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Opposition Chief Whip Ssemujju provoking Besigye supporters just like Mwenda!

There are just some days, the true colors of some people appear, the real reason and the double-edged sword comes into play. There are times when the grandeur of support dwindles away like a dot-com bubble. It is this time and this sort of attacks within own party shouldn’t exist. Apparently it do, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has been a party where the different leaders has discussed matters and followed protocol. Also, ever since Reform Agenda of early 2000s the leadership has changed and other deserters from National Resistance Movement has come into the fold.

It has been the strongest opposition party because of how the internal party organization has been built, the trust between the aides of leaders and the members. This has been an element of a party structure that has been done with grass-root work and steady campaigning. The proof of being different and also wanting a possible peaceful change from the Museveni era. That has not happen, because of the oppression and the constant rigging. Also, the control of the army. Therefore, you can wonder why Besigye who was part of the foundation and creator of FDC are no under-fire from his own. That also sounding like Mwenda, who has become the giant commentator who really despises him. I wouldn’t expect this sort of words form someone in the FDC NEC, but everything is allowed in politics, I guess.

Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the 16th August 2017:

That is how many FDCs, including sophisticated ones like Musumba, viewed anyone who dared contest against Besigye. This is because Besigye is the most charismatic and selfless leader that the FDC either has inherited or produced. He is nearly more popular than the party. Contesting against him is almost criminal, punishable by isolation and other social boycotts. Yet that is exactly what motivated Muntu. I remember interviewing him while still working with The Observer and he feared FDC was making the same mistake senior leaders in the NRM made – not contesting against Museveni. Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant”. Therefore, to them, this campaign for the FDC presidency is between defiance and compliance. The truth of the matter is that this campaign is between blind loyalists and those opposed to the idea” (Ssemujju, 2017).

Andrew Mwenda on the 7th January 2017:

Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause. Both sides are involved in a game of deceit and deception and here is how. Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly. For many months after the elections in February 2016, Kayihura kept a small police contingent at Besigye’s home of not more than 20 police officers. This “large mass” of “ready-to-die-for-our-man” people couldn’t pass this small poorly equipped force to rescue their hero. What kind of loyalty is this? Besigye is deluded to believe in his fanatics” (Andrew Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

Why did I take a Facebook article from Mwenda and this week attack piece from Ssemujju, it is because they use same sort of form to attack Besigye. It is special and unique. I never thought Ssemujju would use the same of tricks of the trade to address greatest Museveni nemesis Besigye. This is just weird. Because, Ssemujju has often been a man of reason, a man of sound judgment, but this time, I beg to differ.

Mwenda wrote this: “Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause”. We can easily detect that anyone supporting Besigye has to be a die-hard supporter and dying for his cause. Because the support of Besigye has to be this hard, then seeing Ssemujju: “Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant””. You can see that Ssemujju also calls Besigye radicals, as it is criminal not supporting him inside the FDC. That is the coded language used for, that the ones standing against Besigye is a “criminal gang”. This sort of addressing it, shows how he tries to make the decisions of Besigye into attack on the FDC Organization. That since Besigye has and wanted to be different than the NRM and the government itself. Since, if they gave way to the government, then there was no difference. If Besigye supporters really did boycott and stopped being part of state, the FDC would be legitimate opposition party. What is worrying is how he uses the same sort of words to address Besigye.

I would not expect that Ssemujju would write in a manner of Mwenda, but he did. It is right, Besigye is not perfect, but he has given way to other parts of the party, that has opened windows of more than just “hard-liners”. If it wasn’t so, the FDC NEC wouldn’t have the power and the ability to become a Shadow Government with Shadow Cabinet. Something Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Party President was voting for, while Besigye was in house-arrest and detained. If Ssemujju feared the prison and the oppression to the levels of Besigye, he might have turned a bit more radical himself. But safety of Parliament salaries and remuneration must surely put the ideology on the side.

