Political Parties spending during campaigns in November and December 2015; NRM buying shirts and ferrying crowds; while the others Parties use meager funds their campaigns

NRM Pakwach 14.11.15

This here has been address by others, but this is my view on the report released by NGOs recently. So here is my view on how the parties have spent on the two months, and the issue is that is very important to discuss. Since this is use of money to gain power or to shape the political landscape. The use of moneys and what you use it on show the values and to what extend you will pay to either continue or get power. The pages are after the counting system of Acrobat document, the official document will have different numbers because Acrobat count the empty pages in the beginning also. Therefore the numbers are higher then what it is in the report and don’t get that confused. I just do it to make it easy.

“The minimum amount of money observed to have been spent by parties and their flag bearers in the observed districts was UGX 49.6 billion in November and 88.1 billion in December representing an increase of 77% over the two months. This increase is largely attributed to the commencement of member or parliament campaigns having been nominated on the 3rd and 4th of December 2015” (…)”ACFIM observers reported use of motorcades, bodabodas cyclists, entertainers; and provided transport refund, food and drinks for supporters that accompanied them to nomination and attended the nomination rallies” (P: 8, 2016).

“Assessment of Minimum Expenses by Party:

According to ACFIM observers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidates are leading by far terms of campaign spending. The party accounts for 87% of the total minimum observed expenditures reported by ACFIM Research Assistants/Observers in the months of November and December. NRM is trailed by Independent Candidates who have spent 7.9%, FDC (2.1%), Go Forward political group (1.1%), DP (0.5%), UPC (0.3%) and other parties (0.3%)” (P: 10, 2016).

Yellow Buses Luweero 081115 NRM

NRM Minimum costs:

There has been observed how the NRM have been using funds on their candidates and campaigning from June 2015 to December 2015. This here proves yet again to what extent the ruling parties secure loyalty and MPs. Every NRM Village has spent minimum UGX 15m. The delegates conference for the constitutional amendment they spent UGX 19M. The Second delegate’s conference to elect Flag-Bearer UGX 20M; then it’s the monies spent to MPs to secure the vote for sole-candidacy that was UGX 6M. They also spent money for Posh Cars for party officials UGX 10M. Last was paying for the NRM Primaries which cost about UGX 30M. That means the minimum cost for NRM we’re UGX 100M (P: 12, 2016). That is before you really start to campaign!

Page 12 Expenses FDC June - December 2015

Expenses of Presidential Candidates in November and December:

“The candidate Yoweri Museveni accounts for majority of the total minimum expenditure with 91.6% of the total minimum expenses recorded. Candidate Museveni is followed by Amama Mbabazi whose expenditure accounts for 4.6% and Kizza Besigye (3.3%). The rest of the candidates spent less than 1.0% combined” (P: 16, 2016).

NRM giving money away to gain support:

“The Money Man”; He is retired Leut. Gen. Henry Tumukunde. He was handing over UGX 20million to an association of vendors in Entebbe Market in December. He has been leading the advance party of candidate Yoweri Museveni. Observers in Arua reported that he handed out UGX 50,000 to 400 voters who claimed to have converted from FDC – they met him at White Castle Hotel in Arua” (P: 19, 2016).

Elton Joseph Mabirizi 17.11.15

Expenses on Journalists by Presidential Candidate (Nov & Dec):

“Yoweri Museveni outstrips his competitors in terms of expenditure on facilitation of Journalists on campaign trail. Observers report that candidate Yoweri Museveni has a team on 20 local journalists (electronic and print) that are covering his campaign trail, each of these journalists receives daily upkeep (per diem and incidentals) of UGX 150,000 from the candidate’s campaign coordination team. In addition when the candidate conducts regional press conferences, the facilitation for journalists attending the press conference rises to UGX 500,000 and about 50 journalists can be in attendance (i.e. the 20 on campaign trail are joined by 20-30 others from the region). Journalists on candidate Amama Mbabazi campaign trail get up a reported minimum of UGX 40,000 while journalists covering candidate Kizza Besigye and others get much less or nothing” (P: 31, 2016).

Starlink Buses for NRM 06.01.2016 P1

Voter Tourism:

“Voter tourism as the practice by candidates where voters are provided with buses, trucks, minibuses or cars and driven from their homes to campaign rallies or around the constituency as an inducement to voters in return for their support come polling day. Clearly a poor voter who has not sat in an automobile for a year or more will be more than excited to enjoy the ride provided by the political candidate free of charge. Voter tourism has been prevalent in November and December with candidates of the NRM party most commonly observed engaging in this campaign tactic. Voter hospitality on the other hand is a situation where political candidate host voters to a banquet or party or meal or retreat where are treated to a good meal, animals slaughtered and cooked or roasted, lots of drinks including booze, music/disco, live entertainment and sometimes lodging in a comfortable hotel, motel or lodge. Voter tourism and voter hospitality were prevalent in November and December with majority of candidates across political parties complicity to this” (P: 41, 2016). To continue why the candidates use this tactic; “Political candidates that have been observed to engage in campaign tactics like voter tourism and voter hospitality in November and December, do not do so because they are generous, but because they expect recipients to return the favour. The timing of these offers in the middle of an election campaign and the nature of intended beneficiaries for this generosity is clear manifestation that the aim is to induce voters in return for their support on February 18th, 2016. This clearly is voter bribery” (P: 43, 2016)

