Arua By-Election: Couldn’t the Opposition muster someone better than Wadri?

Well, it will be a race between the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Nusura Tiperu candidate and independent candidate Kasiano Wadri. This is the Arua Municipality By-Election that will happen on the 15th August, as the contested seat of late Hon. Ibrahim Abiriga is for the taking.

This means that the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) own person will step aside, this is the upcoming Bruce Musema. The vital change happens after Justice Forum, Democratic Party and Bobi Wine agreed upon this. The FDC have clearly folded after what happen in Bugiri Municipality, as former Party President Gen. Mugisha Muntu have already started to campaign from Wadri. There are clearly tensions in the air and the obvious outcome. Muntu clearly favored someone outside his previous party, than throwing his weight in favor of Musema. That is really showing lack of loyalty, btu that is to be expected these days. Abed Bwanika was also apart of the people who went in support of Wadri, as well as Norbert Mao, therefore, the DP is heavily invested in the candidate. As they need the result to prove their worth.

Nusura Tiperu is running a campaign of continuing the “Late Abiriga’s Agenda”, however if that will stick or be the reason for her victory, who knows, as the Electoral Commission, the Police Force and the NRM are usually busy rigging elections in their favor. Even as the Joint Opposition Candidate Wadri, will still battle hard, as he is not as viable as Musema might have been. This can really be shooting itself in the foot, as Tiperu might look much smarter, than Wadri ever will be.

Because if Wadri didn’t have the Democratic Party, Bobi Wine and Bwanika behind him. Would he even mattered in concern with Musema? That is the question we can now put. This questions are viable and it is just days ahead of the polls. That is not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

Tiperu couldn’t have gotten a better bargain, as she has to rally against weak Joint Candidate, instead of several Opposition Flag-Bearers. If the Opposition would have been smart, they had put Musema forward as it would have a younger and viable candidate, not an older character like Wadri. Tiperu doesn’t even need lots of big-men around her to win this. She has an advantage and she didn’t do crap about it. This is the own making of the opposition itself.

If your making a joint candidate, you put the best one you have, not the second best or the lucky loser, but you put up someone that you can actually believe in. That is not Wadri. Wadri is not believable, that Bwanika and Bobi Wine, even Muntu is up to something. That is clear, but the vindication of their political bargain, might be a cold cup of tea and not a drink you enjoy.

Wadri is the former Terego County MP, who lost in 2016, therefore, he is already and not a strong one. They are moving him to another district, but his person is still the same. He has already lost one to the NRM. What stops him from that happening again, the mystical powers of Bobi Wine?

We have to see, but Wadri shouldn’t be the one, in this one Musema should have, but maybe after the Bugiri Municipality, the FDC are throwing their weight behind as they were under-fire to field their own. But this time, it would have made sense, because will someone who lost to NRM. He has already had 4 terms in Parliament. There should be someone without entitlement to run.

However, that is what Arua is getting from the opposition. They are fielding a failed, career politician whose time is up. If he bounces back its because of mercy, not because of his swagger. Peace.

Final Report on the By-Elections: NRM slams Opposition parties, but that was expected!

If you would think that the National Resistance Movement would leave the new Municipalities MPs and other elected officials to the Opposition parties. You know it would be a lie. That the NRM are supposed to celebrate, but as the ruling party, they still lost Apac Municipality to the Uganda People’s Congress and lost Bugiri Municipality to the Justice Forum.

What is striking is that in Apac the NRM lost to someone who has faked his own death, Patrick Ochan, is a unique character, who forged money from Centenary Bank and declared his own death in 2006. Still, that was not enough for Obote’s son or the NRM to beat him in 2018. That says a lot of the state of NRM and also the opposition.

That Asuman Basalirwa won the Bugiri Municipality was a big deal and the NRM used all the big-guns there to sway the public. While Robert Kyagulanyi used his star-power to boost his campaign. The Forum for Democratic Change tried, but didn’t succeed either. However, it ended in the hands of the JEEMA Party and their only MP in the Parliament.

