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Archive for the tag “The New Vision”

Second report as the first polls close in Uganda; with more tear gas; some demonstrations and other poll stations postponed; Dr. Kizza Besigye arrested yet AGAIN and more!

Kampala 18.02.2016

As the day has gone and some first results is coming. I will not comment on them now, as they are not as interesting as the reactions and violations of democratic values and vile display of disgrace of the public will from the authorities and the ruling party in Uganda.

As the Uganda Communication Commission together with Electoral Commission banned Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook, even mobile-money transfers services. As this could give biased news and dangerous bribing of voters, as the voters has not been bribed during the pre-election period at all. Well, the public found other ways of finding the social media and avoid the issue with Uganda Telecom (UTL/Mango), MTN and Airtel. As they download different VPN services on their phone and still got in to the social media outlets. The actual numbers of downloads this day was staggering 1,432,653. By my reckoning also the apparent ghost that will also in total vote in the election when the tally is done.

VPN 18.02.2016 P2

At one point of the day the Special Forces Command took control of Nakasero Referal Hospital as it had a technical and importance for the authorities as the Presidential guards needed to secure the premises.

In Gaba a suburb of Kampala the public first waited for hours. This happen:

“In Gaba at St Dennis church a full box was brought with ballot papers already ticked in favor of the incumbent who triggered a riot by locals. Military, Police and black mamba security in tinted cars without number-plate were seen patrolling the place. Voting has ended”. As well as the actions contained this as well: “The voters set fire on all the ballots boxes brought”.

Gaba Kampala 18.02.2016 P1

Even early in the day there we’re little or no voting material in vast amounts of polling stations in Wakiso District and Kampala Capital City as the Electoral Commission hadn’t delivered the ballots-papers to the stations. As people came early as the voting starting 07.00 and was to end with the new time 16.00 but with the late arrival nearly at 13.00 or 14.00 even as late as 14.54 that gave the long waiting ques simmering anger at the incompetence or deliberate plunder of time of the people in the area. Even the with the UCC and Telecom bans the Electoral Commission wanted people on Social Media around 14.00 to tell that the Polling stations in the affected areas would be officially open to 19.00 as the people should be able to do their civic duty.

Gaba Kampala 18.02.2016 P2

In Kajanisi, Kampala a Police Officer was arrested and taken away as he held over 600 ballots-papers pre-ticket for the NRM and President Museveni.  Radio One report that Kajjansi B health center polling station in Kampala closed after 3 boxes with pre-ticked ballots in favor of President Museveni and Peter Sematimba were found in a car. Live Bullets in Namuwongo Taking Place. Police and Military Have Intimidated Voters hence forcing them NOT to cast their votes, remember, voting had just begun late at 2:03pm

As of Makindye:

“9:18PM Voting at 22 polling stations in Makindye affected by late delivery of voting materials postponed till tomorrow: Electoral Commission” (NBS TV, 18.02.2016).

In Fort Portal:

“At public library polling station in south division, Fort Portal, 450 ballot papers were received yet the number of registered voters is 429, an excess of 21 ballots. And yet Nyakagongo parish Headquarters in East division received less ballot papers than the number of registered voters. They received 10 booklets some containing 46 ballots, some 50 and others 49 instead of all containing 50 each booklet. There was a total of 500 ballot papers. They have 471 registered voters. They started voting at 7:15am Report: Scovia Atuhaire & Felix Basiime (Daily Monitor, 18.02.2016).

In Masaka:

“Polling agents in Kizungu, Masaka Sports Club have confirmed to Kampala FM that they were not given basins where voters will tick from. This has therefore delayed the voting process since they (agents) too can not afford buying basins” (Kampala FM, 18.02.2016).

More about elections in Masaka:

“‎Unindentified people have been with fifty Museveni pre-ticked ballot papers at Kaboyo Primary school polling station in Lwengo. The voters who were present at the polling station did not allow police to take the culprits and instead resorted to caining them. They were later on told to go back home and the pre ticked ballots were burnt”.

Kaabong 18.02.2016

In Karamoja:

“Karamojong tribeswoman casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential elections in Kaabong in Karamoja region”.

Koboko 18.02.2016 Evelyn Anite Voting

In Koboko:

“NRM’s Evelyn Anite slips her ballot paper into the ballot box in Koboko Municipality in northern Uganda”.

Early in Apac Town today:

“Voting in Apac town area commenced by 07.10 am. Most polling stations have not had chaos yet, as they voted, Police are all round in Polling stations. Most of the busiest business centers are closed. The number of people in town has also gone down and a few petty businesses are going on” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).

In Arua:

“Last evening, 170 polling officials in River Oli Division in Arua district threatened to boycott work unless Electoral Commission increases their allowances. They include polling assistants and presiding officers. Geoffrey Drani, one of the affected presiding officers, told URN during their recruitment Electoral Commission promised to pay presiding officers Shillings 60,000 and 40,000 for polling assistants. He however, says they were shocked yesterday to receive appointment letters showing that they will receive Shillings 20, 000 each day. According to Drani, as a result, they have declined to sign the appointment letters until Electoral Commission increases the money”.

In Abletong:

“No incident has been registered while in Alebtong, Amolatar, Otuke and part of Lira districts by 9:00am the voting have not started despite the fact that many electorate turned up to cast to their votes.  “You cast you votes and you come back and continue with your business,” said Betty Akello shorting after voting at VH primary school polling station. Patrick Okello of Omoro Sub County in Alebtong said at Onyeroiye polling station business is going on well and the turned up was overwhelming. “We think the turned up will be 80% because people are voting seriously,” he said” (Rupiny Newspaper, 18.02.2016).

