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#UGDebate16 – Ugandan Presidential Candidates first ever Live TV debate of 2016; Mzee scared and ghosted the gracious event

NTV Uganda Presidential Debate 2016

Well, the day finally came and the Presidential Candidates of these elections have step-up to the plate and showed their platform while certain journalists would keep them in check. 

Even UMEME had to tell the public today:

“‪#‎UGDEBATE16. We have standby teams to ensure you enjoy the presidential debate. All teams clothed, cars fueled, and tools in hand to ensure any outage is resolved as quickly as possible”.

Well, the UMEME has been reported that in Fort Portal, Entebbe, Jinja and so many other places the electricity went down so that the citizens couldn’t get the feed and watch the debate, even in parts of Kampala the power went off in Ntinda, Kiwatule, Naalya, Njeera around 21:00PM. This is just a little trait’s of the reported suspicious malfunctions and glitches in the system that let a lot’s off people lose the live feed, because Mzee was busy having his campaign rally in Bushenyi and wouldn’t let the people listen to the rest of the Presidential candidates. He was moving his mouth and brain there while the rest of candidates where explaining their manifestoes and programs in a civilian and peaceful manner to the citizens and the world.

There will be many set of commentaries on this, I am sure mine will be biased as, well as it should be, because this will be that. First my favorite quotes, then what I think about their performance. Seems fair right?

UGDebate2016 P6 Together

One memorable quote from each candidate:

Joseph Mabirizi said: “I am the only candidate who has Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. I won’t allow vote rigging so please vote me in”.

Amama Mbabazi said: “My clear answer is that I am not aware of election rigging. I have heard some stories, but I have no personal knowledge”. 

Professor Baryamureeba said: “oil companies must publish what they pay to Gov’t and Gov’t should publish what it earns from oil so far”.

Maureen Faith Kyala said: “There is more tear gas at every police post as compared to medicine in the hospitals”.

Abed Bwanika said: “I have never mentioned that Baganda should support me, I asked for support from the people in Buganda”.

Gen. Biraaro said: “The only soldier who has been in power lives in state house, this regime has not served me well, that’s why I am here”.

Dr. Kizza Besigye said: “The real change is that power moves from those with guns to the citizens that is the project I am working on. The urgent change that our country needs is empowerment of our citizens. I have promised that in every Ugandan will walk with swagger”.

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The moderators that the organizers put in place we’re BBC’s Newsday programme presenter, Allan Kasujja and KTN’s Nancy Kacungira. The one who was persistent with the candidates was really Kasujja, but it seemed that he was not a fan of Besigye, since he always cut him of in the middle of reasoning and addressing a question he had.

Kacungira was more the soft spoken mediator who levelled the hardheaded Kasujja, at one point I was waiting to see the red-eye-machine in light from wall to turn into the shades of mediator; so he would look a macho terminator. But that was just me.

UGDebate2016 P8 Barya

Professor Bayra got the questions first, but didn’t earn that well, his quotes got easily forgotten and his stamina during the debate died down. I am sure in writing as professor he could have argued with strength, but he proved more to mayoral of a town in the eastern town in Tororo district then being a president. He has the words and etiquette of leadership, but doesn’t have the program or manifesto to really seem deemed for a lower-level position, as he has already been in-charge of the university of Makerere.

UGDebate2016 P5 Kyala

Maureen Faith Kayala seemed more focused on her gender as the questions tended to become focused on that. She was also on her own will more directly telling the issues of Busoga instead of the national issues, seems like she should become an MP for the district or a sub-county fitted for her in the area, since it’s also where she has moved the most and campaigned. When she hasn’t been lost in London; she could be more interesting with time and like wine become better in her game, but right now she is unfinished and seems to scattered to focus national.

UGDebate2016 P4 Mabarizi

Joseph Mabirizi must have had bad advice or lost his tongue at some point. Seem like he was stressed by the cameras and public watching his every move. He was walking through the wilderness stuttering and thinking… pounding the matters into the first thing that pop-up into his mind and wasn’t really address the question properly while saying it in such a fashion he was cracking Ugandans up, instead of making sense of the political issues. If he will gain crowds in the same stage as Professor Joel, no wait, Professor Joel should have come in President Museveni place, well, we come to the shadow of Bushenyi later!

