Uganda: Following government’s decision to conduct the Local Council 1& 2 elections by way of open voting (lining up), CCEDU has taken a position (15.01.2017)

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Your Excellency:

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) is the broadest active civil society coalition on issues of elections in Uganda, bringing together over 800 member organizations spread across the country. CCEDU has since its formation in 2009 worked towards promoting a social and political system that enhances fair, equitable and transparent electoral processes in the Republic of Uganda.

Your Excellency, in July 2015, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2014 providing for lining up behind candidates during elections of chairpersons for village (LC1) and parish (LC2) levels. The voting method brought in effect by the Bill was a departure from what was originally provided for in the Local Government Act, of universal adult suffrage through secret ballot. Then Minister of Local Government, Hon. Adolf Mwesige, argued before Parliament that the cost of conducting village and parish elections through the method of secret ballot was too high and had made it impracticable for the elections to be held since 2002. On this ground, Hon. Mwesige convinced Parliament to vote in favor of amending the Local Government Act to consider an open voting method – which he argued was realistic and more affordable for the country.

Your Excellency, while we acknowledge that the open method of voting for the LC I and II may be viewed as financially more affordable and does not involve the same amount of logistics that would be required to run a secret ballot vote, we wish to draw your attention to the following:

1)   Article 68 (1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda sets a standard for voting at elections and referenda: “At a public election or referendum, voting shall, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, be by secret ballot using one ballot box at each polling station for all candidates in an election and for all sides in a referendum”.

2)   Article 25(b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Uganda is a state party, guarantees “the right of every eligible citizen to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections held by secret ballot”, and grounds this in the notion that “voting by secret ballot guarantees the free expression of the will of the electors”.

3)    The Universal Declaration on Democracy, a declaration adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session in Cairo on 16th September 1997 affirms the essential place of conducting democratic elections on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage for voters to choose their representatives in conditions of equality, openness and transparency that stimulate political competition.

Your Excellency, this implies that:

1)      It is a well-established practice that holding free and fair elections is one of the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law; and the secrecy of voting remains a key aspect of free and fair elections. Government has a legal obligation to conduct public elections and referenda according to the standards set in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

2)      Voters are not only entitled but also obliged to the secrecy of their vote. The method of voting proposed for LCI and II elections in which voters are required to line up behind their preferred candidates exposes the voters’ choice and violates this principle. As such, the open voting method does not safeguard the electors’ freedom of thought and their political and other beliefs. If Uganda is truly on a democratic path, then it should be seen to espouse a method of voting which ensures that the electorate is able to express itself freely and that elected representatives are truly representative, thereby contributing to public trust in the institution of local leadership.

3)      The proposed voting method violates the principle of anonymity of the voter. Freedom of opinion is endangered when a voter is prone to influence by threats of sanctions or reprisals. Open voting has time immemorial come with a lot of opportunity to influence or intimidate voters as they declare their choice by lining up behind their preferred candidates. In a country like Uganda where the population has over the years become deeply politically polarized, it is difficult to underestimate the influence and effect of fear of retribution that is embedded within an open voting system such as the proposed one. Within the context of Uganda today, the proposed method of voting is a ripe recipe of tension, vengeance and outright election-based violence – especially on the Election Day and in the aftermath of the elections.

4)      Free and fair voting principally demands that each voter makes an individual choice. Every person registered on the voters register must be able to express his or her choice in person, and this personal choice must be counted as such.  The mode of voting as prescribed under section 111 of the Local Governments Act, 2015 for village and parish elections is not consistent with this individuality principle and, in particular, constitutes a violation of gender equality and freedom of opinion.  The practice of open voting is reminiscent of days gone by of the reprehensible communal voting. In the Ugandan context, under an open voting system, it is likely that for instance, female voters may be unduly influenced to vote for candidates that their male counterparts, spouses or partners choose to vote for – for fear of catalyzing gender-based disagreement. In another case, for fear of going against their spouses’ electoral choice, female voters may decide to shun such open choice elections.  Modern societies including Uganda itself have denounced open voting methods as akin to primordial practices that infringe on voters own choice.

5)     Historically and contextually, electoral processes are highly prone to fraud and manipulation.  One of the primary reasons for the transition from ‘open’ forms of voting to the adoption of the secret ballot system in the 1800s was to help rid political systems of bribery.  Uganda is currently fighting the scourge of monetization of politics.  With an open voting system comes higher electoral stakes.   The higher the stakes, the higher the possibilities of voter bribery will be.  In effect, the possibilities of monetizing the local council elections that will be held under an open voting system remain high. The political players are quite optimistic of the eventualities very sure those voters are aware of the procedures and they will vote for them since it’s not secret.

Your Excellency, under Vision 2040, the Government of Uganda underpins the need for democracy as the anchor to transform the country. Similarly, the second National Development Plan (NDP II) recognises that without free and fair political and electoral processes, key development objectives cannot be achieved.  To this end, the NDP II proposes to institute mechanisms to strengthen credibility of electoral processes in Uganda and citizen participation in the electoral processes.

As the Fountain of Honour of our Nation, CCEDU would like to respectfully appeal to you, Your Excellency, to guarantee that:

  • The Government is indeed genuinely committed to holding free, fair and impartial elections; and considers such elections crucial for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Uganda.
  • The LCI and LCII elections are conducted in a manner that satisfies international and national legal obligations, commitments, practices and principles of; confidentiality of one’s electoral choice, anonymity and individuality of a voter. The elections must promote rather than undermine election legitimacy and integrity while reinforcing the notion of popular participation.

Your Excellency, CCEDU contends that the currently designated method of voting in the LCI and LCII elections not only fails to meet the constitutional and internationally provided for standards for conducting public elections, but is also fertile ground to foment conflict and sow seeds of discord in communities – thus undermining the hard earned peace, stability and unity in many parts of the country.

CCEDU appreciates that democratic electoral practices in Uganda are still affected by various national and contextual factors, traditions and limitations. While we recognize the importance of taking into account our country’s milieu and resource limitations, Your Excellency, we appeal against the latter being used as pretext for practices that undermine the basic principles of democracy and governing the conduct of free and fair elections.

