These election posters are both creating dismay and irregularities in this election period. The ongoing issues of the ruling-party have with the opposition. It is understandable that the Electoral Commission does do much about it. Since they are in bed with the ruling-party even if they are saying otherwise… Last piece of the puzzle is the Police that often help with the ruin of the opposition posters. So the opposition is alone fighting this, and final point is that the Presidential Posters are untouchable. That means if they have taken a spot on a wall or a dry-wall they have to stay there until end of times. Because the Police and Electoral Commission command the people to let it stays so. Let’s take look at recent movement on the ground concerning campaign posters in Uganda.
Recently there been issued statements by the Minister of Kampala Affairs Frank Tumwebaze that there is set fees for campaign posters in Kampala. This by all means is foolish idea and new way of grabbing money out of the pockets of candidates for Local Council members, Members of Parliament and Presidential Candidates. So there would be a giant pool of monies coming KCCA ways.
There have been all through the campaign and presidential campaigns people shunning, destroying or pinning over each others posters in the towns and villages where the campaigning goes on. Especially from NRM who has done deliberate actions against the Go-Forward Presidential Candidate Amama Mbabazi. Where they have either destroyed the posters like in Mbarara, Ntungamo or other places utterly displaced them. The pictures from the campaign trail shows it; at the same time the NRM posters are hanging like the holy father is hanging on the wall. Well, that is just plain foolish actions from the NRM and their police. Not unexpected. Here is some previous and recent attempts of foolishness from the same people!
In June 2015 CP Fred Enanga said:
“The president is the fountain of honour and he enjoys absolute immunity for whatever actions and enjoys structural advantages. You cannot just pull down his pictures under whatever circumstances” (…)”But even then, he has not come out to make such pronouncement (that he will run in the 2016 presidential elections),” (Tumwine, 2015).
In Mbale in October 2015 this happen:
““We are following up on the owners. We are going to drag them to court for littering the town and the clock tower,” Mr Wambedde charged” (…)”He said it costs the municipality Shs20m to renovate the clock tower and littering it with campaign posters would cost more money to restore its face” (Namono, 2015).
25th November 2015 statement from Electoral Commission on Election Posters:
“The Commission warns the general public, candidates, their agents and supporters, that a person who malicious defaces or removes or tears any election poster of any nominated candidate commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment”.
The last one was written and published by Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu, that means that the Police and NRM supporters are to blame and liable for convictions for destroying and pinning over election posters of Amama Mbabazi, if your words actually means something right? Wonder why the Police doesn’t address themselves or they collect the NRM supporters who conduct this affairs. I wonder why, wait, they are loyal cronies of the regime and henceforth is free by law, or am I wrong? I don’t know, but that is what it seems by the minute, because Mr. Kiggundu hasn’t done anything in all the actions of destroying or pinning over posters across the country all of December. That means his words from November doesn’t comply to them apparently (it’s not stated by their words by the nature of their actions).
A viral NRM Poster taking off:
“A honest political campaign poster of a Ugandan man who is seeking for a public office has gone viral and has got people talking on social media” (…)”An aspirant for Kisementi Municipality identified as Eric Mununuzi’s campaign poster has been making rounds on social media as he reportedly decided to tell the electorate the simple truth” (Nigeria News, 2015).
In Kayungu Hospital 18th December 2015:
“Dr.Kakooza on Wednesday blocked the district NRM publicity secretary Mutwalid Kizza from pinning Museveni’s campaign posters, saying the posters will damage walls during time of removal after campaigns” (…)”I got this job on merit and I am ready to be sacked for doing what I am supposed to do and if that one happens, I will go and work elsewhere in the world because I hold an international degree in human medicine and surgery,”(…) “Kakooza told New Vision when asked whether he does not fear to be sacked from the job” (Election.co.ug, 2015).
Early this morning the 19th December 2015:
“Kayunga Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr.Francis Kakooza Arrested For Blocking The Pinning Of Museveni Campaign Posters on the Hospital Walls”.