UGDebate2016 P7 Biraaro

Gen. Benon Biraaro the NRA historical who stood firm and was very apologetic in his tone. Much more than I expected he seemed clearer than and not as aggressive as the reports from the campaign trail. This man made more sense and was intelligent. Something I was not expected to say. But if this will make a giant difference in his whole campaign, I doubt it. The thing is that he will be more respected for his attitude and progression then some of his peers by the mere fact on how he precieve the matters.

UGDebate2016 P3 Bwanika

Abed Bwanika was a gentle surprise and show lots of character at the debate. He had a much bigger presence then I expected, he ate of the hands and was shining actually. This was unexpected since he seems very uninteresting while following the campaign trail. The candidate showed that he had class and also thought through manifesto and plans for development.

Besigye Amama

Now I will take the two big-men who was at the shin-ding and debate the two of the three since the ghost of the event where in districts campaigning thinking that UMEME let the public miss the debate as they was ordered too. Who is the fool now? If his men will tell him something is that the Twitter #UgandaDecides and #UgandaDebate16 was going hectic in the hours. Before the start even discussion and had the spotlight of CNN telling about the historic event happening in the country that Mzee had to miss, because Ofwono Opondo and Mike Mukula said it was waste of time, seems like Bushenyi was really wasting time. For the NRM-members this must have been time is a wasting!

UGDebate2016 P8 Amama

Let me continue on the two last candidates while done with Mzee and NRM for the moment, just have to throw a snag at them. They deserve them. Well, Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Mr. 30 years under the NRM and parts of the NRA. He was very defensive. Extremely defensive except for the matters of the detaining and Christopher Aine; also cleaning his hands on the land deal with NSSF which have followed him and still be a torn in his flesh. It did seem like he never was ready for the debate or that all the questions from the other candidates. It was like hot-water into a glass and not a cup that he wasn’t ready to hold it while drinking it. He addressed things more as an former NRM Prime Minister than actually address the Go-Forward manifesto or wishes. The most extreme was that he hadn’t heard or could talk well about the borrowing money that the government has done; and that it was a good thing! That bugs me and shows that he was just washing his hands instead of taking leadership, showing character like Gen. Biraaro og Besigye. So as knowing he was a lawyer before becoming a politician in the NRM, he has lost touch with good arguments that Bwanika and Biraao had compared to him. And they do not have the new machine for elections that Mbabazi has!

Besigye Debat16

The last candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye he had for me a slow start it was a bit out of character for a man who has a gift for speeches and give’s the people show for the money; while at the same time address the matter at hand. This took time to get there and to show his plans to the public about the manifesto of the FDC. Besigye was slow, but had lots of energy when it came after the first commercial break. There where points where there was heavy with questions to him, like the other candidates singled him out, it often came to him or Mbabazi, not like Professor Bayra would ask Mabirizi some governance questions that would just be out of touch with formula of the debate. Besigye came after the accusations of the closeness to the first-family because of his wife, and his answer was clear that they we’re far away anything near them. Also with the answers on economic policies and how it was structured into the agricultural sector, we’re inspiring though sounding alike to Biraaro and Bwanika, though they had the luxury of always to answer before him. So Besigye ideas seemed less enthusiastic since there were modifications compared to them considered to them. I wished for my part that he we’re more on point in the beginning. I am a supporter of Besigye and his cause. Seemed like also one of the moderators tried to stop Besigye from finishing his arguments and answers, more than the other candidates, also cut him generally shorter than for instance Maureen or even Joseph they we’re not stopped in the same way, only Maureen jumped once into the whole madness when it was not her turn; Besigye proved leadership and calmness while growing into the debate and taking more and more space. I got more and more enthusiastic on his part, while feeling sorrow over the ways the Mbabazi was portraying himself like a sorry victim instead of being one of the big-men in the race for presidency.