The rest of the districts like Nebbi, Kotido, Sheema, Ibanda and Njeru went all to the NRM. Sheema was also heavily contested and worrying signs yesterday, when the reports of late evening voting past fixed time for it. That means, the NRM could have countered the methods and secured it by late voting, which is fixing the score in their favor. As the trailing FDC in Sheema, was very close and the reality shouldn’t shock you.

This is like giving the opposition some posts, just so they exists, but still making sure the NRM have the majority. Just like they always do. There is always rigging and bribery, even voting tourism, where the NRM are ferrying people to vote in their favor. That could have occurred yesterday, but because of lack of observers and also intimidation from the army and police.

The Opposition should not shake their heads. They are working against the machine, they are not in a level playing field. The President are doing what he can wipe them out of the map. Therefore, only the dreamers would expect the FDC to get big. NRM won most, but is what they have done in most by-elections since 2016. It is only Jinja-East, Rukungiri and Kyadondo-East where the Opposition have won. The rest the NRM have taken. The NRM are usually the winner of By-Elections.

It is forgetfulness that hits you when you remember back to the rest of the By-Elections. Therefore, getting 2 out of 7 is a good score in a way. Also, the President gets what he wants. The majority and security of the NRM Caucus. That is all expected. To think otherwise, is to be naive, that the NRM is going to give the opposition opportunity to overcome them. As long as the President is breathing, he will not accept that and will rig to secure otherwise. The President is not democratic and not planning to become so. Peace.

By-Election Updates: Return Form for Transmission of Results from MP races in Bugiri (28.07.2018)

By-Election Updates: Return Form for Transmission of Results from MP races in Ibanda and Sheema (27.07.2018)

Ibanda:

Sheema:

By-Election Updates: Return Form for Transmission of Results from MP races in Nebbi and Kotido (27.07.2018)

Nebbi:

Kotido: 

By-Elections Preliminary Updates: From Bugiri, Sheema, Apac, Kotido and Nebbi!

I have collected various sources the preliminary reports from Bugiri, Sheema, Apac, Kotido and Nebbi. This are not the official results, the are first released, when the Electoral Commission is releasing them Return Form for Transmission of Results, which is verified ballots from each polling station combined in the district. Therefore, until those are released, the numbers are jumping.

Bugiri have most likely gone to JEEMA, Sheema might swing between FDC and NRM, Apac could become a UPC MP, Kotido could go to either FDC or NRM, Nebbi are expected FDC, but might get rigged for NRM. However, this is just the preliminary results and the reality will be different when the EC and the machine have used their time. That is the longer the time for the results, the more worry is the for securing it in hands of the regime and not for opposition candidates.

Bugiri:

Asuman Basalirwa and the Justice Forum won the MP contest for Bugiri Muncipality, that after a knocking campaign together with Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. Therefore, the opposition got this post and carved this newly created municipality out of the map of the President. They should not expect any development there, if the words of the President is sincere. Forum for Democratic Change candidate and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) lost here, they didn’t have the capacity or the ability to gain popularity, like JEEMA and Bobi Wine. No one had that moxy to do so.

Sheema:

There is a tight race between the National Resistance Movement candidate Virgina Plan Mugyenyi and Forum for Democratic Change candidate Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye. All reports through the day have been tight and swinging. But with time the FDC candidate had better numbers, but the final tally will really tell.

Apac:

Patrick Ocan of the Uganda People’s Congress are expected to win the municipality over the National Resistance Candidate Akai Ayumu. The other independent candidates are trailing behind the NRM and UPC. This here seems like the stronghold of UPC get their votes, just like they have done in this area and the NRM are losing here too.

Here in the district, there been dozens of arrests of UPC members, the official number is 18 individuals on election day. Also, there are reports of ferrying voters and also open bribery.