Lastly, Your Excellency, CCEDU therefore proposes a more cost-effective option of the secret ballot method of voting in the LCI and LCII elections – in which voters record their (candidate) preference on a plain piece of paper in privacy – by way of writing or putting a thumb-print. We recommend the most basic form of secret ballot that uses standardized blank, plain or colour coded pieces of paper/cards upon which each voter marks his or her choice. Without revealing the choice to anyone, the voter in this case would fold his or her piece of paper with their marked choice and place it in a sealed ballot box. The ballot box is emptied later for the counting of the ballots. This method is not only financially affordable, but also preserves the secrecy of the ballot as well as expands possibilities for the electorate to participate in elections.

Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana

Chairperson, CCEDU Executive Committee

Opinion: Tired of the ‘last words of Mwenda’ against the FDC and Besigye!

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Mwenda, Andrew Mwenda the Independent Magazine owner and editor, the man who knows all about how to rant against fellow political opponents, than a month later praising them, like they are the next one to save the world. In one week Museveni can be the worst and the other week he will be the hero. The same is with the Forum for Democratic Change and Dr. Kizza Besigye, all through December 2016 and this beginning 2017 his focus has been bashing on Besigye like he is AIDS.

Mwenda has a fetish or worse a deluded mind where he uses all kind of words to address why Besigye isn’t the President, without considering the fact of the power of ‘the old man with the hat’. The editor rant is about the organizations, the loss of local elections and the losing of presidential election going back to Dr. Paul Ssemogerere of the Democratic Party who ran against President Museveni and all of his campaign we’re filled with attacks and brutality. Just like all of Besigye’s has been, it is a reason why he is for the second time in his life-time charged with treason against the Republic. All of those explanations vanish like water meet the heat of the sun and becomes part of the air.

Mwenda’s rants concluded with today’s word calling FDC a Cult on Facebook. Where he was calling literally Besigye a Cult leader, because Mwenda has to grind out every little bit of anger into the public sphere. He added videos of the inauguration of Nana Addo in Accra where Besigye we’re invited, Mwenda had this to say about the Ghanaian President speech: “In these two videos, newly elected Ghanaian president, who invited FDC cult leader to his inauguration, parrots the inaugural speeches of Bill Clinton in 1993 and George Bush in 2001. Besigye’s 2010 manifesto copied David Cameron’s Conservative Party manifesto almost word for word” (Mwenda, 08.01.2016). So his words are saying itself how he has to attack the man for attending and being invited while Museveni is busy bodying himself to drop “Presidential Handshakes”.

Ferry for Besigye to Busuga 16.11.15

“Besigye’s despotism in FDC:

Earlier in the day he wrote this too against Besigye: “Most of the FDC leaders i have interviewed ran away from NRM after witnessing the same trend. Now they say that compared to Besigye and his FDC fanatics, M7 and his NRM look like the best democrats one can find. In short Besigye had established a ruthless and intolerant dictatorship over the FDC and now relies on the cult of personality rather than on institutions to govern” (…) “While Besigye fanatics claim I have been hired by NRM to tarnish the name of their cult leader, the information I post here is always supplied to me by the top ranking members of FDC who want to rescue the party and Uganda’s democracy from the tyranny of extremism and the despotism of Besigye” (Mwenda, 08.01.2017).

So he continues his rants, his words of direct attack, as there are rare breed and the Besigye is giant problem. Besigye is the reason for the losses; Besigye is the reason for everything. If it rains it’s Besigye, if it snows it is Beisgye, if it is wind it is Besigye and if it is sun by all means it is Besigye. That is how you can talk in the sense of Mwenda. He is the weatherman who always will pin the blame on Besigye, and by all current codex or modus operandi it will be boiled down to Besigye. Nobody else, the others are needed props in tale of fatigue, lacking organization or even repeatedly popular personality of Besigye. Instead of asking why was there yet again Primary Elections where Besigye won over Gen. Mugish Muntu. Something that didn’t happen in the Movement, where Museveni where sole-candidacy for Presidency and Mbabazi wasn’t allowed to run against him! Something that Mwenda wouldn’t mention, for one simple reason, it will blow his mind and lose his marbles. Mwenda will be little prick who thinks he is a genius, but misses key aspects of matter. Like you need water or milk to drink tea. You can try to boil coke, but the tea will not mix well, but boiled milk or water will make a perfect blend.

Mwenda’s rants are now pointless and personal, like vendetta against the FDC and Besigye. Like he has to attack them! He cannot do anything else, if not he loses his mind. I know I write against Museveni a lot too, but usually with context of economy or recent acts, but Mwenda recreate the election and the internal organization of FDC without caring about factors that are put into play with no regard of the political status in the Republic. FDC are not alone on the losing end of Movement, but Mwenda acts like they are the only one, there is UPC, DP, Farmer’s Party, TIC, UFA and so on.

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Like yesterday’s rant: “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” (Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

He goes again into insults not only Besigye, but his supporters, because what else there to do. Because he doesn’t have a valid argument as long as he is putting FDC and Besigye in vacuum, the same kind of empty hole his arguments and reasoning is for the moment. 2017 stroke Mwenda and his mind went haywire. To prove the nonsense of this man, let’s take a piece of the rant of the day before:

“Over the last 16 years, Besigye has concentrated all the meager resources of the opposition on one singular objective, to capture the presidency. Yet we all know that maintaining the presidency is the most important objective of M7 and the NRM where he has concentrated most of his resources” (…) “Now FDC is much weaker relative to NRM. Not only that. NRM is also backed by the power of the state. By concentrating all opposition resources to attack NRM at its most fortified position, Besigye has expended his meager resources to secure an objective where he has the least chance of success. This is a strategic blunder” (Mwenda, 06.01.2017).