It is a sad sight seeing Ssemujju turning this way, instead of actually being honest, being up-front for why he uses Besigye, who is not standing for the FDC Presidency and that Gen. Muntu is also an incumbent. Another “No-Change”. Since Gen. Muntu has been the Party President since 2012 after Besigye stepped down after being elected in 2005. So it is not like Besigye acts like he is bigger than FDC. That is lie, if it was so he would be like Museveni who is the Party President and the President of the Republic. Its a big difference there. So the rants against Besigye and his supporters should be futile. If not it is the Muntu fraction that fears the Besigye supporters will be behind his aide Byamugisha.

But it is with sadness, that a bright mind like Ssemujju are using rhetoric and tricks of Mwenda’s playbook. Sorry brother, you should know better and should also be wiser. You are FDC leader, not a NRM Stooge, right? You give respect to Besigye, but same time slams him. What are you trying to say, only the ones supporting Muntu and his side of the Party are the ones justified? Since Besigye garn different kind of support, but you will quickly embrace the man, when you need votes?

Is that your game as well, we have seen similar acts of late, when the chips are down the people leave the fold, but when the tide is rising the people come running back. Peace.

Reference:

Ssemujju, Ibrahim Nganda – ‘Why I am for Gen Muntu this time’ (16.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/viewpoint/54408-why-i-am-for-gen-muntu-this-time.html

A look into how little the Wakiso Vote mattered to President Museveni in General Election 2016!

You would think on a day like this as the final rallies in Kyadondo East, which is part of Wakiso District, that the National Resistance Movement and the Police Force would bring peace. But they didn’t, they created chaos and moved independent candidates, as well as detaining them for interfering in their campaign rallies. This is the proof of vicious ruling regime and how the basic freedoms are limited for others, than the NRM elite and the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, rallying for his candidate in the district. But it seems strange that he cares, since with all due respect. He didn’t care about their votes in the General Election of 2016, as these areas have been a stronghold for opposition party Forum for Democratic Change and because Dr. Kizza Besigye reside in Kasangati, which is a vital part of Kyadondo East.

In Kampala and its adjacent districts, the Group observed voting delayed by as much as two to four hours and subsequently observed polling locations where voting was delayed by as much as six to nine hours. Anecdotally, in Kampala, there were several polling stations located within minutes of the premises of the Electoral Commission that did not receive voting materials on time” (…) “The voting hours were subsequently extended in Kampala. However, it appeared that this information was not extensively communicated, as voters and polling officials appeared confused and uncertain of the process. The EC announced that polling would continue in a number of constituencies in Wakiso and Kampala districts the following day. Turnout, however, was low on the second day – which was a working day – and it is possible that many potential voters decided not to attempt to vote, after having waited for many hours the previous day”(Commonwealth, P: 13-14, 2016).

Furthermore, eight teams across the country reported that polling stations could not open before 10 AM. A number of polling stations, notably in Kampala and Wakiso, had not opened within six hours. Significant delays and a lack of effective communication by the EC fuelled frustration and tensions among voters, with EU EOM observers and media reporting about large crowds protesting against being deprived of their right to cast the ballot. In at least four cases, the police used teargas to disperse voters at polling stations. Only shortly before the official closing of the polling stations at 4 PM did the EC chairman announce the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso district. This was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas, and EU EOM observers reported polling stations being closed at first and only after some hesitation did the polling staff improvise and try to re-open voting sites” (EU, P: 29-30, 2016).

The EC failed to communicate and declare final results of presidential and parliamentary elections in a comprehensive, timely and transparent manner. The announcements of the presidential election’s preliminary results started while voting was still ongoing in parts of Kampala and Wakiso. The final results were declared within the legally binding 48-hour deadline, but they did not contain data from seven per cent of all polling stations, and therefore excluded some 675,000 votes cast. The EC delayed the publication of the final results broken down by polling station till 25 February and uploaded them on its website in a manner that did not allow for easy access or use. The EC also did not publish the scanned copies of the DRFs online although they were readily available in electronic format, thus further reducing voters’ access to information of public interest and in contravention of the principles outlined in the ICCPR” (EU, P: 3-4, 2016).