Kotido:

Peter Abrahams Lokii was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate here, while Moses Oryono Okot Mabeno are the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate. While the preliminary results in the newly created district have put the NRM in front, but only added independent candidates, therefore, you can wonder if the Electoral Commission have dismissed the FDC Candidate in spite before the election. Since, the reports was that FDC was gazetting a candidate.

Nebbi:

Robert Onega are the Forum for Democratic Change candidate, the National Resistance Movement fielded Hashim Sulaima, than you have Patrick Aloysius Okumu Ringa, running as an Independent, but leaning towards NRM. Three more key Independent Candidates are Betty Udongo, Berocan Okurulal and Enrico Opio. However, how all of this will work out.

In this district there been reports of low-voter turn-out. During the evening, local radio station and New Vision said Sulaima have won the district. However, that wouldn’t be surprising, as the election rigging that have been reported was massive, as even open boxed with pre-ticked ballots was coming to the district last night.

We just have to see how this goes. But there is a lot in the air and see how this falls to ground. Let see them forms and get these results verified. Don’t postpone that, but deliver credible results, even as the observers from CCEDU are suspended for these elections too. Which is concerning, because than the CSO of volunteers are not able to report and make sure the rights of the voters are taken care off.

By-Election done in darkness, deliberately done by regime. Remember that, so that they can come with other reports, if that fit their paradigm since the CCEDU and Opposition will just fight with arguments. While CCEDU could have come with issues on the ground and also filed reports for the future. That should worry every citizen, that the NRM does this. Peace.

UCC: Public Notice of UCC Ban on Scratch/Airtime Cards (12.07.2018)

Social Media Tax: PM Rugunda does a back-flip – Due diligence after levying it!

There are days, when you wonder if these people are sincere or real? I wonder if the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the whole organization and the Members of Parliament (MPs) ever thought their acts would have impact on society? They were just thinking it was rubber-stamping another budget and another relief for the deficit without concern of how it would impact the public. That can be put into question, after reading the statement made by the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the Parliament earlier today.

Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, since the Act came into force on 1st July 2018; Government has noted public concerns regarding some of the elements in implementation of especially tax on mobile money transactions and OTT. H.E. the President has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much needed revenue to finance our budget and undertake the development agenda we have set for ourselves without causing unbearable burden to the citizens. Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public and its implications on the budget” (Ruhakana Rugunda, 2018).

What this is evident known, that the state wasn’t ready for the impact it would have on the public. The public outcry and also the unfairness of these taxes. The phones are paid VAT, Income Tax of the Companies and now the Exercise Duty on it, therefore, double taxation when going in on Social Media, and triple when transmitting money through the Mobile Money Service.

What the PM is saying at the end is that they are starting to review the taxes, that should have been done in the first report delivered to the Parliament, as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, should have shown the problems. They only was focused on the possible revenue, because of the status of revenue made by the Telecommunication Companies. Instead, of looking into the costs it would be put on the consumers and citizens. They we’re totally focused on the revenue to the state to fix the deficit.

That the state wants to review it now. They should have done it this way, as the whole thing started with letter written from the President and sent to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018. Ordering to look into OTT and Social Media Taxes. In the midst of that, there was written a report and around 30th May 2018, the taxes was passed and got enacted, as the taxes started this 1st July 2018. It has been effective for only 10 days, but already shows all the flaws and fallacies in it.

It is like the NRM and the President, thought this would be a smooth ride of double and triple taxation. Where the excuse all along is that the Telecoms are eating the money and the development, the state has put into the industry, however, if that is the case, why don’t the state tax the companies more? Because now they are taxing the public into ridiculous levels.

So, the state is going circles, but instead of doing due diligence before enacting and levying the taxes. They are doing it after the fact, they are doing after the cat is out of the bag. The people see the ugly monster now, it isn’t an urban legend. It is real and they have no issues bleeding and destroying the economy on simple taxation. They are making it more expensive to pay bills and utilities. They are making it less viable to spread information and be part of a conversation. Because it is to costly to big chunks of the public. That is proven with the level of taxes put on each head passing into the digital atmosphere.