The relative argument itself is disgusting, because even if NRM is a ordinary party as Mwenda make it seems, it still is freighting how little he consider how the ambitions are under siege in the NRM, therefore handpicked and rigged members are becoming leaders, but that part of the argument is lost on Mwenda. Because that makes NRM more fragile than Mwenda wants to say. As well as the FDC primary model is better than NRM, though not perfect it still are more democratic than NRM ever will be. Another reason why the debate of Muntu and Besigye in the FDC are a valid one, directly opposite in the NRM where there is no discussion if VP Edward Ssekandi or PM Rukhana Ruganda will ever challenge Museveni. But that is a silent and a mute-point. If doing so your devaluing the epitome of all Ugandan wishes is to have Museveni for life as the chairman of the Movement and Executive of the Republic. Another thing, Mwenda doesn’t have the balls to connects when taking in consideration the stalemate in FDC and in other parties. In a state where it isn’t really democratic, in the sense that NRM are rigging when needed to control the Parliament and all other political offices in the country. The rest is just a front. Strange that Mwenda cannot mention that either. But that is another illness, that his eyes looks away from.

The flawed and the lost plot, is why all of sudden has went into mayhem and going all in to attack FDC and Besigye, Mwenda seems like only dreaming and thinking about them. That is the only thing that boggles his precious minds and the only discussion he can have in the Independent Magazine, as the other obstacles of the Republic can be redundant.  Peace.

Besigye remains optimistic about Uganda’s future despite calling 2016 a difficult year (Youtube-Clip)

“Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change has described 2016 as a very difficult year. The former party president says he remains optimistic about 2017. He spoke to NTV from his home in kasangati, Wakiso District” (NTV Uganda, 2016).

Opinion: Same old song against Besigye yet again #NBSFrontline

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“FDC cannot foster accountability in government when they are not accountable themselves”Andrew Mwenda (29.12.2016 on NBS TV – NBSFrontline).

Forum for Democratic Change Dr. Kizza Besigye is always on the NBSFrontline without showing up, just like his nemesis President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It’s always make me giggle when people says that Besigye lost four elections and isn’t a credible opposition. Well, to the pundits, the monitoring of Besigye by the Police Force and the harassment of Opposition is why Hon. Norbert Mao from the Democratic Party is also always sitting in the studio speaking his wisdom to the masses. Like it is forgotten the way he was stopped from running as MP in his district during the General Election in 2016. Short term memory is a tricky thing.

Let’s be clear. The Opposition in Uganda isn’t without faults or without deficiency. The Movement have clearly by all means meant for no other ruler than Museveni. Somebody who thinks otherwise is naïve or on the movements payroll. There are clear indications and fantastic results of every single election that massively gives an edge and popularity that even could give way for dead-people to vote for the moment when needed be. Because how is possible to have so many 100% votes and also 100% of all eligible voters in the polling stations. They all like magic shows up, even as the neither death nor sickness stopped anyone in the constituencies to show up and vote for their beloved President.

So that rare coincidence that a certain man, who lost his own credibility and has to clear his own house. Mwenda has been battling the FDC like he has done on Social Media for over 48 hours attacking Besigye with all cylinders, instead of seeing the inevitable. The continued attempts to alter the conversation and blatantly attack FDC for their role in the opposition is a meagre attempt to smear them, instead of asking why the Movement has made it like this!

It’s true that LoP Winnie Kiiza is a fish out of water running wild in dialogue with the President in Kasese, as the man behind the plot is walking scotch free threatening all reports and people asking questions as the decomposed bodies are in the soil. The families without loved ones and the Security Organization, their brigades walk like free-men controlling the district. As the king are behind bar as a common terrorist. So the FDC is the problem and not the Movement who has a militarized attitude of the Central Government itself.

So when Mwenda and other’s says that the FDC isn’t real opposition and really accountable because of the many attempts of Besigye at becoming the President. It’s just wondered how he can try to alter history in this way. That Mao is all smiles and giggles are also weird when his party are weaken and also instead of being a national party has turned more regional over the years.

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“Besigye’s tone is of violence, I think that’s why he has failed to get votes from old people” – Ofwono Opondo

Well, Honourable Opondo, tones doesn’t kill people, the guns of the army and Special Force Command can shoot people into silence and into submission. Just like the monies has done to the Electoral Commission who fixed the results together with the default rigging of leaving ballots behind in districts and all other issues during the Election Road Map of 2016. This is known knowledge still he uses sly tactics to sound smart and useful. Because the Hon. Opondo doesn’t know what defiance means or couldn’t care – he is resisting the knowledge as he only see brown envelopes and bowing his knee to his master Museveni.

The most insulting words of the day we’re demeaning Mwenda saying: “why replace a Museveni you know with a Museveni you don’t know”. Moment of Nostalgia, reminding myself of not being to rash, but this is an insult to Museveni and Besigye. Museveni is the kingpin! He has ruled with iron fist and brutally stomped on anyone with ambition. Sole candidate and unquestioned leader of the Movement; in the deluded mind an elected and team-building candidate in Besigye is the same as the other. That is disrespectful and a disgrace to them both.

Museveni is a militarized political juggernaut who doesn’t gives to crap about anyone’s existence except if his movement can capitalise or use it. Besigye has had dialogue and let the party he was part of creating having two clear fractions. There are no talks and no clear leadership under Museveni has and do controls the NRM Party, without question; whatever Hon. Opondo is just puppet hire to make Museveni look nice. But Mwenda are supposed to be Independent, but is more and more sounding like apologist for the Movement. Which isn’t a great look on the fellow commentator more like stressed phone-calling son of bitch who can’t stall the conversation.

So the insults of FDC should be done with tact, but that isn’t the way of the Movement, neither of any of the apologists if it is the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, Army Spokesman Lt. Paddy Akunda and Uganda Media Centre leader Ofwono Opondo are all spreading the message of submission to the mighty and tries to do with all force, because their master will send the soldiers to the streets and social media blackouts; Museveni uses them if needed to silence the population in the media. Trying to spin the news and waves as needed be.

