Jimmy Akena, battled with outgoing president Dr Olara Otunnu” (…) “The latter, who announced his resignation at the end of his term, is unsatisfied with the process through which Mr Akena was elected president last week, citing irregularities that characterized the entire process that must be probed” (…) “Sources in the party told us a new committee led by one Patrick Mwondha was set up, which will provide interim leadership until the July Delegates Conference when the new President will be endorsed” (…) “The council will handle all party activities leading to the July 10th National Council and July 11th National Delegates Conference” (…) “All this took place in the presence of president elect Jimmy Akena, who was occupying the party Vice President Joseph Bossa’s office” (Segwa, 2016).

This continued with a long process where Jimmy Akena finally overpowered Otunnu and kicked him out of the party, together with others who has essentially cleared the party of the loyalist behind Otunnu.

Therefore the realization that we do something bold again could appear, but instead he did this: ““Ambassador Olara Otunnu, the embattled UPC president’s time at the helm of one of Uganda’s oldest political parties is up. The man eagerly waiting to hand over power says his attempts have since been failed from 12th of June 2015,when he scheduled to officially hand over power only to be sabotaged by what he calls the Akena faction coup – d’état” (NBS TV Uganda, 10.05.2016).

Now months after I have to drop a few words for this man. Who has a long history in Uganda Politics and all of sudden has silently disappeared, something he didn’t deserve and he could have become more vital if people had given the man a chance. That is not something I alone could believe as he has been important for many during his years in the UPC. A place and heart of a fraction that Akena never can carry, because honest political craft isn’t Jimmy Akena’s way, if it we’re so the battle for Presidency of late would have been without tension, court dates and kicking out people out of the famous Uganda House.

But when looking away from the hurt, let look at the gentleman that Ugandan people now has lost, as he turned civilian and surely has a position with good people around him. Because he has the experience and the wisdom to lead and to focus his capacity at greater things!

In 1982 – New York:

“’There’s been a mistake,” he told Mr. Otunnu, who is Uganda’s representative to the United Nations. ”We don’t accept diplomats.” Mr. Otunnu kept looking, and found another apartment. ”Everything looked O.K.,” he said, ”but when I came on the appointed day with my check, I was told it was no longer available. I had a friend call up and cross-check, and he found the apartment was still available. So I went back with him, and they were embarrassed – they said the apartment was indeed available, but they couldn’t give it to me because I was a diplomat.” (…) “He found a third apartment, but he was again rejected and again for the same reason. Mr. Otunnu, who eventually found an apartment in a new building, remembers his experience with anger. But, he said, it is a ”common story” for diplomats.” (Bennetts, 1982).

In 2009 – ‘About his role in 1985:

Melina Platas Izma asks: “Some of your critics have alleged that you were involved in the coup of 1985. What is your reaction?”

Otunnu: “That is absolute falsehood. It is a vicious smear campaign being peddled for political reasons. At the time of the coup, I was based in New York. First, there were those reports about tensions in military barracks on the outskirts of Kampala. When I contacted my superiors in Kampala, I was assured that the incidents were not serious and were nothing to be concerned about. But then, in very quick order (and to my great shock), came the coup itself. I knew absolutely nothing about it and had no part whatsoever in its planning or execution. After the coup, I travelled to London for a previously scheduled meeting of the Commonwealth Commission on Small States. While in London, I was summoned home. At that time, I called Mzee Milton Obote from Shafiq Arain’s office. He told me how the coup by Bazilio Okello had unfolded. He knew I had nothing to do with it. He concluded the conversation by telling me: “The situation in Kampala is very dangerous. Be careful. And stay in touch when you can.” I did stay in touch with him. During the Nairobi peace talks, I travelled to Lusaka to consult Mzee.  Much later I would visit him while I was now based in New York. From time to time, he would send me messages. In fact one of the persons who carried an important personal letter from Mzee to me on one occasion was Chris Opoka, the current Secretary General of UPC. When I reported to Kampala, at the urging of Paulo Muwanga and Tito Okello, I accepted the assignment to initiate and facilitate the peace talks. That was my primary responsibility as minister. At the time, in a television discussion with Col. [Zed] Maruru, I defended the record and programmes of UPC from what was a wholesale visceral condemnation of the party without any regard to facts. I argued for an objective assessment of UPC’s record across the board – both its achievements and mistakes. Incidentally, soon after the coup, and before I left New York, Museveni had called from Gothenburg in Sweden (my telephone number was given to him by Betty Bikangaga from Geneva), urging me to return home to facilitate contacts and eventual peace talks: “The people who are in charge in Kampala know you and we know you; you can serve as a go-between and help to build confidence for talks.” (Izama, 2009)

His own statement in 1994 as member on the Commission on Global Governance:

“I think it would be equally difficult to have Germany and Japan join as permanent members without seeking some way to redress the imbalance which will be accentuated–the North-South imbalance within the Council. At the very least during this transitional period, we would need to have what one might call “tenured members” of the Council. Those who would serve for a period longer than two years–maybe five, six or seven years–but who would not be permanent members. A possible formula would be three-plus-one. Three tenured members would be drawn from the three regions of the world which are now not represented on a permanent basis–Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. The remaining one would be a global seat, tenured, elected on the basis of some rough standard of good UN citizenship. It would allow a number of countries, who would not necessarily belong to the three regions mentioned previously, but who contribute very actively to the purposes of the UN, to be invited to serve on this tenured basis” (…) “Now I come to the use of the veto, which obviously has to be discussed in any context, whether it is transitional or long-term. In the long term, I am not sure what the fate of the veto is going to be. I have a feeling that it will be a major issue of discussion. As we move into a world that is more democratic (in spirit if not always in practice), the veto will increasingly be questioned. But in the transitional package, I see the veto being retained by those who now have it, for purely practical purposes. They will not cooperate on anything that prejudices their right of veto” (Otunnu, 1994).

In 2005 – His work for Children in Conflict:  

“Reacting to his departure as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF said today that it was deeply grateful to Olara Otunnu for being an outspoken advocate for millions of children caught in conflict around the world” (…) “She praised Mr. Otunnu for insisting that egregious violations of the rights of children in armed conflict cannot be overlooked or forgotten, and that the cloak of impunity must be lifted for all war crimes and abuses committed against children” (…) “Ms. Salah also hailed Mr. Otunnu for his close work with UNICEF in negotiating the landmark resolution passed by the Security Council last week, which establishes a comprehensive monitoring and reporting system for children affected by armed conflict” (UNICEF, 2005).