The PM have forgotten his role, as a Representative, but that what happens when you were the crown and forget the people. They are talking about reviewing it now. That should have been done long before it was tabled in the Parliament for voting and gotten passed in the plenary session in May 2018.

The report delivered should have enlisted the costs and the burdens, it should have been sincere, a document which numbers crunchers could have tested and seen if they were manipulated. Now, the reality is that the government didn’t collect the cost on each individual, neither the loss of certain low-level data-bundles and air-time packages. As they we’re abolished because of the added costs of taxes baked into the packages.

That is what the PM doesn’t even discuss or care. It is hard to believe that the state will seriously review it now, they will be busy bodies counting the shillings and add-ons to the state. I have little faith that they will looking into the lost meat boiled of the bone. They will not look after the wounded or the hurt from this.

They are might getting added revenue at the present by this, but they are also destroying a growing industry, that they could have taxed wiser and found ways to earn more revenue through. Instead, they are punishing the citizens for using digital ways instead of showing up in bank sending money there. Peace.

Reference:

Ruhakana Rugunda – ‘Statement to Parliament by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the recently introduced taxes on Mobile Money transactions and Over The Top (OTT) services’ 11.07.2018 link: https://ugandamediacentreblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/statement-to-parliament-by-the-rt-hon-prime-minister-on-the-recently-introduced-taxes-on-mobile-money-transactions-and-over-the-top-ott-services/

#ThisTaxMustGo: Bobi Wine wanted by the Authorities after Demos earlier in the day!

The ironies of all of this, is that isn’t very special, as the Kampala Metropolitan Police are now looking for the Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi. Who was part of the leadership who held a demonstration in Central Business District of Kampala. Clearly, the Authorities hadn’t accepted this, as they themselves put violence into it, they shot tear-gas, live bullets and dispersed the public. He escaped himself and was able to get to the Parliament. Certainly this is not the end.

As the Chimp Reports reports later:

Kampala Police are set to issue summons against Kyadondo East Constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine for inciting violence and holding unlawful processions. Bobi Wine this morning led a team of protesters who marched from down town Kampala toward the City square. These, carrying banners were protesting the new social media and mobile money taxes” (Nixon Segawa – ‘MP Bobi Wine Wanted By Police Over Social Media Tax Demo’ 11.07.2018).

This here is continuing the methods of Kayihura and his ways. As they are using the Public Order Management Act (POMA) and use of the Penal Code to apprehend him to the Police Force within time. As the MP humiliated the Kampala Metropolitan, even as this would most likely not gotten the permit to demonstrate on it. IGP Okoth-Ochola has no quarrel using the same techniques to silence the voice of the people.

Bobi Wine is just showing way and doing what the other opposition leaders have done. As they campaign for cause and gain publicity for it. This here is a sign of will and how quickly he can get people behind him. That the MP could get as much and be able to organize this, even use the Social Media to get people to demonstrate. Shows the power of the people. Not that it changed much on the ground today, but shows the same-old, same old.

There are even arrests of other activists and demonstrators, which is held at the Kampala Central Police Station, while what they are arrested for is not clear yet. However, the police has taken them to custody in the manner, which they are known for. They are initiating violence and use weapons on the defenseless, the citizens who demonstrate for a good cause, one that are depleting their bank-accounts, double or triple taxation of the same services.

Still, the culprits of the violence walks, while the leaders of the demonstrations are demonized and arrested.

This seems like yet another day in opposite day. Where the rule of law is acting as vile criminals, while the public is deemed criminal for voicing their discomfort. It is surreal, but ordinary by the standards of the Police Force.

Bobi Wine is just a man, but a man of principal and fierce, he is young and vibrant. Everything this rulers of the land isn’t today. The NRM have forgotten why the exists. They have forgotten what their visions and their orthodoxy was in 1980s. Because Bobi Wine is speaking the same 32 years later.

It is tragic, but that is the way it is. Peace.