As now their tactic as their ways are not steady, their mediocre, even weaker than a twice used tea-bag of Mukwano tea. Bitter water with a little ounces of flavour, but you need to pounds of sugar to be able to drink it. The same is with the words of disarray from the Movement speakers. Don’t be fooled. Don’t buy the ticket to the gig.

Besigye is different, not because I say so, it’s because of the way he is and how he carry himself in the tribulations and the troubles, in the torture and in the massive amounts of arrest that is nearly all unaccounted for by the authorities, where most of them without reasons, without warrants and without charges that could stick in any court. Besigye has had turmoil before because of his stance against Museveni. Still, he continues and wanting to see good governance. It’s a just cause especially the wish for a peaceful transition without guns, coup d’état and without use of any sort of force.

That Besigye is a hot topic is understandable. When you have an unaccountable and walking ATM for President, the discussion about the accountability should be first and foremost be questioned to the one in charge and the one rigged to be there. As Besigye has never ruled or had the ability of the Executive. That has all been Museveni.

As Marie Matembe said so beautifully tonight: “There is no state in Uganda. State is equal to Museveni and Museveni is equal to the state” (NBS TV on NBSFrontline, 29.12.2016).

Peace.

NRM claim victory in recent elections in the new districts; it was expected, but how long can they rule on borrowed time?

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It is just one of these days, where the result of the recent election; to be frank another one of days after the ballot is casted and things are just back to normal. It is just one of these days. Where the news of the National Resistance Movement picking up most of mandates and representatives from the newly created districts in Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda Omoro and Kakumiro.

The ones that are surprised that there do exist a voting apathy and low turnouts has lost the plot since the rigging generation under the current administration. As there are clear reports of Pre-Ticked Ballots even in this minor election. Where the good news we are that the Electoral Commission was actually prepared and had some sense of delivering Electoral Material. Though late at some polling stations as 10:40 but still closing the Polling Station at ordinary time, which is an insult to injury.

It was not strange that the Movement got most of the candidate in a race where the locals anticipated bribes to decide their votes. Something the CCEDU clearly saw and reported in the districts. Where the Police and Crime Preventers was guards at the Polling Stations, but the good news was no clear violence during the election. The only one where the certain individuals where caught planning to put fire on one radio-station. While it were reports that other Radio Stations had focus on spreading the news of the Movement and let the others, just run astray. This is a proof of malpractice and maladministration as the ruling regime does not care about the freedoms of assembly of the fellow citizens.

Together with FDC Mobilisers who tailgated NRM initiators who we’re bribing locals to vote for them and in the end ended up serving time in jail for questioning the behaviour of the Movement. This proves that the fate is already sealed and that the election is not a necessary arrangement for picking leaders since the Movement have already done it for you. The FDC did not get any mandate, but still had more campaigns that the other parties who really put their soul into the campaign of Omoro, where the NRM captured the representative. In all the new districts all but one person outside the Movement got a position and that was an Independent Candidate. The system obviously made ready for this kind of outcome. As the registered leaders of other parties where in Omoro and the contests as the newly formed districts where the function was clearly a horserace to bribe the men and woman to give them vote and let them be for the rest of the term.

The Forum for Democratic Change lost this one, but the contest of bribing; the Movement won it. Certainly, the Uganda People’s Congress and Democratic Party must feel hurt by losing Omoro District to the Movement, but their way of bamboozling opposition continues and it is a reason why Hon. Jacob Oulanyah still is an MP and Deputy Speaker in the 10th Parliament. Not because of his ethics, but because of the Movements acts to stay in Power.

The initial outcome was set from the get-go. The reality is the same as yesterday. The Movement the shallow creature it is ask Selah. Sorry, ask Sevo. Not ask Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda and not Hon. Edward Ssekandi. Remember ask Selah, he can answer why the Movement in shallow in the chambers of the hotel he is lodged in eating on government salaries.

It is reasons why the elections in the newly created districts ended this way; the signs in the stars and moons was smiling about it. At least what the cow farmer is concerned. The Movement continues to linger on and cheat their way to happiness and further acts that are more corrupt and behaviour into oblivion. Still, they wonder why there are voter apathy and uncertainty of value of their ballot unless they get some shillings to buy soap or millet.

The Movement can celebrate these wins like a victory of their glorious movement who is a people’s movement, as they did with the double celebration at Kololo after both the ballots, the rigging and the Supreme Court validate the Movement and its leadership yet again. But the reality is that is on borrowed time as the apathy proves the dissolution of the current leadership. The tiredness and current instability of the ones above. The silence and contempt will surface, but when it boil over is not something you can say.

The only way for this to end well is if the apathy turns into pleasure of the current status quo and that the people, the citizens are contempt with keeping the militarized Movement there. If not, then there are something else brewing; that is something Sevo and Selah doesn’t want hear. They might swallowed and paid through the hurdles for this one. Made it peaceful and organized it to an extent well, but the tarnished reputation, the violent Police Force and the abuses cannot last forever. You cannot keep your opposition in prison and still legitimize your rule. Just like the wise men of Nakawa in Kampala these days tries to defend.

The Movement and their supporters might believe they won this one and got it. But they didn’t. They bribed it and took it. They didn’t win it. They didn’t because it wasn’t rhetoric or policies that won, but who pays who for their vote. If the locals expect always to be paid for their vote, then the coffers won’t sore but be tore. As proven with the recent expensive campaign trail of Mzee and the empty bank accounts of the State House right before the opening of the 10th Parliament.

So enjoy your victories and pleasures of emptiness as the borrowed time and for every minute counting the expected payback will come. How and when is not up to me to say, but the grave danger of missteps and loosen control will widen the spectrum and the disfranchised citizens might want their justice back. Peace.

Final Election Observation Statement in Kakumiro, Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda and Omoro Districts (30.08.2016)

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The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) was launched on 19th August 2009. CCEDU is a broad coalition that brings together over 850 like-minded civil society organizations and over 25,000 individuals to advocate for electoral democracy in Uganda. The CCEDU secretariat is hosted by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). CCEDU’s vision is to realize a Uganda where the principles and practices of electoral democracy are upheld. Its mission is to advance integrity and citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process. CCEDU carries out its work in all districts and regions of Uganda. Since its establishment, CCEDU has been a leading player in advocacy for electoral reforms, observation of general and by-elections and civic/voter education campaigns.