UGDebate2016 P2

Now that I have gone through the thing, let’s have one thing clear there was like a way of letting Besigye be last or late like every time while the other candidates got early shots, and also being more direct visible. I don’t know if that was fixed before Mzee we’re part of the event, since the empty seat would have eaten the issues and would have made the debate differently, though he would not have stopped talking while the mediator asked kindly to succeed spotlight to the next candidate. The ghost was there the whole evening since they we’re discussing governance, systematic failure and government inconsistency in general. The men who shined was not one or both presidential candidates who is in the top three. Bwanika and Biraaro had the smart ways of portraying and answering. All the NRA/NRM historical persons answered well, especially Besigye, but this was after his mojo was on fire. He ended the evening on the spark, the other last remarks was more humble and obliged then trying to convince them of voting on them.

What saddens me was the way Kasujja kept his composer and acted kind of differently between the candidates, he acted humble and nice against those who shined in the debate, while Amama Mbabazi and Dr. Kizza Besigye was either asked long-long questions or stopped in the middle of their arguments trying to answer the matter. The other mediator asked shorter and easier question, there wasn’t much fuzz about her and was more trying to keep cool while Mabarizi was answering questions. Mabarizi was like Professor Joel and a funny-character instead of acting as presidential candidate, he didn’t make the funniest face that was Mbabazi who looked lost at one point… The picture from that moment tells more than his answers in the debate, though the debate was not a good luck for Amama Mbabazi. That is clear, I myself have many unanswered questions about his past and what he really wants to achieve in the future.

#AskMuseveni 12.12.15

The biggest and strangest about this is that the incumbent President Museveni, the almighty Mzee, the executive ruler and the one who reign in the land. Mzee have had the first chance to show together with other candidates his true self, instead he loved himself up-country where the people would listen to his voice without being asked any critical questions. If he had been in the studio he would have been shut-down while talking to long and had to answer the questions in a manner he is not used to. Mzee would be out of character and without his spin-doctors to make his message soft and beautiful. They could have prepared him, but he would have entered into the only mode he knows, his voice and his achievements, without seeing the issues that are there. Then he would go defensive like Amama Mbabazi and blame somebody else, since the executive wouldn’t order everything and opposition MPs has issues. Mzee would not be able to address the matter in humble way. But humility and humbleness is not in his ways as we all know. Therefore the empty chair show more his blissful arrogance then the attitude towards the debate. The brief and shallow seat where the camera sometimes went to; especially when the questions on the NRM-Regime were heavy! The NRM was not present or had their presidential candidate at the debate. So there was a lose end, and the losing end was not the other candidates, they had an ability show accountability and transparency towards the public. Something that is unusual and not the norm! The NRM can’t be looking weak and Mzee can’t handle not being seen as the almighty his Excellency instead of being just one of the candidates for the elections. He rather blast them in all of his papers and radios until the 18th February then being a man who could move his mouth and brain in the TV-studio, but being critical of him is a sin, therefore opposition mobilizers and members get jailed, while NRM members who insist on violence get’s supported either by the police force or by NRM organizers, then the police and electoral commission wonders why the FDC candidate have the campaign of defiance, since they taste the endless violence from the NRM-Regime. It would be an interesting event to see if Mzee could have given a proper answer on the matter.

Mediator: “What are your take on the recent election violence and campaign harassment of opposition parties?”

Wonder if Mzee would have had it in him to answer that or if he had gone the IGP Kale Kayihura road, and said it is the laws and people have to follow the rules, secondly there is also bad police and violent opposition so there can’t all be wrong in the NRM or the Police. Well, we didn’t get that kind of fashion because Mzee doesn’t have it in him to be together with the candidates unless he is in the spotlight like when the Papal visit we’re in November 2015. This here was a small-time event for him and Bushenyi was more important.

The other candidates were graceful and tactful, even when asked very critical questions. Hope the next time there will be a mediator who doesn’t act like Kasujja and stop Mbabazi and Besigye constantly while giving space to the other ones. There were some unjustified actions from his part, instead of being a peace maker and making the transition between the candidates going smooth. For me he was the Terminator with those shades and light. But that is just me. Hope this was enough of one evenings debate, and I sure there been pointed out at many venues and media-houses, but this here is how I saw it.