The 2016 Elections witnessed a number of violations of the right to vote, most notably due to late delivery of materials in Kampala and Wakiso districts, described by the Supreme Court as evidence of incompetence and gross inefficiency by the electoral management body. A number of potential voters we’re disenfranchised during the voting exercise, in particular persons who turned 18 between May 2015 and February 2016, detainees, including some pre-trial dententions and Ugandans in the diaspora” (FHRI, P: 25, 2016)

So both, the Commonwealth report, FHRI report and the European Union Observer Group saw the same vast indifference for the votes and voter turnout in Wakiso, the same was seen in capital, but that isn’t where the By-Election is happening now. This proves the lack of care and common sense as President Museveni drives Tuk-Tuk and talk of importance of electing people who serves him. He might say he wants to be challenged in Parliament, but everyone knows that is a lie. Therefore, he detained Bobi Wine earlier in the day and moved him to Gyaza town, so his presence could be in Kasangati and at Szasa Grounds. Not like he could be more ruthless, but surely he would rig these election like he did in 2016. Nothing new there, if the turnout would be meager and lack-lusting that would hurt the old-man. Since he cannot show 90-100% turnout, when there would be no lines of people showing up. Harder to rig just a bunch of paper compared to buck-load, which can be pre-ticket into ballot boxes and look legit. That is how they do, especially under President Museveni. The man who made himself a revolutionary by claiming UPC rigging in 1980s. Such a class-act the President, becoming worse than the ones he toppled! Peace.

Reference:

Commonwealth – ‘Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group Uganda General Elections – 18 February 2016’ (18.02.2016)

COMESA – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’

EU – ‘Final Report – Uganda Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections 18 February 2016’ (April 2016)

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’ (June 2016)

Kyadondo East By-Election: EC Letter to Apollo Kantinti – “Re: Supplementary Campaign Programme” (19.06.2017)

Kyadondo By-Election: Chaos as the President intervenes in the election!


Bobi Wine: “In order not to cause a presidential embarrassment, we have agreed to hold our rally in Gayaza” (at Kiira Road Police Station after release, 27.06.2017),

Today is the final days of campaigns for the candidates of the Kyadondo By-Election in Wakiso District on the outskirts of Kampala. There is three main candidates as the DP Candidate pulled out in support of the FDC Apollo Kantinti, the ones previous election bid who got canceled by the courts. Therefore, he is running again to win his seat back. While the independent candidate Robert Kyagukanyi aka Bobi Wine, was blocked today from having his final rally at Szasa Grounds in Kasangati, because of Police interference his final rally will be in Gayaza town.

This proves the ability of the Police Force to threat the opposition candidates in favor of the ruling regime, as President Museveni comes to rally for the NRM Candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, who has buses upon buses with voter-tourism sponsored by the party. Because of the hesitation and importance of this election, they had to detain without charges the Independent Candidate Kyagukanyi at Kiira roads, until he found another venue for his final rally. President Museveni doesn’t like to pushed or dishonored, as the prospects of slap in-the-face of a new politician wasn’t in the cards.

So when they released after a done deal at the Kiira Police Station, Bobi Wine went-on to another venue, than the planned one in Kasangati, but has instead to be in Gayaza town. Proves the powers of intimidation and control of the NRM in favor of Sitenda Ssebalu and President Museveni. This is a-typical and Modus Operandi of the NRM regime. The ironies of it all, was that before President Museveni put his shovel into the By-Election, the Independent had followed procedure and warned about his campaign rally in Kasangati. This proves there is two classes of political classes in Uganda. Yet, again by the way!