CCEDU has a special mandate to observe Elections in conformity with the relevant international instruments governing election observation and the Constitution and National Laws of the Republic of Uganda.[1]

This statement presents the overall observations of the conduct of Election Day process of the CCEDU Election Observation Mission in the five districts.

 Summary

CCEDU finds that the Election Day processes were relatively peaceful and better organized from an administration perspective. Polling officials knew polling day procedures and generally followed the legal provisions on opening of the polling station, set up, voting, closing and counting. However, there were some challenges during the polling process notably some voters who were not permitted to vote. Additionally, although the election procedures allow for assisted voting, CCEDU noted cases of voters who were assisted to vote in many of the polling stations observed.

Set Up and opening

 Although many polling stations opened after 7am, the polling officials generally followed the laid out procedures for opening and set up. Additionally, the few incidents of missing materials mainly indelible ink were also resolved.

Voting

During the voting process, polling officials at most polling stations followed procedures and the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) relatively functioned well.
In 84 of 100 polling stations observed, voters were checked for ink before receiving a ballot.

  • All polling stations observed had the BVVS. In 84 of 100 polling stations observed the BVVS functioned properly. Among the 16 that malfunctioned, 10 were fixed and 3 were replaced.
  • Polling officials instructed voters on voting procedures in 89 of the 100 polling stations observed
  • In 86 of the 100 polling stations observed, voters were able to vote in secret.
  • In 66 of the 100 polling stations observed, there were no unauthorized personnel present inside the polling station. However, police and crime preventers were present in 19 of polling stations.
  • High numbers of voters were assisted to vote. In 78 of the 100 polling stations observed some (1 – 14) voters were assisted to vote. In 6 of the polling stations observed more than 15 voters were assisted to vote. Unidentified people assisted voters in 67 of the 100 polling stations observed, while election officials and party agents assisted voters in 16 and 14 of the polling stations respectively contrary to the law.

Chart 1 representing number of voters assisted to vote based on data from 100 polling stations observed by CCEDU

District Polling Stations with CCEDU Observers Polling stations with between 1-14 voters assisted to Vote
Kagadi 33 28
Kakumiro 22 16
Kibaale 12 9
Omoro 14 11
Rubanda 19 14

NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 99 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 85 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 78 polling stations observed.) However UPC, DP and PP party agents presence is limited to Omoro district.

  • In 84 of the 100 polling stations observed, all voters in queue by 4pm were able to vote.

Omoro Election 2016

Counting and Declaration of Results

  •     In 99 of the 100 polling stations, polling officials opened the ballot box and sorted ballots in full view of the candidates’ agents.
  • 62 of polling stations did not have unauthorized personnel present during counting. However, 23 of polling stations observed had police present and 22 of polling stations had crime preventers present.
  • Party agents are useful in an election because they can deter fraud especially if they are vigilant and loyal to their candidate/party. During counting NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 98 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 82 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 74 polling stations observed.) However UPC and DP presence is limited to Omoro district. PPP party agents were not present during counting in any district.
  • Where party agents of NRM were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 94 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 5 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where agents of FDC were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 72 of 100 polling stations. Where FDC agents were present, they refused to sign in 4 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of UPC were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 15 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 0 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of DP were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 15 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 2 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of PPP were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 6 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 0 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Where party agents of independent candidates were present, their agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 79 of 100 polling stations. They refused to sign in 8 of the 100 polling stations observed.
  • Election results were posted publicly at 86 of the 100 polling stations observed and in all the polling station observed the presiding officer sealed a copy of the DR form in the tamper evident envelope for transmission to the Returning officer.

Critical Incident Reports

CCEDU received 22 critical incidents and verified 17. The highest number of incidents reported from Rubanda (7) and Kakumiro (6) Kagadi (2) and Omoro (1) had the least number of incidents reported.

  • Vote buying/voter bribery was the most reported incidents in Rubanda, Omoro and Kakumiro
  • Incidents of violence including disruption of voting were the second most reported in Kakumiro, Omoro and Kagadi
  • Incidents of unauthorized persons assisting others to vote were the third most reported critical incidents reported in Kakumiro.
  • In Rubanda there was also a case of impersonation of voters reported.
  • In Omoro voting ended at 5:00pm but voting materials from the polling stations arrived at the tally centre at 10:40pm.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that there were a few incidents of violence reported, CCEDU applauds voters in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda for maintaining peace and calm during the elections. However, CCEDU is concerned that voters are increasingly demanding for bribes from candidates which is a point of concern in our electoral processes. CCEDU urges voters to desist from demanding for bribes and urges candidates to desist from buying voters.

CCEDU remains committed to improving the integrity of electoral processes in Uganda.

For God and my country.

Preliminary Election Observation Statement in Kakumiro, Kibaale, Kagadi, Rubanda and Omoro Districts (29.08.2016)

Kagadi 29.08.2016

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) was launched on 19th August 2009. CCEDU is a broad coalition that brings together over 850 like-minded civil society organizations and over 25,000 individuals to advocate for electoral democracy in Uganda. The CCEDU secretariat is hosted by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). CCEDU’s vision is to realize a Uganda where the principles and practices of electoral democracy are upheld. Its mission is to advance integrity and citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process. CCEDU carries out its work in all districts and regions of Uganda. Since its establishment, CCEDU has been a leading player in advocacy for electoral reforms, observation of general and by-elections and civic/voter education campaigns.
CCEDU has a special mandate to observe Elections in conformity with the relevant international instruments governing election observation and the Constitution and National Laws of the Republic of Uganda
This statement presents the preliminary observations on the opening and setup process of the CCEDU Election Observation Mission in the five districts. CCEDU share a more detailed report with once more information has been received from our observers.