Look forward to the second Live TV Debate in the history of Uganda at the 10th Feburary 2016. When the second live presidential TV debate will be hold, and what a grand event that will be and in the closing stages of the campaign trail. Just a week before the polls and actual voting! Peace.

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First day of Presidential Rallies in Uganda

Besigye Supports on the Road to Rukungiri 091115

Today is the first day of Presidential Elections rallies that has been harmonized with the Electoral Commission. The Camps or Parties has travelled around the country while one candidate still works with the commission to get a go to campaign. The ones that really seem to matter is the President Museveni in Luweero, Amama Mbabazi and People’s President Dr. Kizza Besigye in Rukungiri. And the best of all, this has been very peaceful and IGP Kale Kayihura has put his tear-gas and violent men to the side. It’s rare to see so little activity from the UPF and the peace that is at venues today. Hope this continues. Because its good to see the crowds, though we surely knows that certain levels of the NRM crowds are shipped there as the Crime Preventers are taking buses back and forth from venues to listen to Mzee. But enough of that! Let’s feel the flow of the day, start with the economic situation and then address the Elections as they have unfolded. The reports are not it all, not full speeches or such. But pieces and gist’s of what has been happening.

Before I go on the trails with the candidates and their trails, I will show a report from the Watchdog:

“A well-placed source at the Ministry of Finance has told Watchdog that President Museveni ordered the Ministry to arrange for him Shs500 billion. The source suspects the money is meant to fund Museveni’s campaigns. “He gave us only one week to look for the money and send it,” he said. The move came at the time some civil servants have not been paid for about three months. But that is not the sad bit. The Finance official told Watchdog website that the money had to be cut from various ministries” (Watchdog, 2015).

Money to MPs to be energized for the Elections:

“While asking NRM MPs to support the proposed amendments to the Public Finance law, the minister for planning, David Bahati, warned of a crisis in government, if Parliament rejects a new Bill that seeks to amend the current law to allow government, among other things, to borrow from Bank of Uganda. Daily Monitor broke the story when the Parliamentary Commission, secretly approved a 40 per cent pay rise for MPs and House staff, in a move the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirege said was intended to motivate members ahead of next year’s elections” (…)”However, Mr Bahati’s explanation according to sources did not go well with some senior legislators led by Mr Emmanuel Dombo (Bunyole East), who insisted that the Shs286.7b in the Contingency Fund went to State House and defence operations. Asked why government is broke, the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson, Jim Mugunga, said: “Government is not broke. Some ministries and government departments received more money in the budget.” (Mugerwa, 2015).

Car as an election gift to the Lamogi Clan Cheif from NRM:

You know there is election when there is big pledges and free stuff to the citizens. And the security agencies get new equipment and other material. The reports here says this:

“The Lamogi clan chief Martin Otinga Otto Yai Otuka has asked his subjects to vote for President Museveni in 2016 presidential polls, saying he has honoured pledges to develop the chiefdom. The chief made the remarks while speaking to residents at his home in Guru-guru village Lamogi Sub-county, Amuru District, while receiving a new Pajero donated to him by Mr Museveni on Friday” (Ocungi, 2015).

When reading about this money issue the President pledges this later today at the 2nd rally in Luweero:

“President Museveni has promised to increase funds for the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADs) to the tune of Shs1 trillion if Ugandans re-elect him in next year’s presidential elections.” (Monitor, 2015).

Rukungiri 091115

The FDC travelled in a Team today, they we’re Gen. Mugisha Muntu, SG Hon. Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, Spokesperson Hon. Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju, Special Mobiliser Hon. Erias Lukwago, Hon. Amuriat, Hon. Otto Odonga, Fdc Chairman Waswa Birigwa, Shifrah Lukwago and Activists Gloria Paga and Moses Byamugyisha.