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In 2007 – Otunnu could return:

“The Ugandan Government would not accept &rewarding8 the disaffected diaspora and &terrorists8 through the peace process. Museveni argued that if regime critics such as former U.N. Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict Olara Otunnu wanted to return to Uganda to run for office, they could do so. If northern Uganda was &thirsty8 to have Otunnu represent it, then a member of Parliament should vacate his seat for Otunnu to compete” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

In 2010 – Leadership role:

Last weekend, UPC delegates gave you a hoe to get back to work for Uganda, and the job is very big. Luckily, you bring to the job two very distinct qualities that will allow you to become part of nation building. Foremost, as a former diplomat on the world stage, you are known across the globe; when you call, leaders pick up their phones to listen. Your ability to network, and to connect internationally will serve Uganda well as a developing country” (Opiyo, 2010)

In 2013 – liberate Uganda:

The selection of Prof Omara-Otunnu who comes from northern Uganda may raise eyebrows to many in Uganda but a source close to FUF told The London Evening Post, that the front’s leadership is determined to have leaders from all regions of the country and that no particular tribe would monopolise the front as is the case in the ruling National Resistance Movement. Omara-Otunnu will need all his international experience in bringing together many Ugandans who have for years been frustrated by Museveni’s leadership and are being united because they all share one desire, that of removing Museveni from power and returning the country back to the people” (…) “A practical idealist and visionary, Prof Omara-Otunnu has devoted most of his adult life to promoting democracy, human rights, sustainable development, social justice and the ideal and practice of a common humanity around the globe. He engages these causes as a scholar advocate and a practitioner, by shaping policy and building structures and alliances through which to effect positive change in society. For his achievements, Professor Omara-Otunnu has received international recognition, including the luminary award given by the international affairs council to individuals who have made significant contributions that have profoundly impacted the world” (Gombya, 2013).

olara-otunnu

When you see this kind of words and his rich history from the cradle and in the midst of battles as the rise of Museveni was happening, while he also became a negotiation partner for the government of Obote. So he was on the losing side of history. Olara Otunnu we’re a man who at one point of time, though if I remember correctly that the youth had a say in the Obote government after the fall of Idi Amin where Museveni we’re Minister. So the turn of the coup of 1985, made him flee and also his reputation after years abroad made him a candidate for international works in the United Nations Organizations and partners. Therefore he is man with wide knowledge of the world and of his own nation.

Therefore it saddens me that he is now totally silent. That a man of this stature we wing-clipped by James Akena. That a man of hypocrisy and deceit like Akena could bring a man like this down! Otunnu had deserved another outcome. He has been steady and wanted the positive change of an accountable-government and a transparent election where a government like that would be elected. Certainly a vision he hasn’t seen in his time. Where also a transgression in his own party lead to his fall, as Akena made power moves and in the end cut the ties with the man of a rich history and also knowledge.

Otunnu, the diplomat who has a long career has now been gone into oblivion. The reality is that the man who has worked hard for justice for children and against war-crimes. As well as working of peaceful change from Museveni. That hasn’t occurred instead a man who turned loyal against all odds to Museveni got control over UPC. The Party that are old and stood against the Museveni paradigm is now gone. The UPC that stood against and lost that is well known now.

Otunnu has had many transition and been through many storms, been in exile and been through the worst of the worst. Many might not know this, but they should. He is not a relic or forgotten man; he should be a treasure to counter the NRM propaganda and the NRM control of the historical facts. He has been in the midst of the creation of the NRM from the outside and knows what the losing team looks like. He knows the struggle to get back their legacy and recharge a broken party. A party that betrayed him and took him for granted.

UPC was too good and to deceitful to be connected with Olara Otunnu! Olara Otunnu deserves credit for the work for the cause and I miss him from the public sphere. I am sure it does him good to be out of the spotlight. But the politics and the history of Uganda needs men like this. Who fights within reason and with enlightenment, with the tact and procedure and not with brown-envelopes and impunity! Peace.

Reference:

Bennetts, Leslie – ‘DIPLOMATS HAVING TO SCRATCH FOR APARTMENTS’ (06.06.1982) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/06/06/realestate/diplomats-having-to-scratch-for-apartments.html?pagewanted=all

Gombya, Henry – ‘EXCLUSIVE: Otunnu set to lead new Ugandan liberation front’ (10.10.2013) link: http://www.nyamile.com/uganda-in-south-sudan/exclusive-otunnu-set-to-lead-new-ugandan-liberation-front/

Otunnu, Olara A. – ‘1994 Conference – Statement by Olara Otunnu’

Former President, International Peace Academy 1990-98; Member, Commission on Global Governance) link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/the-dark-side-of-natural-resources-st/water-in-conflict/32794-1994-conference-statement-by-olara-otunnu.html

Opiyo, Oloya – ‘Olara Otunnu, UPC has given you a hoe get back to work’ (17.10.2010) – New Vision

Segawa, Nixon – ‘Olara Otunnu Overthrown as UPC President’ (05.07.2015) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/olara-otunnu-overthrown-as-upc-president/

Melina Platas Izama – ‘Olara Otunnu on the way’ (06.07.2009) link: https://melinaplatas.com/2009/07/06/olara-otunnu-on-the-way/

Unicef – ‘UNICEF thanks Olara Otunnu’ (03.08.2005) link: https://www.unicef.org/media/media_27835.html

WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: A/S FRAZER DISCUSSES LRA, CONGO, AND SOMALIA WITH PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’ (14.09.2007) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA1449_a.html

NRM-YL Communique funds will be rolled out through the state-program ‘YLP’ (14.10.2016)

nrmyl-14-10-2016

Otunnu Quits Active Politics (Youtube-Clip)

“Ambassador Olara Otunnu, the embattled UPC president’s time at the helm of one of Uganda’s oldest political parties is up. The man eagerly waiting to hand over power says his attempts have since been failed from 12th of June 2015,when he scheduled to officially hand over power only to be sabotaged by what he calls the Akena faction coup – d’état” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).

Akena M7

EU Statement by the Spokesperson on the Elections in Uganda (31.03.2016)

EU Out of Politics Pre-Election Period

“Today, Uganda’s Supreme Court dismissed the petition to annul the result of the 18 February 2016 presidential elections thereby validating the result.  In its ruling the Supreme Court also identifies a number of areas in need of structural and legal reform.

In this context, the EU recalls the preliminary statement made by the EU Electoral Observation Mission (EOM), and the concerns expressed by both domestic and international observers about serious shortcomings in the election process, including the violation of fundamental freedoms and the obstruction of the opposition’s work in the post-electoral period.

The final EU EOM report, due on 18 April, will make recommendations, including on how the election framework can be improved.

The EU stands ready to continue its dialogue with Uganda to foster democracy.  The Government of Uganda, Parliament, political parties as well as the Electoral Commission, and all stakeholders need to build on the experience of this election  and to work together constructively and peacefully in the direction also indicated by the Supreme Court.”

Release of AUEOM Preliminary Findings of the 18th February 2016 General Elections in the Republic of Uganda (20.02.2016)

NTV 20.02.2016

Kampala, 20 February 2016

“The AUEOM notes that the elections in Uganda were largely peaceful, but not without shortcomings.”

The African Union Commission deployed a Short Term Election Observation Mission to the 18 February 2016 General Elections in the Republic of Uganda. The Mission comprised 40 Short Term Observers from several African countries drawn from the African Union Permanent Representatives’ Committee, the Pan-African Parliament, Election Management Bodies and Civil Society Organizations.
The AUEOM assessed the General Elections in Uganda based on the relevant African Union instruments, namely; the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the 2002 AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions; and the legal framework governing the conduct of elections in Uganda. This statement presents the Mission’s preliminary findings covering pre-voting, voting, counting and tallying processes up to 18 February 2016. The African Union will, however, continue to observe the post-electoral developments and release a final report within the next three months.