Bobi Wine has been arrested. He was meant to campaign in Kyadondo but police blocked him from accessing the grounds” (NTV Uganda, 27.06.2017).

As the final rallies are on, the Police presence is intense and at all venues. The Police are deployed at all venues to intimidate and silence opposition. There are many going from Kasangati to Gyaza as the rally shifted that way. Since the President Museveni and Ssebalu rally are held in Kasangati. Police has even interfered on the roads around Kasangati to get taxis to ferry people to the NRM rally. They really need their propaganda shots and the pride of the sensitized crowds in their favor. Since the NRM cannot win in a free and fair fight.

FDC Candidate was acting swift on arrest of Bobi Wine, stopped his rallying, went to Kiira Road and demanded the release of his competition. Apollo Kantinti didn’t do this because he had too, but proved his stance of vigilance as he as opposition has seen the cost of being so. Just by trying to figure out a way of making the NRM look better or alike it competitor.

The Communication Officer of NRM Rogers Mulindwa informed the public with this:

NRM wishes to inform its supporters in Kyadondo East Constituency and the public at large that its Candidate Hon Sitenda Sebalu has this Tuesday afternoon been arrested by police on unclear circumstances. He was arrested together with the district NRM chairperson Hajji Abdu Kiyimba from Wampeewo playground, a second venue for today’s rallies. Police could not tell the motive behind this act but the party continues to seek a clear explanation. The venue was also later invaded by the FDC supporters rendering it impossible for our rally to take place. As an exemplary political party, we have therefore taken a decision to shift our rally to Sir Appolo Kaggwa Church of Uganda in order to avoid causing nasty scenes.We call upon our party members to remain calm and focus on the victory within our sight” (Mulindwa, 27.06.2017).

Pardon me, NRM, but this seems staged, since you arrest the Independent Candidate for campaigning in your area and than blaming FDC for having their campaign rally. This is all knowledge the Electoral Commission should have sanction on behalf of the candidates and accepted previous of the Election Road Map for the By-Election. Therefore, I am buying that the Police arrested Independent Candidate Bobi Wine for his rally in Kasangati, as President Museveni weighed in his support in the election, but that Sebalu suddenly behind bars. Seems more like play for the gallery. There is also reports that the lack of crowds around the NRM, they have not only ferried people from afar, but also closed near-by schools so the students has to attend the rallies of their candidate. A real disgrace of the NRM.

While the FDC leadership stands strong on their final rally for Apollo Kantinti where Ingrid Turinawe, Mugisha Muntu and Kizza Besigye shows up at their rally in Wampeewo. So the solidarity for their candidate is there. While Museveni needed the Police Force to clear Bobi Wine away from the venue and have control of the area, because he knew he doesn’t have the natural crowd support anymore. There are also reports of clashes in Wampeewo, as the NRM and FDC are both campaigning on the site. The FDC supporters even tell the NRM to leave the official grounds as it’s supposed to be FDC Official rally site. Certainly, the Electoral Commission has done something wrong, since both parties says there rallies are being hold there. Seems like the NRM will detain some FDC leaders and FDC supporters today, so they can hold their voter-tourism rally there. Since they have already pushed Bobi Wine to Gayaza town. Even if NRM Communication call them exemplary party, they should explain that to Bobi Wine’s supporters and barred rally, especially when all news are about the Wampeewo Play Ground rally for NRM, as the FDC are still already there. It wasn’t an invasion, they we’re already there! 

So if there will be more detained opposition leaders, I wouldn’t be shocked, as this the NRM M.O. and that is what they do. Especially, since the President Museveni and his candidate for the district will arrive in the area and doesn’t want to have fair competition, certainly he will use the Police Force to get rid of the FDC in the area. Even if the FDC has followed protocol, as the Bobi Wine candidature also did in Kasangati earlier in the day. Peace.