Handouts During Campaigns 2015 Uganda

Misuse of Government Resources:

“On the 9th of November 2015 a number of government vehicles were used on candidate Museveni’s rally held at Kasana Play Ground. Some of the vehicle registration plates observed in action at the rally include: UG2183C, UG 0178H, UG1427W, UG 0187D, UG 2688D, UG 2183C, UG 2043C, UG 2405C. UG 1832S, UG1768C. Observers in Katikamu report that on the same day government vehicle number UG 2708R was used to transport supporters to Kasana playground” (P: 44, 2016). “Similarly on December 3rd 2015 dependent candidate for Katikamu South Member of Parliament Patricia Magara was observed using a bus with government number plates to ferry campaign attendees from different sub counties to her nomination rally in Bulakasa” (P: 45, 2016).

Gen Tukumunde Entebbe Dec 2015 - Money Man for NRM

The minimum NRM expenses of only November 2015 are 125,219,922,000! (P: 50, 2016) That is a lot’s of money. I will point out some special expenses that the NRM party has used this giant UGX 125bn on campaign for November 2015! That is lots of lots money! For Voter Tourism they have used UGX 140m in November alone. Allowances for 500 Special Force Command men as Campaign Security total pay cost UGX 300m in November alone. On Yellow T-shirts the NRM party used UGX 15,806bn that is a lot on type of item, it surely is to sprite up those campaign rallies and Yellow crowds! After quick calculations they used close to UGX 1,4bn on media advertisements on TV, Radio and Newspapers. On campaign posters the hefty sum of UGX 1,7bn (P: 49-50, 2016).

Though FDC used a UGX 1bn as the biggest opposition party, it still proves the total use of funds from NRM. I am not surprised with all the knowledge of voter tourism and also giving away foods and items at their campaign venues. The tally has to get big for the ruling party with all the hiring of buses and such proves how much their viable to use to get the perfect crowds and pictures to the press. Like yesterday there we’re reports of a village that was the size of 500 people, the NRM had a campaign rally of 20,000. Surely they had some buses and shipped them to that venue as they have done before and hired bus-companies to travel and pay to get crowds. Something FDC and the other parties does not do.

NRM Terego East 17.11.15

The NRM proves to be the big-spender and would be surprised if the result from a NGO would be different, maybe if Ofwono Opondo would describe it differently.  He said this recently: “It is true that NRM is outspending other parties. It is true that we spent over UGX32b during NRM primaries” (…)”We are spending the money locally. We are buying t-shirts, water, paying musicians, hire cars from Ugandans” (…)”There’s no evidence that money being spent by political parties is causing inflation pressure” (TheInsider, 2016).

Mr Opondo is not a giant economic sense of a guy, the extended monies into use without monetary policy can lead into higher inflations, that is why the two recent elections periods in Uganda in 2006 and 2001 that the inflations rate we’re escalating and also led to higher prices on the household commodities. But Mr. Opondo has a way of forgetting such while his party is big spending. As they have their own “Money Man” during the campaign and continue to support the level of Voter Tourism. I am surely they have an own warehouse just for Yellow T-Shirts near a Headquarter of the NRM. They should they have used such a fortune on it and the ones they haven’t given away should be stored well.

The war-chest of NRM must be huge. As the reports before November was expected that NRM would use UGX 500bn, and by seeing the results of November alone in this report proves that those estimations was spot-on. If you can calculate the same amount for December and January; then you get up to the estimated usage of NRM party. Mzee surely like to make blast and bang while using spin-doctors to portray him as the national father of the country. While the other parties can nearly scrap enough funding for their own campaigns! And the other parties can’t use government equipment like the NRM does once in a while. As this report has pointed out and none of us who follows the NRM should be shocked and awe, it’s more the same old story. Well, that was enough for today. Peace!

Reference:

Alliance for Campaign – ‘MONITORING CAMPAIGN EXPENSES DURING

THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD’ – PROGRESS REPORT NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2015

The Insider – ‘Opondo: NRM money won’t cause inflation’ (23.01.2016) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/opondo-nrm-money-wont-cause-inflation/

Press Release: (ADM72/01) Clarification on the National Voters Register (NVR) in the Public Domain and other Campaign Matters (30.12.2015)

NVR Public Domain Uganda EC P1 30.12.2015NVR Public Domain Uganda EC P2 30.12.2015

Campaign Poster Paranoia

NRM - Go Forward 13.12.15

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!