SUMMARY

In August 2015, government approved the creation of new districts. Subsequently, the EC, on 30 June 2016, announced the programme for Parliamentary and Local Government Councils election in five of the newly created districts namely Kakumiro and Kagadi curved out of Kibaale district; Rubanda curved out of present day Kabale district and Omoro curved out of present day Gulu district. The offices for election are: District Woman Member of Parliament, Local Council V chairpersons and Youth representative.
In line with its mission to enhance integrity, transparency and active citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral processes, CCEDU commissioned an election observation mission in the five (5) districts, to observe the pre-election, Election Day and post-election periods.
CCEDU has deployed 100 polling station observers distributed proportionally in all the 49 sub counties that make up the five districts. These have been stationed across all the 49 sub counties to observe and report on the Election Day processes at the polling stations. (See Annex of CCEDU Observer Distribution in the 5 districts). These 100 observers are supported by 5 district supervisors, one in each district. Additionally CCEDU members and staff of CCEDU secretariat are on ground supplementing reports from the stationary observers.

PRELIMINARY ELECTION DAY FINDINGS

The conduct of the elections was guided by the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005, the Local Government Act 1997 as amended and the Electoral Commission Act 1997.

This statement is based on observer reports and incidents filed by all the 100 observers deployed in the 5 districts as at 11:40 am focusing on the opening and setup process.

Kibaale District 29.08.2016

Findings on Set-up and Opening Process:

On the opening and set up process, CCEDU has observed the following:

• Polling officials had arrived only in 28 polling stations of the 100 polling stations by 6:30am. Although Omoro had a higher presence of polling officials, on the contrary, polling officials in Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kibaale and Rubanda districts were not present at polling stations by 6:30 which affected the opening of most polling stations.

• The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Acts as amended provide for polling to begin at 7:00am and end at 4:00pm. By 7:00am, only 10 polling stations out of the 100 polling stations observed in the five districts had opened. Although most of the polling stations (72 of 100 polling stations) observed had opened by 8:00am. 27 polling stations opened after 8:30am.

• Although 91 of 100 polling stations observed had all strategic materials, 5 polling stations in Kagadi, Kakumiro and Rubanda were missing indelible ink and 1 polling station in Rubanda was missing the voter register.

• In line with Objective VI of the national objectives and directive principles of state policy, which provides for gender balance in all government institutions, out of the 4 polling officials in the 100 polling stations observed, at least 2 of polling officials were women.

• In most of the polling stations observed, polling officials followed procedure by observing the presence of at least 5 registered voters in 95 of the 100 polling stations observed. Additionally, polling officials in 95 of the 100 polling stations observed displayed ballot boxes to be empty before voting commenced observed and in 93 of 100 polling stations observed polling officials followed the set procedure of sealing ballot boxes before voting commenced.

• CCEDU observers have also noted the presence of party agents across all districts. NRM party agents were present in all the 5 districts (in 96 of the 100 polling stations observed), Independent candidates agents present in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda (in 75 of the 100 polling stations observed) and FDC party agents present in Kagadi, Kibaale, Omoro and Rubanda (in 58 polling stations observed.) However UPC, DP and PP party agents presence is limited to Omoro district.
Critical Incidents:

The following critical incidents have been reported and confirmed by CCEDU observers between 7:00am and 11:40am:

• Biometric Voter verification systems malfunctioned in Kibaale District, Buyanja County, and Matale A Sub-county and at Nkooko B polling station, Bugangaizi East County, Kakumiro District.
Voter bribery has been reported in Bubare C polling station, Rubanda county East in Rubanda District.
• A fight between agents of an NRM candidate and an agent of an Independent candidate were reported and confirmed at Birembo A Sub-county, Bugangaizi West County in Kakumiro District.
• In Kyanyi Polling station, polling station code 01 in Nyamarinda Sub-county, Kibaale district, it was observed that 4 people known to be deceased had their names ticked in the voter’s register as though the deceased had voted.
Kakumiro community radio was reported to have been campaigning for an NRM candidate in Kakumiro town council, Kakumiro district.
• Agents of independent candidates were said to have manhandled an agent for the NRM candidate at Kakindo sub-county, Bugangaizi West county, Kakumiro district.

Omoro Election 2016
Conclusion

CCEDU remains committed to objectively observing and reporting on the elections as they unfold in the five districts. We shall provide a comprehensive statement on the polling and closing, counting and tabulation processes tomorrow August 30 at 10:00am.

We urge voters to remain peaceful and come out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote.

For God and my country.

Reports from the Elections in the newly formed districts Kagadi, Kakumiro, Rubanda, Omoro and Kibaale!

Boda Boda Elections

“Elections in the new districts have so far been peaceful.” Dr Livingstone Sewanyana

To get the rest of left seats in Parliament and Local Government are for grabs in the newly formed districts of Rubanda, Kagadi, Kakumiro and Omoro. So the stakes are high, even the Electoral Commission have again delivered Electoral Material late at the dozen polling stations in the districts. The famous ways of Boda-Boda’s are the common delivery method in the early morning as the stations are set up and made ready. But as the rest of the General Election this year, there been issues of bribery, pre-ticked ballots and some occurring incidents of even burning down a radio station. Take a look!

Good News:

“Police says they have not registered any clashes in the ongoing elections in the five newly created districts” (933 KFM, 2015). This counter’s the reports and worries that Dr. Badru Kiggundu of Electoral Commission claimed before the elections that they we’re worried about violence during the election. Seem, like the EC Engineer we’re wrong on that point.

Kagadi 29.08.2016

From Kagadi there are already reported that the National Resistance Movement have delivered pre-ticked ballots. “In police cells at Kagadi is Arinaitwe Ismail over Arson attempt. OC Kagadi police station says Arinaitwe tried to burn a radio station” (Capital FM Uganda, 2016). So there is a special situation in the district for the NRM Flagbearer Steven Kasingbwe, Forum for Democratic Change candidate Peter Byahangire and Independent Candidate Yosiya Ndibwami.