“2016 may be worst elections in our history” – Written by Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

Kampala 16.11.15 UPF 2

On Sunday afternoon, a police patrol pickup truck full of officers drove to the residence of Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago to deliver some important information.This information was a letter from the Electoral Commission officially notifying Lukwago of the postponement of Kampala mayoral nominations earlier set for Monday November 16 and Tuesday November 17.Lukwago, being a smart lawyer that he is, asked the officer in charge of Old Kampala police station, Emmanuel Ochamringa, why it was him (police) and not an EC official serving him this letter.Ochamringa instead pleaded with the lord mayor to sign a delivery note so he could fulfill a command given to him by his superior. When Lukwago refused to sign, Ochamringa demanded that he surrenders the letter. I will spare you the rest of the story and go to the gist of today’s column, which is the credibility of the 2016 general elections.
I have argued in an earlier column that Gen Kale Kayihura has taken over the electoral process. There cannot be a better illustration than the one above. Not only was a letter calling off nominations for Kampala mayorship authored and delivered on a Sunday, but it was being transported by a police patrol pickup truck full of policemen.
Probably this letter was authored at the police headquarters or Kayihura simply summoned Electoral Commission chairman Badru Kiggundu from his weekend. Total connivance! Obviously this letter was supposed to be used as a tool the following day to stop Lukwago from proceeding to the Electoral Commission offices for nomination. And this is the game the Electoral Commission of Prof Kiggundu has been playing throughout.
The letter to Lukwago was signed by Kampala’s returning officer Charles Ntege, who quoted another letter signed by EC secretary Sam Rwakoojo. So, it is Rwakoojo who writes to Ntege and Ntege writes to Lukwago. Although delivered on Sunday (November 15), Rwakoojo’s letter was dated November 12 while that of Ntege was dated November 13. And these games started with Amama Mbabazi. When Mbabazi wanted to mobilize support for his impending candidature, Kayihura ordered him to seek clearance from NRM. That was partly before he chose to stand as an independent.

Kampala 16.11.15 UPF
In fact Kayihura organized a meeting attended by NRM electoral commission chairman Tanga Odoi and Attorney General Fred Ruhindi in which they agreed to block Mbabazi until he was cleared by NRM. When Mbabazi chose to go independent, Kayihura then connived with the Electoral Commission to stop him. Prof Kiggundu had at first cleared Mbabazi but made a U-turn and stopped him.The story of the FDC Rukungiri trip that was terminated at Kanyaryeru is another example. I am sure you still remember how police nearly killed us before it undressed our party secretary for environment. I have quoted all these examples to emphasize a point Col Dr Kizza Besigye has been making. We are not involved in an election. We are, in fact, in a struggle to rescue the state.
If anyone was in doubt, Prof Kiggundu has assured you. The professors at Makerere University played a pivotal role in the struggle for independence and almost dominated the post-independence politics. With the likes of Kiggundu in place, I think I won’t encourage my children to study a third degree. That professor, with a straight face, announced that he didn’t have regulations to guide mayoral nominations just last week. He is the same man that organized the same nominations and elections in 2011. He now could not organize them and was waiting for guidance from Kampala minister Frank Tumwebaze!
And a few days later, the same Kiggundu is announcing that nominations can go ahead because he has held a consultative meeting with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Attorney General Ruhindi. And guess who else was in the meeting? It is singer and mayoral aspirant Dan Kazibwe, aka Ragga Dee, and obviously Jennifer Musisi.
With due respect to Ragga Dee, I think a consultative meeting between a professor and him to discuss regulations can only explain how low we have sunk as a country.

And that is why at our rallies as FDC, we are preaching three points: rescue the state, transform the country and then move to equitable development.

But most importantly, almost all of us involved in the electoral exercise are left with no option but to organize teams that will force Kiggundu to announce us winners.
I have a feeling that if Kayihura doesn’t like you; you may not be announced winner.

Written by Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

The author is Kyadondo East MP.

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