There is reasonable ways of seeing this. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) feels the need to levy laws to regain more money from the Local Candidates, Mayoral candidates, Members of Parliament and Presidential Candidates to pay for the service of having the ability to put up posters in and around Kampala City. I want to wish Frank Tumbewaze a Grinchy moment and wish to serve his greed. Even if it is Jennifer Musisi who thinks that this is the way to be able to gain the money they need to fuel the rail-service that they just opened in town, or maybe I am wrong. I am sure it is to keep the town in order or clean… no then I am talking about somebody else.
This poster thing has been an issue through the whole election period. It’s like a constant feature in the actions of especially NRM supporters and DPC who displays their lack of moral standing and ethics towards other parties. They are solely behind most of the destruction and malicious actions towards the others party’s posters in towns, cities and villages. Like the pictures of torn posters of the Go-Forward/TDA U from NRM, either destroyed or pinned over with a poster off Mzee. So there are issues there.
The other issue is that people fear taking down campaign posters of the Mzee or the NRM presidential candidate. Therefore earlier in the election before the Road Map was even started and the opposition rallies was bombarded by the Police, a police officers and military men was open to media telling they feared both the president and taking down campaign material. Therefore I am sure your still seeing campaign posters from 2010 and 2005 still hanging on walls around the country, not only the new for 2015. That’s because for the fear of taking it down for the repercussion as an act against His Excellency President Museveni.
This comes with the actions towards opposition parties posters proves that in this simple and easy step proves by all means that there is not a level playing field in this elections. When one poster has the ground and can be pinned over the opposition, even by police officers, while the same police guarding and supervising the NRM supporters or Crime Preventers to destroy campaign posters of the opposition, proves the malice that are from the governing party and the NRM-Regime.
The Mbale Clock Tower is a landmark, I understand that, that isn’t a political move, but more a placement of wrong material, and there are more fitting walls in Mbale. That is something the local politicians and national politicians should keep to make sure of the state of the town.
Kayunga Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Frank Kakooza has said no to all of the opposition candidates to put up campaign posters inside the Hospital. He was afraid of the dry-walls and also of the effect it might have on the patience of the hospital. There might also be the thing of how it will be perceived if there election material in a state institution, even if there is often NRM material in the Police stations, because we all seen their allegiance to the government and regime, there hasn’t been visible touches of that in health institutions. Still, since he has stood up against pinning NRM and Mzee Campaign posters in the Hospital. He said he feared of sacking and today that happen. The Superintendent did it for the best of the Hospital and not to be in the way of the NRM-Regime. That doesn’t seem to matter since he didn’t facilitate to hang up NRM campaign poster in the facility.
The Election Poster saga will continue and will not stop. As long as we have the NRM-Regime because they will keep their nest and power; showing that by keeping up the work and also posters in the towns. So this here will be discussed during this period until February 2016 and should be after. It is just about a certain point of showing your ways towards the ones who is not in your party. NRM can run it like they do and they have to give way for the opposition. Not like they have acted in this election. That is not acceptable. Peace.
Election.co.ug – ‘NRM supporters force posters into hospital’ (18.12.2015) link: http://www.elections.co.ug/new-vision/election/1413694/kayunga-hospital-boss-nrm-leaders-clash-museveni-posters
Nigeria News – ‘Controversial Campaign Poster In Uganda Currently Trending Online (Photos)’ (12.11.2015) link: http://news2.onlinenigeria.com/africa/440589-controversial-campaign-poster-in-uganda-currently-trending-online-photos.html
Namono, Caroline – ‘Mbale council pulls down campaign posters’ (24.10.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Elections/Mbale-council-pulls-down-campaign-posters/-/859108/2926806/-/m8vt1g/-/index.html
Tumwine, Albert – ‘We cannot pull down Museveni posters- Police’ (16.07.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/We-cannot-pull-down-Museveni-posters–Police/-/688334/2753854/-/lr6i1x/-/index.html