In Ntugamo town, people was lining up by the road with FDC signs. They had planted banana trees 10 kilometers from town and to the center of the town. At the FDC office in town Hon. Kataha was flashing the FDC sign and screaming “Kyahwa” transelated means “It’s finished”. In the same time even DP supports showed support for Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Rukungiri 091115 Rally P1

In Mbabara the town was in standstill because people wanted a view of Dr. Kizza Besigye. People were screaming and even woman was crying. People have been waiting in more areas for the FDC convoy in Mpigi, Masaka, Rwengo, Lyantonde and Rushere.

Rukungiri 091115 Rally P2

At the rally in town the first ones to address the rally were Wafula Oguttu and Ingrid Turinawe. After that Erias Lukwago has address them. After that Gen. Mugisha Muntu addressed the people. Then Dr. Kizza Besigye went up to the podium and the people went bananas. Quotes from his speech:

Besigye 091115 Rukungiri

“Our children can’t study properly when the teachers are not properly remunerated”(…)”Our people are hoodwinked that they will be given Naads handouts and they keep walking up and down from and to Sub county offices” (…)”Why should government first extort money from citizens in form of high taxes and yet they can’t give services to the people?” (…)”Government will now begin to distribute Naada handouts since we are going in elections and you will find people thanking and praising government” (…)”If you have no power, you will never get better education or medical care” (…)”No meaningful jobs for youths when you have no power as citizens” (…)”When government over taxes you, it leaves you with no money or capital to use for production and development of yourself”.

Message from Kizza Besigye after the rally today:

“To the people of Rukungiri, inclusive of supporters of various political parties, I would like to extend my heart felt gratitude for the overwhelming turn up and the material support you have accorded to my candidature today” (…)“The spirit shown in Rukungiri, I believe will be the catalyst of the liberation of the entire country. The wave you have began will be unstoppable, from here on ‘as we move, many people will join us, we shall assign them duties and we shall build a force to break all the obstacles before us'”.

#WesigeBesigye

Reports from FDC Primaries:

“Anywar tears ballots papers for FDC primaries in Kitgum:

“I am the one who brought Besigye to Kitgum … Let him come here. Where is Besigye ?” Anywar fumed when she stormed the FDC meeting in Kitgum. She later left the office wailing”.

Just so you know:

Prof Byra - Election Rally 091115 P2

In Busaana in Kayunga Professor Baryamureeba held a rally there today! Also was in Kamuli he held a public rally.

Bwanika 091115 Kamuli

Abed Bwanika held his first election rally in Kamuli. There were more people at his rally it seems then at the Prof. Barya, but that is just my eyes I guess.

Statement from one of the Independent Coalition candidates:

Elton Joseph Mabirizi: “I love you all my supporters. Keep on supporting me and encourage others to join”, he Joseph Mabirizi says this and also Maureen Kyala is supposed to hold Election rally in Busoga today. Look forward to hear the reports from their rallies in Busoga when they come.

Maj Gen Benon Biraro is most likely not to hold his first rally today as he is still harmonizing his campaign schedule

Go-Forward Rally in Masaka:
Ssekasamba and the DPC has spent the whole last night supervising and determined to take down posters of Amama Mbabazi in the town. As the morning has come the Go-Forward team has put more up. The Go-Forward team has also paid for free boda-boda rides in Masaka town. The police are heavy deployed in town. The Police have also warned Go-Forward Presidential Candidate to have a procession through town from the Golf Grounds to center of town.

Amama 091115 Chair

Amama Mbabazi on the road to Masaka where he got stopped got a special built chair and bananas by supporters.

Mao Masaka Mbabazi 091115

Former NRM Masaka Municipality MP Shanon Kakungulu has deflected to Go-Forward today! There is also reports that 20 other members has deflected from NRM to Go-Forward as well, seems like many leaves the Yellow-Party.

Amama Masaka 091115 Ready

To follow more up the Police and the NRM even had to have a function in the town as the Go-Forward Presidential candidate will arrive and have a rally later today. DP’s Norbert Mao has showed up to support Amama Mbabazi. There has also been set up some police barricades in town. So that Norbert Mao is stuck in a jam on the way to venue of the rally. He came to the venue and has been on stage with Vice Mukasa Mbidde and musician Big Eye. John Kawanga handed Amama Mbabazi a spear at the rally.