In one polling station in Kakumiro district there been reported low turnout as well at Kabworo polling station in Kakumiro town council. In the district where you have to choose between Apuli Ssemanda of NRM and Independent Candidate Lawrence Bazala, so it will be interesting to see who becomes the elected in the newly created district. A problem at some of the Polling Stations is that people are missing from the Electoral Register. So Voters sent away even if they we’re supposed to vote in Kakumiro. Also reported this: “Fight between agents of an NRM candidate and an agent of an Independent candidate were reported and confirmed at Birembo Sub-county, Kakumiro” (…) “Kakumiro community radio was reported to have been campaigning for an NRM candidate” (CCEDU, 2016).

In Rubanda district this we’re reported: “Distribution of polling materials to the 32 polling stations within Bubaare subcounty Rubanda districts begins at 6:35am!” and this happen on Boda-Boda’s in the district. So at some at the polling stations the Election material came late. “At Kacerere 5 Polling Station, Rubanda, Voters are outside waiting for a candidate(s) who will pay them money for their vote” (…) “Many of those we have talked to are unwilling to go and vote before they are paid. A vote is going for, between UGX 500 and 2,000” (NTV Uganda, 2016). “The arrest was executed by Dannie Elly Ecwatu the Officer in charge of Muko Police Station” (…) “This followed a tip-off by residents of Muko. Arigye recorded a statement at Muko Police Station with case reference number 07/29/208/16 The suspect is said to be a campaign agent of the independent District Woman MP candidate,  Hilda Kabarungi” (New Vision, 29.08.2016). Also in Rubanda we’re FDC MP Hon. Francis Mwijuke: “Just to be sure. Tight marking. No taking chances. Here in the new district of Rubanda- Kabale monitoring the polling for LC5 chairman and the district woman MP” (Mwijuke, 2016). The CCEDU said this about the election in Rubanda: “5 polling stations in Kagadi, Kakumiro and Rubanda were missing indelible ink and 1 polling station in Rubanda was missing voter register” (CCEDU, 2016).

Omoro Election 2016

In Omoro the highly contested by-election as the Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress, National Resistance Movement and Forum for Democratic Change candidates who contest for the single positions in this elections. Today’s bigshot we’re when DPs Norbert Mao went out to stamp out his vote today at Labongologo Polling Station, where he voted for Omoro Woman MP and District Chairperson.

Kibaale District 29.08.2016

From Kibaale district:

The FDC candidate in Kibaale District Woman MP race, Counsel Proscovia Kunihira has Just Cast her vote . There Is largely a Poor turn up of voters in Kibaale and other 4 Districts where the élection Is taking place. But, we have total confidence Our candidate Will win This race and paint Kibaale and Bunyoro” (Mulindwa Walid Lubega, 2016). Also some technical difficulties as the “BVS malfunctioned in Kibaale District, Buyanja County, and Matale A Sub-county and at Nkooko B p-station” (…) “In Kibaale district, 4 people known to be deceased had their names ticked in voter’s register as though the deceased had voted” (CCEDU, 2016).

CCEDU statement in general:

“NRM prescence the most prevalent, FDC had in Kigadi, Kabale, Omoro, and Rubanda, UPC, DP only noted in Omoro. This concerns us” (…) “By 7:00am, only 10 polling stations out of the 100 polling stations observed in the five districts had opened” (CCEDU, 2016).

“MP’s want 150m for cars, but shouldn’t Government prioritise LC1 Elections above all?” Dr Livingstone Sewanyana

What Might happen:

So now it just to see how the Election will be tallied and the results will come. If there will be incidents like the NRM Primaries or even Presidential Election earlies this year where Pre-Ticked Ballots are coming from the sheds, Police Stations and from Candidates all over the place. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Tally Centre’s get raided by a disgruntled candidate or even comes with security forces to clear the result in the name of the candidate.

Let’s hope it gets totally free and fair, but if any indication and trust between the electorate, let’s say the citizens and the Electoral Commission as the sham and rigging we’re evident during last election. So the low-turnout now is a continuation of the low turnout at the Local Councilor Elections during the latest polls. So therefore the end-game will make this interesting as the proof of systematic malfunction might come again. Peace.    

Uganda Civil Society Organization File Amicus Curiae Motion to Join Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 (10.03.2016)

CSO Join Petition 10.03.2016

On March 10th 2016, civil society organisations filed an amicus curie motion to join the presidential election petition. The organisations have interest in the petition because it raises important questions of public interest; whether the general elections were conducted in a manner representative of the will of the people.

The admission as amicus curiae will serve the interest of justice and enhance participation of people of Uganda not otherwise represented. The civic duty to engage in matters of public interest is enshrined in the 1995 Constitution; civic organizations are especially charged with the responsibility to engage to protect constitutionalism, human rights and democracy.

The organizations that join this application are mandated by their missions to do civic engagement on matters of interest to citizens. As organizations working on human rights, their responsibility extends to matters of the rule of law and accountability to citizens of Uganda who are the voters in every election.

The applicants are members of the civil society coalition that was accredited as election observers in the 2016 general election under the framework of the Citizens Election Observers Network (CEON-U) and the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).

Civil society organisations observed electoral processes prior during and after the Presidential elections along side convening voter mobilization campaigns. The organisations therefore possess valuable, credible and verifiable information on the elections, which will enrich the Court’s consideration of the presidential election petition.

The organisations include: Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda), Chapter Four Uganda, Human Rights Network Uganda (HURINET), Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG), Kituo cha Katiba (KcK), Legal Aid Services Providers Network Uganda (LASPNET), and Transparency International (TI).

Contact for more information:

Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, FHRI: 0752791963

Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida, FIDA Uganda: 0772701488

Mr. Crispy Kaheru, CCEDU: 079444401 or 0772332747

Dr. Kizza Besigye: “The 2016 Uganda General Elections and the way forward” (04.03.2016)

Tororo town FDC Poster Former Campaign IPC

Background:
After the 2011 elections, all political parties (including NRM) concurred that electoral and political reforms were necessary in order to have free and fair elections in 2016.