Pre-election environment
The AUEOM noted that the legal framework for elections in Uganda provides for, and guarantees the holding of regular elections in conformity with regional and international frameworks. This framework comprises the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, the Electoral Commission Amendment Act 2015; the Presidential Elections Amendment Act 2015; the Parliamentary Elections Amendment Act 2015; and the Political Parties and Organisations Act 2005.
The AUEOM observed that there is no legal framework for regulating political party campaign financing. The Mission noted that the law expressly prohibits the use of Government resources for campaigning by all candidates and parties, except for the President, as stated in Article 27.1 of the Presidential Elections Act. Stakeholders reported that there has been unprecedented increase in campaign spending.
The AUEOM learned that in 2015 Uganda introduced a National Identity Card System, which required the conduct of a mass biometric registration of citizens aged 16 years and above. The EC extracted information of all registered citizens who were 18 years and above to compile a National Voters’ Register. The AUEOM noted that at the end of the National Voter Registration exercise, there were 15, 277,198 registered voters. This Voters’ Register was continuously updated until 11 May 2015 when the process was concluded in line with the electoral calendar.

The AUEOM noted that, whereas the use of data from the National Register ensured that all citizens from 18 years by the end of the mass registration exercise were registered; interlocutors expressed concern that the 11 May 2015 deadline for updating the Voters Roll left many potential voters who turned 18 years after that date, disenfranchised. The EC collaborated with civil society organizations (CSOs) in conducting voter education. However, the accredited CSOs raised concerns that their efforts were constrained by late provision of materials by the EC. In addition, voter education was generally perceived to be inadequate.

NTV Uganda Presidential Debate 2016

The AUEOM noted that for the first time, two presidential debates were held in Kampala and broadcasted live on television and radio. All 8 presidential candidates were invited to reach out to voters using this platform.

The AUEOM observed that despite the unprecedented political and electoral competition, campaigns were generally conducted within the legal framework. However, the Mission noted the 15 February 2016 incident in Kampala, which led to the arrest of an opposition leader, causing anxiety among opposition supporters. The police informed the Mission that the arrested leader and his party had defied the prescribed campaign route.

VPN 18.02.2016 P2

The Mission noted that women were nominated to run as party and independent candidates in various constituencies and that there was one female Presidential candidate. In addition, women contested for the 112 parliamentary seats specially created for them. The Mission noted the participation of youth in the elections both as candidates and in the campaigns. However, there were concerns raised by some stakeholders of the youth being used by political parties to intimidate and disrupt election campaign rallies of their opponents. The AUEOM noted that besides involvement in voter education initiatives CSOs were involved in domestic observation. Thousands of domestic observers were deployed throughout the country, especially in areas considered as hotspots. The AUEOM noted that in compliance with the legal provisions, the media covered political parties and candidates’ manifestos and campaigns. However, stakeholders felt that the state media provided more coverage to the incumbent president and his party, at the expense of the opposition. It was further reported that private media provided a fairly balanced reporting on all parties and candidates. Besides the mainstream print and electronic media, campaigning was carried out on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. The AUEOM noted general concerns following the shutdown of social media platforms, by the Uganda Communication Commission from Election Day citing security concerns. The AUEOM noted that there was a generally calm and peaceful pre-election environment with no major security incidents reported.

The AUEOM noted concerns raised by interlocutors with regard to the recruitment, training and deployment of community policing units called Crime Preventers, which they alleged were misused to intimidate opposition parties. The AUEOM was however informed by the police that these were purely crime prevention units at community level with no arresting powers.

The AUEOM noted the lack of trust in security agencies by some opposition parties, which were reported to have created counter units.

Election Day

On Election Day, the teams visited 148 polling stations comprising 60% urban and 40% rural where they observed opening, voting, closing and counting processes. The observers used tablets to capture and transmit real-time observation data to the Mission Command Centre. The AUEOM teams observed opening procedures countrywide and noted that the environment outside these centers was peaceful.
Delays in opening time by up to 4 hours were reported in a number of polling stations. The delays were attributed to late distribution of polling materials. Consequently, opening procedures pertaining to sealing of ballot boxes, identification and verification of voters were not fully adhered to in some cases.
As per the laid down procedure, voters were asked for identification and their names checked against the register before voting. Only a few were turned away because they did not have the required identification, were not on the voters’ register, were at the wrong polling station or were rejected by the Biometric Voter Verification Kit.
With regards to the Biometric Voter Verification Kits, which were introduced for the first time, the AUEOM observed that in some polling stations, the kits worked well, hence hastening the verification process; while in some stations, they were not used because they were either not working, or the election personnel did not have access pass codes.
As an additional identification and voting facilitation measure, voter identification slips were used to direct voters to the right voting station within a voting center. Voter processing times were reasonable and mostly ranged from no more than 3 minutes in 54% of the polling stations and between 3-6 minutes in 39% of the polling station stations observed.
The AUEOM observer teams observed closing procedures at 4:00pm and beyond in areas where polling was extended because of late opening.
Closing and counting procedures were not strictly adhered to in all polling stations visited. For example, there were instances where polling officials and agents did not reconcile the number of registered voters with the number of people who actually voted. In a majority of polling stations observed, party/ candidate agents were furnished with a copy of the results form by the presiding officer.

Kaabong 18.02.2016

Conclusion

The AUEOM congratulates the people of Uganda for turning up in large numbers to perform their civic duty.

While we note that the election process is ongoing, the AUEOM’s overall assessment of the 2016 General Elections thus far, is that they were largely peaceful, but not without shortcomings; in particular, the late delivery of election materials. The late delivery led to more than 4 hours of delays in the opening of polling stations. The Mission wishes to underscore that this impacted on the overall conduct of polling day operations, and caused anxiety and tension among the voters and polling officials, which could have been avoided.

Based on its preliminary findings, the AUEOM makes the following recommendations: The AUEOM encourages the Electoral Commission to:
• Adhere to the prescribed 48 hour time frame for delivery of materials as provided in the Electoral Act, when distributing election materials to polling stations;
• Conduct continuous voter education and voter registration;
• Strengthen training for polling personnel to avoid inconsistencies in implementation of polling procedures;
• Consider using indoor polling in order to create order around the stations and to protect polling officials, voters and materials from weather elements; and • Consider adopting voting booths that ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

The AUEOM recommends that the Government provide adequate resources to the Electoral Commission to conduct continuous voter registration and voter education and enable timely procurement of election materials.

To Parliament, the AUEOM recommends that it:
• Develops legislation to regulate political party and campaign finance; and
• Concludes electoral reforms at least a year before elections to allow for timely preparation and implementation.

The AUEOM encourages the public broadcaster to provide equitable coverage to all candidates.

The AUEOM recommends that Political Parties avoid the usage of inflammatory language during campaigns and inciting supporters.

Lastly, the AUEOM recommends that the Police enforce the law equally on all parties and candidates, and desist from heavy handedness when dealing with the public, political parties and candidates.

The AUEOM will continue to observe the tallying and other post-election developments and issue a comprehensive report three months after the announcement of the election results.

Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo
Head of the African Union Election Observer Mission

Preliminary Statement: East African Community Election Observation Mission to the General Election of the Republic of Uganda held on the 18th February 2016 (20.02.2016)

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Interim Statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group: On the Ugandan General Election 2016 (20.02.2016)

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President Museveni is not running for his 5th term, but he is running for the 7th! Proving it by going through his previous terms

Uganda-parliament-2

I know for some of you people this will blow your mind; some of you will tell I told you so. Other people will be like? How dare you insult my intelligence, well it depends on how you deem history and how you let the victors rewrite it. As President Museveni has been a victor and won over his predecessors like Yusuf Lule, Tito Okello and Milton Obote, even Idi Amin together with Milton Obote and the Tanzanian Army in late 1970s. So President Museveni has won the power through guns. At the same time as he has lingers he has tried to rewrite history as the people neglect certain fact.

We are supposed to see the people of Uganda to elect the 10th Parliament as this is the end of the 9th Parliament. I will not discuss that matter, as that is not important me. We could discuss if there only been 9 functional Parliament and representative government since independence in 1962, or should we also count the ones that we’re before this since the British introduced Parliamentarism in Uganda in 1882. Then it is with certainty more than 10 of them. If so is that based on the new constitution after independence or the newly written to fit NRA/NRM in 1995? Then so I understand the coming 10th Parliament. Still, this is also worth discussing and the matter of how we value the predecessors and the tools they left behind for the men of today who rule. Feel me?

This here is not a reflection on how Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) lost and got 4% in the 1980s and 1 seat in Parliament, as this was the first outfit for President Museveni. Museveni didn’t even get a seat as he lost to Sam Kutesa in the distric he was running in; that is a worthy side-note!

m7-1970

His first term – Overthrowing Okello in 1986:

But his first term started as he was sworn in and the New York Times described it like this:

“KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan. 29Yoweri Museveni, whose National Resistance Army descended on this battered capital city last week and overthrew the military Government of Gen. Tito Okello, was sworn in today as the new President of Uganda” (Rule, 1986). Here is in my opinion his start of first term, as he took it by the gun. As he was sworn in as President of Uganda, which initial means he got the appointment of rule as he defeated his opposition at that time.

ReaganMuseveni

 His Second Term – Election in 1989:

“The elections in 1989 also included elections for the majority of seats in parliament. Candidates for all these elections stood strictly as individuals and not as representatives for a party although several of them publicly were known supporters for one of the older parties – including the UPC. The Ugandan constitution was abolished in 1966, and no basic consensus has ever since appeared on the most basic issues like: how to elect a President and whether the country should be an unitary state or a federation including several kingdoms” (P: 40, 1994, Tidemand). “As already noted, the 1989 elections were held under strict anti-party rules since the NRM government had suspended all political party activities. Indeed, the Resistance Councils and Committees Elections Regulations, 1989, forbade all use of party symbols, sectarian appeals, and threats of force, the offer of food or drinks and the display of candidates’ posters. The absence of open campaigning made it impossible to discuss policies” (Bwana, 2009). “Out of a total of 278 seats, 210 members were elected without party affiliation” (African Elections).

This here election was one, and gave NRM time to rebuild and rewrite a new constitution. So this gave way for his second term in my opinion. Since the first term was from 1986 – 1989. From 1989 to 1996 is his second as there weren’t elections towards the parliament and presidential candidates, which means that the country was still controlled tightly by the NRM. Before the 1996 election there was election a Council for writing the new Constitution. That was put into place in 1995.

the-1995-constitution-was-very-clear-on-two-terms-but-museveni-used-parliament-to-remove-term-limits

His Third term – 1996 elections:

“The presidential election was preceded by an aggressive electoral campaign which was dominated by intimidation, vote buying, bribery and promises of material benefits. These methods were employed by both the opposition and the incumbent government during the 39 days which were allowed for presidential campaigns. It would seem that the aggressiveness of the campaign was dictated to some extent by the limited time allowed for each candidate to cover all of the country’s 39 districts, which meant that candidates were allowed one day of campaigning in each district. Again, this arrangement favoured the incumbent, President Museveni who had been in power for 10 years and was therefore well known to the electorate, compared to his challengers. Moreover, the electoral law allowed him the continued use of his presidential privileges which made the 39 campaign days less problematic” (Muhumaza, 1997). “The I996 presidential election was deemed a ‘step forward’ by many Western diplomats, although before the election some diplomats privately questioned how the election could be fair because of the fact that political parties were not able to organise to compete with the political machinery of the NRM (Reuters, 6 May I996). Despite private reservations, the official donor attitude was that the losers of the election should not contest the results. When Paul Ssemogerere went to the European Union Parliamentary Committee on Development to complain about the unfairness of the election, the committee told him to accept his defeat (The New Vision, 3 June I996)” (Hauser, 1999).

Interesting allegation about campaign money to Museveni in 1996:

It was for instance alleged that one presidential candidate received funds equivalent to 600 million shillings (US$600,000) from certain foreign organisations while on a pre-election visit to Europe; and that another candidate had been funded certain Islamic countries. Similar insinuations were hurled against President Museveni who was alleged to have got financial contributions from the Indian community in Uganda” (Muhumaza, 1997).

The election results from the 9th of May 1996:

The results was: “Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: 74.33 %, Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere: 23.61 % and Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja: 2.06 %” (African Election Database).

This here was the official first term as he was this one. Even if he had already been ten years in power, that is why I am saying this is his third term, as he had the first one from 1986 to 1989, when the overthrow Okello, second after the parliamentary elections to the first presidential election in 1996. That lasted to the 2001.

Before the next election this was reports on the great democratic environment President Museveni was building:

“Political parties are prohibited from holding party conferences, a ban which severely hampers their own internal reform. Since this ban has been in place since 1986, reform in the structure and leadership of political parties has been virtually impossible. Attempts to hold party conferences have been met with strong and unambiguous warnings from the Ugandan government that they would prevent such meetings” (…)”Since coming to power, the NRM has used a state-funded program of political and military education called chaka-mchaka to spread its message that political parties are destructive sectarian organizations responsible for Uganda’s past woes, an argument that resonates given Uganda’s recent political history. Chaka-mchaka thus serves to rationalize the NRM’s denial of political rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Government leaders, including President Museveni, often refer to advocates of democratic reform as their “enemies.” Other structures of local government such as the local councils (LC) and the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) serve to ensure support for the NRM, and often create a hostile climate for advocates of pluralism” (Human Rights Watch, 1999).

Old Campaign Posters Uganda

Fourth Term – General Election in 2001:

KAMPALA, Uganda, March 14— President Yoweri Museveni swept the hard-fought elections here today, in a victory that he called an acclamation of 15 years of peaceful rule but that his main opponent said was won only by extensive cheating” (…)”My votes are like Lake Victoria,” Mr. Museveni told tens of thousands of supporters this afternoon who marched to an airstrip downtown after the results were announced. ”They never dry up.” (…)”The main election monitors in Uganda said, however, that most allegations of cheating appeared to be against forces loyal to Mr. Museveni, estimating preliminarily that between 5 and 15 percent of the vote may have been won fraudulently. The fraud included people being forced or influenced to vote by election officials, intimidation and people being denied the right to vote” (Fisher, 2001).

The Election results from the 12th March 2001:

The results are: “Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: 69.33 %, Kizza Besigye: 27.82 %, Aggrey Awori: 1.41 %, Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja: 1.00%, Francis Bwengye: 31 % and Karuhanga Chapaa: 0.14 % (African Election Database).