Amama 091115 MasakaJPG

Amama Mbabazi message after the Rally:

“Thank you Masaka for turning up in big numbers to support the Go Forward campaign. We continue preaching the message of a Uganda that works for everyone”. 

NRM Rally in Luweero:

There has been rumored that the President Museveni had a meeting and campaign rally in a town called Bamunanika. The People of the area were mad and screaming for all the promises that he has given and never kept. Also being mad at the how the Associates have taken land from them. He lost his speech and was stammering by the anger of the local residents.

Zirowe NRM 091115 P1

The second rally was held on the Kasana Ground in Luweero. Where he asked the local electorate to: “me your grandfather”.  At the Kasana Ground entered Kakooza Mutale!

NRM Call Center 091115

Technology in this election:

Spokesman of the NRM Ofwono Opondo has proudly told the party has gotten themselves a call-center which was launched this morning and will call and reach up to 8 million voters during the election season. If that wasn’t enough Mzee has released his own election app and had help from an aide to get it to work on his own phone.

Zirowe NRM 091115 P2

Side-note:

In Kabale there has been a Radio Panelist who first escaped from arrest after orders from the Resident District Commissioner Darius Naninda who tried to catch the Anti-Corruption Activist who was taking part of a show on the Kabala Freedom Radio (Mughisa, 2015). Later is seen that he has a warrant on inciting violence.

Side-note 2:

“The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is deeply concerned about the safety of Ugandan refugees Musa Isabirye and Timothy Yamin who were deported to Uganda by Botswana Government last week.  They have previously been active in opposition politics in Uganda and could face persecution, imprisonment or torture there.  According to their legal representative Martin Dingake, “Their deportation took place in spite of a clear court order from the Botswana High Court interdicting such deportation. As a result the deportation is in flagrant contempt of the order of court and displays a shocking disregard by the Government of Botswana for the rule of law” (SALC, 2015).

Side-Note 3:

In the External Security Organization there will be a reshuffle of four of the leaders on the top. Said to be an election switch. Also, one of the leaders who is Director General of this British which is kind of illegal in this matter; they are supposed to be Ugandan nationals.

Side-Note 4:

“According to Airtel Uganda Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Mrs. Charity Bukenya, “Airtel Uganda has and will always welcome ideas that focus on empowerment of the youth, not only by providing them with better telecommunications solutions, but also by giving them opportunities to better their loves through the kind of exposure that AIESEC provides” (IT News Africa, 2015).

There will be more to come. This is what I have for now. Hope you got enlighten about what has happen. I don’t have all the clear reports at least some to give you a feel of what has gone down. There will be more to come. Since we’re just starting on the road to February polls! Peace.

Reference:

Monitor – ‘Museveni to inject 1 trillion in NAADs’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Elections/Museveni-inject-trillion-NAADs/-/859108/2949484/-/8rjmx6z/-/index.html

Mugisha, Alex – ‘Drama as Kabale Radio  Panelist escape arrest’ (09.11.2015) link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/drama-as-kabale-radio-panelists-escape-arrest

Mugerwa, Yasiin – ‘Pension cash spent on MPs allowances’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Pension-cash-spent-MPs-allowances/-/688334/2948430/-/vstkcjz/-/index.html

Ocungi, Julius – ‘Chief rallies for Museveni after car gift’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Chief-rallies–Museveni-car-gift/-/688334/2948234/-/rt1x0r/-/index.html

IT News Africa – ‘Uganda: Airtel to take digital empowerment to Kyambogo University’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2015/11/uganda-airtel-to-take-digital-empowerment-to-kyambogo-university/

Southern Africa Litigation Centre – ‘Statement: SALC Condemns Deportation of Refugees from Botswana’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/2015/11/09/statement-salc-condemns-deportation-of-refugees-from-botswana/

Watchdog – ‘MUSEVENI RAIDS SHS500 BILLION FROM TREASURY TO FUND CAMPAIGNS’ (09.11.2015) link: http://watchdog.co.ug/detail.php?id=559

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