Amama NRM 25.11.15

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).

Honest NRM Poster 2015

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”.

Amama 17.11.15 Poster

Afterthought:

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.

Reference:

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

Quotes of the Day from Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the radio today:

A “Capital Gang” panelist and MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said of the opinion poll: “I know even Ofwono Opwono [the deputy government spokesman] does not believe” that if we held an election today, President Yoweri Museveni would defeat opposition presidential candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye in Kampala.

“Someone in the lead doesn’t behave the way the Ofwono Opondo’s group [the NRM campaign team of Museveni] is behaving, the kind of panic that you see. They’ve had meetings in my constituency, quarrelling, beating each other where money has not reached…There is one [candidate, Museveni] who will continue quarrelling, closing hospitals, abusing the media like you saw him in Soroti declaring [the Daily] Monitor and NTV enemy media, one candidate who is consistently quarrelling not only with his team but everybody. Unfortunately, the opinion polls say that candidate is leading.”

The Electoral Commission of Uganda – LEG 75/79/01: “Re: Conduct of Campaigns and Related Concerns” (23.11.2015)

EC Letter November P2

Uganda – Statement by the Chairperson, Electoral Commission at the Closure of the Presidential Nomination Exercise – 2016 General Elections (04.11.2015)

Uganda-Electoral-Commission

Ref: ADM72/01 – The Republic of Uganda – The Electoral Commission:

The Electoral Commission appointed 3rd and 4th November 2015 as dates for the nomination of candidates for the 2016 Presidential Elections. There were forty eight (48) persons who picked Nomination Forms for Presidential Elections. Twelve (12) persons/parties returned the Forms to the Commission for verification. The nomination exercise which commenced yesterday Tuesday 3rd November 2015, has been concluded today, Wednesday, 4th November 2015, and the following have been successfully nominated as candidates

No Nominated candidate Political party/Organisation Symbol
1. Yoweri Museveni Kaguta National Resistance Movement Party Symbol
2 Amama Mbabazi Independent Chair
3 Baryamureeba Venansius Independent Clock
4 Besigye Kizza Kifefe Forum for Democratic Change Party Symbol
5 Abed Bwanika Peoples’ Development Party Party Symbol
6 Mabirizi Joseph Independent Ball
7 Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube Independent Pot
8 Biraaro Buta Benon Farmers Party of Uganda Party Symbol

 

One of the presidential aspirants, Mr. Bbaale Charles Lwanga (Ecological Party of Uganda) presented himself to the Electoral Commission but did not satisfy the requirements for nomination as a candidate for the Presidential Elections, 2016.

Another Presidential aspirant, Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebagala, who had picked nomination papers, complied with the provisions of Section 10(1)(b) and (3), of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 (as amended) on supporters for the nomination, and booked nomination date and time did not turn up for nomination as required by the law.

The Commission congratulates all those candidates who have been successfully nominated and wishes them the best as they go out to campaign and solicit for votes from the electorate.

The Electoral Commission wishes to emphasise the following: 

The Electoral Commission has appointed the period 4th – 9th November 2015 as the period for inspection of nomination papers for candidates contesting for Presidential Elections 2016.

The inspection of nomination papers will be held at the Office of the Chairperson, Electoral Commission, who is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections, during office hours.

During this period, any person will be free to raise objection, to the qualification of a nominated candidate, to the Chairperson, Electoral Commission/Returning Officer, at the Electoral Commission Headquarters in Kampala.

No complaints shall be accepted after the expiry of the appointed dates.

Meeting for Harmonisation of Campaign Programme 

The Electoral Commission will hold a meeting with all the nominated candidates and/or their agents on Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th November 2015, at the Electoral Commission Boardroom, at 10:00am, to harmonise the campaign programme.

After harmonisation of the campaign programme, candidates will be expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), calling for compliance with the campaign guidelines and programme, to achieve peaceful campaigns and elections.

The Commission wishes to appreciate the following who have made the nomination exercise a success:

  1. The National Organisation Committee (NOC);
  2. The aspirants, their families and delegations;
  3. Protocol team, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Associates;
  4. Security, particularly the Uganda Police Force;
  5. The Management of Mandela National Stadium, Namboole;
  6. Uganda Red Cross Society, and St. John Ambulance;
  7. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA);
  8. Development Partners (IFES, DGF, British High Commission, and others);
  9. Always Be Tolerant (ABETO)
  10. Service providers;
  11. National and International media;
  12. National and international observers;
  13. And in a special way, the entire Electoral Commission family.

Finally, the Commission announces the Polling day for Presidential/Parliamentary elections being Thursday, 18th February, 2016.

Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu

Chairperson, Electoral Commission/Returning Officer, Presidential Elections

Uganda – Letter from Electoral Commission to FDC – “Re: Nomination date for Col. (Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye” (02.10.2015)

FDC Letter 02102015