Reactions to the election:

“Amnesty International (AI) agrees with the Besigye opposition that “the Presidential elections in Uganda have been marred by allegations of human rights abuses, both before and after the elections on 12 March 2001. An increasing number of human rights violations against opposition supporters, including illegal arrests and detention without charge, ill-treatment in detention, and alleged unlawful killings were reported by the Ugandan press in the weeks leading up to the elections. In some instances, supporters of President Museveni were also targetted.” (Afrol.com, 2001).

This here was the official second term, while I am saying it is the fourth one, that lead to him opening the Multi-Party elections in 2005. Also the referendum on term limits came into force in 2005. As the constitution made in 1995 gave the limit of the Executive Power and President had the ability to be elect twice. As he wasn’t elected in between 1986 to 1996; 10 years without accountability and still becoming a donor pleasant government as Structural Adjustment Program got eaten up by the Government of Uganda in that period. As President Museveni even met with U.S. President Clinton; as he was the new future leader of the “third world” development.

Uganda Term Limits Museveni

Here are the issues in 2005 with the abolishment of term limits:

“Museveni and his supporters, who pushed a controversial constitutional amendment rescinding presidential term limits through Parliament this month, are urging an overwhelming “yes” vote while the weak and fractured opposition want the country’s 8,9-million eligible voters to boycott the polls” (…)”Under current rules, political parties are allowed to exist but may not have branch offices and may not field candidates in elections. The only fully-functioning political entity is Museveni’s own “Movement” organisation to which all Ugandans theoretically belong” (Mayanja, 2005).

As it was voted in by the public he was allowed to be the Presidential candidate in yet another election. The one that happen in 2006!

Election 2011 Uganda

Fifth term – 23rd February 2006 Presidential Election:

As some context and pretext over the other issues written in between 2001 and 2006; this here is following the close and tense contest that was held in 2006; as the NRM was weaken over time, as the fatigue of running the country since 1986. As the fourth term was already showing how much they tried to continue to work under the Movement System, instead of giving way to Multi-Party Democracy, as people voted in the second referendum poll. Here is some things happening right before:

“A spokesman for the ruling National Resistance Movement told New Vision that the government had complained to the U.S.-based Web server which hosts Radio Katwe, Brinkster Communications Corporation, claiming that the site was publishing “malicious and false information against the party and its presidential candidate. (…)”Local journalists have expressed fears that the government could similarly block The Monitor’s Web site on election day, when the newspaper plans to keep a running tally of votes from across the country. “Our Web site has been going offline every day for the last three days” for several hours at a time, Monitor Group Managing Director Conrad Nkutu told CPJ. He added that while the problem appeared be a technical glitch, “we are also suspicious it might not be.” (CPJ, 2006).

Election results from 2006:

The results are:


Number of Votes
% of Votes
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (NRM) 4,109,449 59.26%
Kizza Besigye (FDC) 2,592,954 37.39%
John Ssebaana Kizito (DP) 109,583 1.58%
Abed Bwanika 65,874 0.95%
Miria Obote (UPC) 57,071 0.82%

(African Election Database)

Aftermath after the first Multi-Party after NRM got into Power:

“The multi-party elections of 2006 saw only slight improvements from 2001, notably in the area of media freedom. Dr Besigye ran against President Museveni for the second time, but now as the leader of a new political party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and garnered 37.39% of the votes, as against Museveni’s 59.26% majority. Dr Besigye’s Supreme Court case regarding the 2006 elections has become famous due to the ruling that Museveni was the rightful winner despite the Court’s acknowledgement of widespread electoral malpractices and vote rigging which were considered not to have substantially affected the results of the elections” (…)”For any engagement with these political parties a number of issues need to be taken into consideration, these include the multi-party system and the fact that the political playing field remains un-levelled in favour of the NRM. As such, donors operating in Uganda need to be cognisant of the implications of this, for the ruling party and for opposition parties. International donors have and continue to play a significant role in financing and monitoring Uganda’s elections. In the 1990s, the UNDP was the lead institution for donors who wanted to co-finance Uganda’s elections. The UNDP’s mandate involved managing a donors’ basket fund, and recruiting and supervising specialised technical assistance to support the EC and civil-society organisations to carry out tasks allocated to them” (Sekaggya, 2010).

Uganda Election 2011 P2

Sixth Term – General Election in 2011:

Some Pretext: “The 2011 Uganda elections have attracted a record 8 Presidential candidates from seven political parties and one Independent candidate. All the Presidential Candidates have been on the campaign trail marketing their manifestos to Ugandans and have dispelled earlier assertions that some of them, seen as weak, will pull out of the campaigns that like in 2006 were expected to majorly be between incumbent Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement and Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change” (Rulekere, 2011). “FGD respondents said that this happens mainly on the election eve whereby candidates and/or their agents carry gifts and money in vehicles which have had number plates removed and they pack somewhere in the village and then walk from door to door giving money and/or gifts” (…)”Daily Monitor of Friday 7, January 2011 carried a lead story that President Museveni gave out $2.15 million (USh5 billion) in cash and pledges between July and October 2010 but the opposition is charging that such patronage is giving the incumbent an unfair advantage in the February 18, 2011 vote. Mr Museveni always conducts a countrywide tour before each election, during which he makes pledges and donations Critics say this is a disguised campaign that allows him to offer inducements to potential voters out of the public purse, a privilege unavailable to other candidates” (…)”Incumbent candidates have readily used their access to state resources to provide an unfair edge when running for re-election. This includes cash payments from the state treasury, use of state owned property and vehicles, as well as the fulfilment of campaign pledges during the campaign period. Voter have given up on their elected officials to fulfil campaign promises and seek to extract as much benefit as they can around the campaign period” (DMG, 2011)

The results are:

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (NRM) 5,428,369 68.38%
Kizza Besigye (FDC) [IPC] 2,064,963 26.01%
Norbert Mao (DP) 147,917 1.86%
Olara Otunnu (UPC) 125,059 1.58%
Beti Kamya (UFA) 52,782 0.66%
Abed Bwanika (PDP) 51,708 0.65%
Jaberi Bidandi Ssali (PPP) 34,688 0.44%
Samuel Lubega 32,726 0.41%

(African Election Database)

Tororo town FDC Poster Former Campaign IPC

The Commonwealth Observation Group noted this:

“The main concern regarding the campaign, and indeed regarding the overall character of the election, was the lack of a level playing field, the use of money and abuse of incumbency in the process. The magnitude of resources that was deployed by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), its huge level of funding and overwhelming advantage of incumbency, once again, challenged the notion of a level playing field in the entire process. Media monitoring reports also indicated that the ruling party enjoyed a large advantage in coverage by state-owned radio and TV. The ruling party in Uganda is by far the largest and best-resourced party and following many years in power, elements of the state structure are synonymous with the party. Further, reports regarding the “commercialisation of politics” by the distribution of vast amounts of money and gifts were most disturbing. Indeed, the „money factor‟ and widespread allegations of bribery and other more subtle forms of buying allegiance were key features of the political campaign by some, if not all, the parties. By all accounts, the 2011 elections were Uganda‟s most expensive ever. It is therefore important that for the future serious thought be given to election campaign financing and political party fundraising. This is more so given that there are virtually no checks on the levels of campaign financing and expenditure due to the cash-based nature of the campaign and the lack of stringent campaign financing regulations, both of which facilitate the use of illicit payments to voters as inducements and has the potential to undermine their free will” (Commonwealth Observers Group, 2011).