Proposed reforms were generated by various political formations; including, the Inter-Party Organisations Dialogue (IPOD-consisting of all parties represented in parliament), National Consultative Forum (NCF- consisting of all registered political parties and led by NRM), Citizens’ Coalition of Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and the National Consultation on Free and Fair Elections (NCFFE).

Old Campaign Posters Uganda

In spite of the NRM having fully participated in the various formations that presented reform proposals to government (executive) and parliament, Mr Museveni, the final authority in NRM decided that no electoral reforms would be undertaken ahead of 2016 elections. That’s what happened.

All parties and persons participating in the 2016 elections, therefore, knew that the elections would be inherently not free or fair. That’s why opposition parties and elements from the NRM were engaged in protracted discussions seeking to devise an appropriate strategy for contesting in an inherently manipulated and unfair election.

Nakaseke Police 04.01.2015 P4 FDC

This is why my candidature adopted the strategy of a Defiance Campaign. Our clear understanding was that this was an election organised on the premise of injustice. A political defiance campaign entails informing the population about the injustice and enabling the people to organise and confront the injustice.

It’s important to note that a political defiance campaign is completely NON-VIOLENT. It employs well-informed citizens to non-violently challenge the injustices in the electoral process; protect against various forms of rigging on polling day; and ensure that the peoples’ will is respected. This was the purpose of the “POWER 10” system that we organised during the campaign.

Kaabong 18.02.2016

Polling Day:
A lot has been talked about events of the polling days, 18th and 19th February. The main problems during voting included widespread disenfranchisement of voters, especially, in Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja, Iganga, and Mbale, with more than 2 million registered voters; arrest of polling agents; pre-ticking and stuffing of ballot boxes; widespread and systematic voter bribery; and denying polling agents their Results Declaration Forms.

Tallying and announcement of results:

What is now clear is that all the injustices undertaken prior and during voting failed to deliver victory to Mr museveni. As soon the Electoral Commission begun to announce the results at the Namboole Tally Centre, the alarm-bells started ringing. It became clear that many of the results they were announcing were different from the ones announced at the polling stations.

When the pattern of inconsistency was sustained, on 19th February, we decided to address the media and draw the public’s attention to this. We’d previously alerted the country about a house in Nagulu, Kampala, where, according to reliable information, manipulation of results from Districts was planned to take place. Ballot papers were also pre-ticked in this house.

FDC HQ 19.02.2016 Police Siege

It was at this point that the police stormed our Party Hqs and, under cover of teargas, arrested our Party President Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, FDC Mobiliser Ms Ingrid Turinawe and myself. Our Headquarters was taken over, ransacked and kept under police control up to now.

From 19th February (the day before the announcement of final results by EC) up to now, I’ve been under police detention- either in police cells or at my Kasangati home. Access to our Party leaders and lawyers was very limited.

Several of our District Party offices have also been attacked and hundreds of our Party officials and polling agents have been detained countrywide.

It is this Police/Military operation that crippled our effort of gathering evidence and evaluating it for purposes of preparing an election petition as provided for in the Constitution.

NTV 20.02.2016

The Constitution gives an aggrieved parliamentary candidate 30 days within which to petition. However, a presidential candidate who’s supposed to collect evidence from 281 constituencies, exclusively by affidavit (statement sworn before a lawyer), has only 10 days to do so.

The stealing of the 2016 presidential election was so clumsy and exaggerated that the Police/ Military forces had to intervene directly to stop its exposure. Even biased courts like ours could not be relied upon to protect the fraud. That’s why the electoral process was overthrown! What happened is, for all intents and purposes, a military coup. Kampala remains under “siege”, with streets reminiscent of February 1971, in the aftermath of Gen Idi Amin coup!

It may be easy to fake results, but it’s not easy to fake people’s response. There was absolutely no celebration on the announcement of the fraudulent declaration of Mr Museveni as a winner of 2016 elections. Even NRM members knew that the EC announcement was not true!

Ugandan Election 2016 Grieving

Our results:
I can confidently inform Ugandans that we undoubtedly won the elections. Even with the unprecedented effort of the Police, Military and Intelligence Services to deny us our results, we now have enough to go by in claiming our victory.

We also discovered many clearly anomalous results- including over one hundred polling stations, in Kiruhura District, where 100% of registered voters cast their votes and all voted for Mr Museveni, without a single spoilt ballot paper!!

We also have horrific accounts of what happened in the Karamoja region. In most of the region, it was a military/police/mafia operation, rather than an election conducted by EC according to the law.

Kizza Besigye 22.02.2016

The way forward:
It’s on the basis of the information in our possession that we’ve demanded for an Independent Audit of the 2016 presidential election. This would mean that we would politically agree on a process of election audit that’s not presently provided for in the law, since the one provided was overthrown.

This would, basically, mean agreeing on independent auditors and supervisors that would work with representatives of candidates and the EC to carry out the audit. All candidates would commit themselves to respect the outcome of the audit. This can be conclusively done before the expiry of the current term of Government.

All peace-loving Ugandans, East Africans, Africans and members of the International Community are called upon to play a role in working towards the Independent Audit.

If this is not agreed upon, then we’ll have to proceed and exercise the mandate that was clearly given to us by the people of Uganda. We cannot let down the millions of people who supported our campaign, braved the harassment and intimidation, persevered in long queues without voting materials etc, and eventually delivered the victory.

We shall form government as mandated by our people- the Peoples’ Government.

This is the critical moment for our political defiance campaign. Let’s all remember that Government power comes from cooperation, submission and obedience of the population. If the population withholds it’s cooperation, submission and obedience, the government loses power.

I ask all our people to remain strong and vigilant, especially, members of Power 10. We shall call for non-violent actions that disempower the regime seeking to impose itself on our country. We may have to make some sacrifices and should be prepared to do so. I am confident that our people’s resolve to have non-violent change of leadership for the first time will become a reality in 2016.

One Uganda, One people!

For God and my country.

Kizza-Besigye.