Museveni-with-a-dummy-map-of-uganda

Important how President Museveni could run in the 2016 Election:

The Kyankwanzi Resolution of 2014 – President Museveni’s right for Sole Candidacy in the NRM:

“RESOLUTION ON PARTY COHESION AND GOVERNANCE

We, the undersigned members of the NRM Caucus attending a retreat at the National Leadership Institute(NALI) Kyankwanzi (6,February 2014); Fully aware of our Country’s historical  past and the need to consolidate and sustain the Milestones registered over the years since 1986; Cognizant of the fact that there is still a lot more to be done in order to realize our ideological vision of uniting Uganda(Nationalism), Pan-africanism, transforming our country from a poor peasantry society to a modern economy and upholding democracy; Conscious of the fact that what has been so far achieved over the last 28 years needs to be guarded jealously and improved upon to realize our vision; Aware  that when individuals engage in personal scheming, party cohesion is undermined, development efforts aredistracted and the population is diverted from work to early politicking;

DO here by resolve;

  1. To support H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni tocontinue leading and facilitating our country on its take off journey to transformation”

Afterthought –Run in to General Election 2016.

1986-1996: First and Second Term!

So I have now gone through the Elections since 1986 until today in 2016. That is thirty years in Power for the Executive Power and being President Museveni. 1986 to 1996, he didn’t really become elected as President as he did a coup d’état in 1986 to bring down regime at the current time. So the period from 1986 to 1996, there was an election in 1989 a Resistance Council elections which barred the Parliament with elected men and woman from the NRM/A, but was not an ordinary election to bring the people’s will in full effect and not even electing President Museveni, but securing polls to validate the rule of NRM at the time, also in my consideration to shut-up the donor-community; so they see the “democratic” vision of President Museveni. He even made a stunning Constitution in 1995. President Museveni had set the standard with two term limits and other regulatory tools to secure accountability that was new in Uganda, together with swallowing the Structural Adjustment Program to secure massive amount of funding to rebuild the country and secure Universal Preliminary Education. Something the citizens of Uganda got excited about and also gave him praise abroad.

museveni 2016 Poster

Third Term 1996-2001:

After the 1996 Presidential Election was his third term elections, and the official first term (which I can’t take serious) as he had already ruled for a decade, and you can’t shuffle that off that easy. Even with the bodies and violence to get the power in 1986, it cost so much suffering to gain that power; so to eradicate that and call this his first term, is to neglect the first ten years of power. Something we should be to damn wise to not. There we’re still not a Multi-Party Democracy or Elections as President Museveni doesn’t really believe in that; as the nation had to after this go through two referendum polls before initiating the hassle of letting people be controlled by other party functions then the NRM.

Fourth Term 2001-2006:

So when the fourth term came in 2001, he had already been long enough in power to already using up the constitutional rights as the Executive Power and President of the land. He was still popular and gained a lot of support. Even if the election was rigged and had a massive malpractices; the initial issues is how he pleaded and mixed up with referendum terminating presidential term limits to fit himself and rewriting the constitution of 1995 in 2005, so he could run off a third time. The second score of joy for the people was the second vote of the polls for Multi-Party Democracy, meant that the public could vote for other parties then the NRM during the 2006, as much as they could still as ever; vote for the old man with the hat! After 20 years in power he still used sufficient tools to be able to get voted in. And also stifle the completion in his favor, as the man who took power himself in 1986.

Fifth Term 2006-2011:

Set for the fifth term in 2006. The NRM and President Museveni at the time was re-introducing of multi-party election and continuing to go as the candidate, to secure the total tally of 25 years; when the term would be done.  He fixed the 1995 constitution one year advanced so he could run again! This time the third official campaign and polls, though still, with the 10 year as ruler before an election means, initially fifth. This here was the start of the down-turn as he now showed more and more the authoritarian leader and totalitarian state, compared to donor-friendly character he was when he first was sworn in 1986 and steady ship he hold while elected in 1996.

Sixth Term 2011- 2016:

As his sixth term in 2011, there was already starting to crack with the NRM leadership and the people, as they we’re ready for new leaders and a new executive. As the Kampala Riots and ‘Walk to Work’ demonstrations; proves that the leadership is in a fatigue state where the public is tired of the NRM and their ring leader President Museveni. Even still with well rigged machinery the NRM “won” again the election. To finish of this one, he had to swallow a few scalps to secure his sole candidacy, he had to break of Gilbert Bukenya his loyal fellow, he had to push of cliff Amama Mbabazi who wished to take his seat in the NRM, which is not a possibility unless you are the clone of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; something Amama Mbabazi is not! In early 2014 he had to set up his machinery ready and get his party in line so that he could get the spot again with the Kyankwanzi Resolution in February 2014 and set his goals on the 7th Term as the Executive and President of Uganda, in the 10th Parliament. That is another timeline I am not sure of, I am sure there are more then 10 elected or appointed Parliaments and sessions in the great republic of Uganda. It is just a a way of rewriting history as the NRM is famous for.

Mbabazi M7 Besigye

That rewriting history comes in the sense of saying NRM and President Museveni is contesting for the 5th Term, I am saying his fifth term was between 2006-2011 his most turbulent ruling period after his first term in 1986-1989 when he still struggled to keep the whole country into peace, as there was still guerrillas and militias wanting to unsettle the new regime in Kampala. As we have seen, and we can see, there is a pattern and there is a reason why I am saying “we could really see his democratic wish” as the elections and malpractices seems like the same as when he took power. The rigging he claimed he wanted in the 1980s and why he lost as the UPM front-man, it seems to be same as it was under Dr. Milton Obote, the only difference is that he has been able to be stable and keep a strong army to spread the fear so that nobody has tried to really use a coup d’état against him. There been allegations in the past, and even persons been alleged in court for treason against the state, but they have been more political motivated then actual forces or militias in the sense they went to the bush to get rid of President Museveni. Though LRA and ADF has gone after his head, but failed.

President Museveni is now trying his best to get into his 7th Term, and we should not be surprised by election rigging, malpractices to destroy level playing-grounds for political parties, paying for votes and using both government institutions and government funds to be re-elected; Even supress the court to secure the validation or dismiss the allegation of election fraud in the 2016 election. I fear for the public response this time and how the security agents of the state will address them. As the Gen. Katumba Wamala of the UPDF will surely do what he can to impress President Museveni and Police Boss IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura follows orders blindly made by the Executive, as if he wants to shut down demonstrations and revolts against the totalitarian regime that the NRM has evolved into. As they are used to stealing the elections and taking the people for ransom to gain riches while the average people toil in poverty. There is time for change with a government with transparency, accountability and good governance; as the government now is famous for not caring about this issues and becoming dependent on feeding the cronies and loyal men of Museveni instead of serving the people. Peace.

Reference:

African Elections Database – ‘Elections in Uganda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/ug.html

Afrol.com – ‘”Uganda needs to re-affirm human rights commitment” (17.03.2001) link: http://www.afrol.com/News2001/uga006_hrights_reaffirm.htm

Bwana, Charles – ‘Voting Patterns in Uganda’s Elections: Could it be the end of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) domination in Uganda’s politics?’ (2009) – LES CAHIERS D’AFRIQUE DE L’ N° 41

Commonwealth Observer Group – ‘UGANDA PRESIDENTIAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS’ (24.02.2011)

Committee to Protect Jorunalist (CPJ) – ‘Critical website Radio Katwe blocked on eve of presidential election’ (23.02.2006) link: http://www.ifex.org/uganda/2006/02/23/critical_website_radio_katwe_blocked/

Democracy Monitoring Group (DMG) – ‘Report on Money in Politics – Pervasive vote buying in Ugandan Election’ (January 2011)

Fisher, Ian – ‘Final Count Has Uganda President Winning 69% of Vote’ (15.03.2001) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/15/world/final-count-has-uganda-president-winning-69-of-vote.html

Hauser, Ellen – ‘Ugandan Relations with Western Donors in the 1990s: What Impact on Democratisation?’ (Dec. 1999) link: http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/Hauser%20Uganda%20donors.pdf

Human Right Watch – ‘Hostile to Democracy The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda’ (01.10.1999) link: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45dad0c02.html

Manyanja, Vincent – ‘Ugandans face paradox in referendum’ (25.07.2005) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2005-07-25-ugandans-face-paradox-in-referendum

Muhumaza, William – ‘Money and Power in Uganda’s 1996 Elections’ (1997) – African. Journal. Political Science (1997), Vol. 2 No. 1, 168-179

Rule, Sheila – ‘REBEL SWORN IN AS UGANDA PRESIDENT’ (30.01.1986) link:  http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/30/world/rebel-sworn-in-as-uganda-president.html

Rulekere, Gerald – ‘Uganda Elections 2011: The Presidential Candidates – Early Predictions’ (17.02.2011) link: http://www.ugpulse.com/government/uganda-elections-2011-the-presidential-candidates-early-predictions/1207/ug.aspx

Sekaggya, Margaret – ‘Uganda: Management of Elections’ (01.01.2010) link: https://www.eisf.eu/library/uganda-management-of-elections/

Tidemand, Per – ‘The Resistance Councils in Uganda A Study of Rural Politics and Popular Democracy in Africa’ (1994) –PHD Dissertation at Roskilde University, Denmark.

30th NRA/NRM Liberation Day with the “First National Address” – On the Parliamentary Steps on the 26. January 1986 (Transcript of the Speech)

500px-Uganda_Regions_map

Today is the Liberation day after the Bush-War in 1986. That led to the fall of Milton Obote, Yusuf Lule and Tito Okello. After years in the bush and using the guns and being armed to their teeth and after that actually run Uganda; that happens after losing the election in 1980 as a independent with the Uganda Patriotic Movement. He lost to Sam Kutesa his now Foreign Affairs Minister and loyal ally. Because he claimed the 1980s elections where UPC and Milton Obote won, he went to the bush because the system could not be fixed in peaceful ways. Today is the 26th January in remembrance of this and show respect to the start of 30 year reign of power. Here is a transcript of the speech he had that day. If that is to long I have the cut video clip first that can show the glimpse of what he was trying to say. Take a look and read if you will!

Here is the speech he held on the NRA/M liberation and after the bush-war in front of the Parliament on the 26th January 1986:
NO ONE should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guard: it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country. In Africa, we have seen so many changes that change, as such, is nothing short of mere turmoil. We have had one group getting rid of another one, only for it to turn out to be worse than the group it displaced. Please do not count us in that group of people: the National Resistance Movement is a clear-headed movement with clear objectives and a good membership.

NRA marching to Kampala 1986

Of course, we may have some bad elements amongst us – this is because we are part and parcel to Ugandan society as it is, and we may, therefore, not be able completely to guard against infiltration by wrong elements.

It is, however, our deliberate policy to ensure that we uplift the quality of politics in our country. We are quite different from the previous people in power who encouraged evil instead of trying to fight it.

You may not be familiar with our program, since you did not have access to it while we were in the bush so I shall outline a few of its salient points;

The first point in our program is the restoration of democracy. The people of Africa-the people of Uganda-are entitled to democratic government. It is not a favour from any government: it is the right of the people of Africa to have democratic government. The sovereign power in the land must be the population, not the government. The government should not be the master, but the servant of the people.

In our liberated zones, the first thing we started with was the election of village Resistance Committees. My mother, for instance, cannot go to parliament; but she can, surely, become a member of a committee so that she, too, can make her views heard. We have, therefore, set up village, muluka, gombolola and district committees.

Later we shall set up a national parliament directly elected by the people. This way we shall have both committee and parliamentary democracy. We don’t want to elect people who will change sides once they are in parliament. If you want to change sides, you must go back and seek the mandate of the people who elected you.

Democracy
Some of these points are for the future, but right now I want to emphasis that the first point in our political program is democracy for the people of Uganda. It is a birthright to which all the people of Uganda are entitled.
The committees we have set up in these zones have a lot of power. You cannot, for instance, join the army or the police without being cleared by the village committee.

You must get a recommendation from the people in your village to say that you are not a rogue. Hence, the soldiers who are joining us from other armies will have to be referred back to their villages for recommendation. The same applies to the police.

Suppose, for instance, that we want to recruit some 500 soldiers from the District of Rakai and say 10,000 youths in the area apply to join. If 5,000 of those are cleared by their area committees as people of good character, the selecting military team will choose the most physically fit from among those, and we shall end up with an army that is both of good character and in good physical condition. This is an example of some of the work to be done by the village committees.

Another important aspect of the committees is that they should serve as a citizens’ intelligence system. If I go to address a rally in Semuto, Rape-ka or Nakaseke, I shall first meet the muluka and gombolola committees in the area. They will tell me whether the muluka chiefs are thieves, or the hospital personnel are selling drugs, or whether there are soldiers in the area who are misbehaving. They are thus able to act as watchdogs for the population and guard against the misuse of power.

The second point in our program is the security of person and property. Every person in Uganda must be absolutely secure to live wherever he or she wishes. Any individual or any group of persons who threatens the security of our people must be smashed without mercy.

Museveni 1986 Uganda

Security
The people of Uganda should only die from natural causes that are beyond our control, but not at the hands of fellow citizens who continue to walk the length and breadth of our land freely. When we were in Nairobi during the peace talks, it was a very painful experience sitting in a room with criminals across the table. 1 was advised that being a leader, you have to be diplomatic.

This prompted me to ask: “But does diplomacy apply to criminals as well?” to which the answer was, “Yes”. I saw then that the whole process was a farce. We tried peacefully to push the case that the Amin elements, and people like Bazilio Okello, who had killed people in broad daylight, must be excluded from government.

Our voice, however, was a lonely one because there were so many pressures from the International community which is interested only in trade. They do not care how many skeletons we have in Uganda: all they care about is for the road to be opened so that their goods can have free passage. We, therefore, made our position very clear: we were not going to take part in any government which included and Involved criminals. Unfortunately these people believed they had tricked us. Tito Okello, for instance, came back saying that my signing the agreement showed that they had removed the teeth from the salambwa (poisonous snake).

Our position, however, has always been very clear. If you play tricks with us, we shall play tricks with you; if you are honest with us, we shall be honest with you; if you are violent against us, we shall be violent against you. We are people who pay others in their own currency and we never use cowardly tactics. When I was in the bush, I had a lot of pressure from people who said that we should assassinate people like Obote, Muwanga and Bazilio.

NRA M7

Against assassination
I disagreed because I argued that when you assassinate people like that, you turn them into martyrs and heroes. What you need is to develop enough strength to enable you to sweep that kind of garbage to where it belongs: on the dung-heap of history. Why should anybody bother to kill small people like Bazilio? You may kill Bazilio Okello but you will be left with many other Bazilios.

Therefore, the security of the people of Uganda is their right and not a favour bestowed by any regime. No regime has a right to kill any citizen of this country, or to beat any citizen at a road block. We make it clear to our soldiers that if they abuse any citizen, the punishment they will receive will teach them a lesson. As for killing people – if you kill a citizen, you yourself will be killed.

During our struggle, we executed five soldiers of the National Resistance Army for killing people in Bulemezi, Ngoma and Fort Portal. One of these soldiers had killed a doctor in order to steal his money.

What, on the other hand, has been happening in Kampala? Recently, people were massacred in Luwero and a high-powered delegation was sent there: you know these so-called high-powered delegations led by Excellency’s and honorables, etc. Personally, I do not like being called ‘Excellency’.

People in Bulemezi call me Yoweri or Mzee wa Kazi. Now, these Excellency’s, and honorable ministers and high-ranking military personnel, and what-have-you went to Luwero. Can you imagine what they did? We were told that they had transferred the person who had killed the people in Luwero to another station! Can you imagine? Someone kills 100, 50 or even two people and you say you have transferred him to another area? It was suggested that the solution to some of our problems would be for Kampala to be completely demilitarized.

Disciplining soldiers
So I asked: “Where are you going to take these criminal soldiers? Even if you take them to a national park they will kill the animals there!” The solution, therefore, is to put criminal soldiers where they belong: in prison.

The third point in our program is the question of the unity of our country. Past regimes have used sectarianism to divide people along religious and tribal lines. But why should religion be considered a political matter? Religious matters are between you and your god. Politics is about the provision of roads, water, drugs, in hospitals and schools for children.

m7-1970

Case for unity
Take the road from here, Parliament Buildings, to Republic House. This road is so bad that if a pregnant woman travels on it, I am sure she will have a miscarriage! Now, does that road harm only Catholics and spare Protestants? Is it a bad road only for Moslems and not for Christians, or for Acholis and not for Baganda? That road is bad and it is bad for everyone.

All the users of that road should have one common aspiration: to have it repaired. How do you become divided on the basis of religion or tribe if your interests, problems and aspirations are similar? Don’t you see that people who divide you are only using you for their own interests not connected with that road? They are simply opportunists who have no program and all they do is work on cheap platforms of division because they have nothing constructive to offer the people.

Our Movement is strong because it has solved the problem of division: we do not tolerate religious and tribal divisions in our Movement, or divisions along party lines such as UPC, DP, UPM and the like. Everyone is welcome on an equal basis. That is why you find that when our army goes to Buganda, the people there call it:” amagye gaffe, abaana baffe”. When it goes to the West, it is: “amahe gaitu, abaana baitu”: which means that wherever the NRA goes, it is called ‘our army, our children’. Recently, Buloba was captured by our army, and the commander in charge of the group was an officer called Okecho. He comes from Pakwach in West Nile.

Therefore, the so-called division between the north and south is only in people’s heads. Those who are still hoping to use it are going to be disappointed. They ought to dig a large grave for such aspirations and bury them. Ma-sindi was captured by our soldiers led by Peter Kerim: he, too, is from West Nile. Dr. Ronald Batta here, who is from Madi, has been our Director of Medical Services for all these years in the bush.

Milton Obote_pic

Angry’ Obote
Obote tried to propagate the idea that there was a division between the Bantus and the Nilotics and that if the Bantus took over, the Nilotics would be wiped out. We have, however exposed him. Whenever, we captured soldiers from Ac noli, Lango and elsewhere, we would treat them well and then release them.

Obote would be surprised and he would ask: “Were you really captured? Did you see Museveni? Were you really not beaten?” Once we captured the police commander of Masindi, a man called Gala.

I talked to him and another man called Epigo, also from Masindi. When we released them and Epigo got back to Obote, Obote did not like what Epigo had to say: that the National Resistance Army was not a tribal army as the Obote government had been trying to make out. So Obote locked Epigo up in Luzira Maximum Security Prison because he did not want to hear the truth about our Movement and Army.

There is, in philosophy, something called obscurantism, a phenomenon where ideas are deliberately obscured so that what is false appears to be true and vice versa. We in the NRM are not interested in the politics of obscurantism: we want to get to the heart of the matter and find out what the problem is. Being a leader is like being a medical doctor. A medical doctor must diagnose his patient’s disease before he can prescribe treatment.

Similarly, a political leader must diagnose correctly the ills of society. A doctor who does not diagnose his patient’s disease adequately is nothing but a quack.

In politics we have also got quacks – and Uganda has had a lot of political quacks over the past two decades or so. I also want to talk about co-operation with other countries, especially in our region. One of our weaknesses in Africa is a small market because we don’t have enough people to consume what we produce.

ReaganMuseveni

Regional cooperation
Originally we had an East African market but it was messed up by the Excellency’s and Honorable ministers. It will be a cardinal point in our program to ensure that we encourage co-operation in economic matters, especially in transport and communication within the East African region.

This will enable us to develop this area. We want our people to be able to afford shoes. The Honorable Excellency who is going to the United Nations in executive jets, but has a population at home of 90 per cent walking barefoot, is nothing but a pathetic spectacle. Yet this Excellency may be busy trying to compete with Reagan and Gorbachev to show them that he, too, is an Excellency. These are some of the points in our political program. As time goes on, we shall expand more on them.

Last appeal
To conclude, I am appealing to those people who are trying to resist us to come and join us because they will be integrated. They should not waste their time trying to fight us because they cannot defeat us.

If they could not defeat us when there were just 27 of us with 27 guns, how can they defeat this army which you saw here? They cannot defeat us, first of all, because we have a correct line in politics which attracts everyone. Secondly, we have a correct line of organization. Thirdly, our tactics are correct.

We have never made a mistake either in strategy or tactical calculation. I am, therefore, appealing to these people not to spill more blood, especially of the young men who are being misled by older people who should know better.

Museveni-with-a-dummy-map-of-uganda

Afterthought: 

I think this is enough. And it is celebration of 30 years. I will not be smooth, but rather silent. Because it seems like President Museveni forget his cause, if it ever was his cause and to make a democratic change. Even if he used a long time to give a multi-party system. Still his rigging turns as bad or worse then Obote II. That means that after 30 years they are doing the same thing they fought against. Which must be an ironic way of celebrating 30 years of power, with the same leader that held this speech. A speech that was powerful and if truthful and the power ate the man. Then he forgot why he came to power. There are many theories, but the man who took power talked a way of democratic behaviour, but now is more totalitarian and police-state then the state he wished to build in 1986. Peace.

Press Release: The European Union Election Observation Mission for the 18th February General Elections has begun its activities (08.01.2016)

EOM PR 080116 P1EOM PR 080116 P2