In Kween:

“Elections of the MP kween district have been postponed until further notice reason the symbols for the candidates didn’t match instead vice versa I mean interchanged for FDC was in independent and for independent in that of FDC”.

In Yumbe:

The Woman Parliamentary MP Vote for Yumbe was cancelled today! (88.7 Arua ONE FM, 18.02.2016).

Kahinda Otafiire

In Ruhinda:

If you ever thought Kahinda Otafiire would go away silent as the audio-tape of his bribing tactics as he tried to buy the seat from his opponent that beat him in the NRM Primaries during 2015. 2016, has not been his year and continues as he has been jailed today as he has been distributing bribes of UGX 20k to voters in Mitooma (theInsider.ug, 18.02.2016). Doesn’t seem that the UCC bribe act with stopping mobile-money service stopped Otafiire from acting up! (I was not supposed to write that or think that, my bad!).

In Kiruhura:

“The shame of Kiruhura, after yesterday all night harassment, detention and forceful eviction of opposition supporters in Kiruhura. Today what we are witnessing is, because of fear instilled on our supporters by the security and armed militias last night, they have stayed away from the polling stations”.

Tororo 18.02.2016

In Tororo:

“Police was forced to fire teargas to disperse hundreds of Apollo Yeri Ofwono’s supporters who had threatened to set a blaze the home of the prime minister of Iteso cultural union Paul Sande Emolot in Tororo municipality. Ofwono’s supporters raided Emolot’s home on suspicion that it was used to bribe residents to vote for the incumbent Member of Parliament Sanjay Tanna” (New Vision, 18.02.2016).

FDC 18.02.2016 Besigye Arrested

Later in the day Dr. Kizza Besigye arrested:

“Besigye was arrested when he joined his supporters and they stormed a house in Naguru, a Kampala upscale suburb arguing that there is alleged vote rigging taking place”. Kizza Besigye have after the arrest by the Police in Naguru, been taken to Kasangati Police Station. That is currently detained.

“Video footage of an FDC raid on a reported safe house in Naguru being used to allegedly tick ballot papers led by Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye in which he was also later arrested for trespassing” (NBS TV Uganda, 18.02.2016).

Shawn Mabiru says this about the detaining of Besigye:

“He was in his home district where he voted when he got information that there was an illegal tally centre manned by the NRM and police” (…)”He walked in and saw them pre-ticking ballot papers. They arrested him and took him to an unknown place”.

UPF 18.02.2016 Press Statement Tallying

In Lira yesterday:

“Lira Magistrate Court today released on Court bail seven people who were arrested over the weekend on allegation of defacing posters belonging to NRM Presidential Candidate Yoweri Museveni. Willy Omodo Omodo the GO Forward Candidate for Oyam North MP, Ibrahim Olong who is contesting for Lira Municipality Mayor and Abura James Walter Youth Councillor for Lira Municipality. Others are Mungu Richard Jakisa the News Editor at Radio North, Otim Innocent , Tile David and Patrick Awongo (Radio Wa 89.8 FM, 17.02.2016).

In Kihihi yesterday:

There was reports that the locals “delivered” and got a 100 Rwandan nationals ferried to vote in the election the 18th had come to Kihihi district to vote for President Museveni. They all stayed in Kihihi Police Station. As they wanted them to ship them home and let Ugandans vote in their election.

In Kayunga County yesterday as the government was kind yesterday:

“Kayunga District distributed more 66 heifers worth 102 million shillings to farmers under the Luwero Rwenzori Development Programme” (17.02.2016); the Government all of sudden share their funds just the day before the election, nothing suspicious about that at all…

Tally Error:

Nakasongola:

The magic is that President Museveni has gotten over 3000 votes while the original papers from the Electoral Commission are saying the total voters are 2098!

Rushere Primary School:

The tally shows another magical result for President Museveni he got 760 votes, Kizza Besigye 2 votes. The magical part is that the School and Polling station has 437 votes!

Fear level at certain places:

As the results are pouring in and the tallies are counted. The Army is deploying heavy forces in Luwero and Nakaseke!

AmamaNRMElection2016

Amama Mbabazi message during the elections today:

“I ask all voters in this election to keep vigilant and report any suspicious incident. I would like to thank the team from Karamoja that is vigilant and have reported the following anomalies. In Abim district, the District Registrar is withdrawing a Presidential booklet (50 ballots) from each polling station and taking to unknown destination claiming that some polling stations were in short supply/under served. We question this logic because it is not only President being voted for today but all Members of Parliament as well. There are 60 polling stations in Abim and this amounts to 3000 votes being taken away. South of Amudat in a place called Karita subcounty, our agents with polling agent letters and supervisors have been chased away by Crime Preventers who are armed. Tell us what is happening at your polling station” (Mbabazi, 18.02.2016).

There will come more in the coming days as the ministers, local council men and all the elections results will come and people will react to the new 10th Parliament and who will become the new president in Uganda, as the results hopefully get rid of President Museveni as his rigging time should be over and let the people’s will shine. Peace.

As the canisters of tear-gas lays in the street; remembering the day I first felt the fear of speaking against Mzee; I Still have hope for political change in Uganda!

Entebbe 11.02.2016 FDC Campaign Rally

“I will not say the fact that there are no European Union observers at an election means that it will not be fair and free” – Olesegun Obasanjo

In the midst of and in the end of the pre-election period 2016; the town of Kampala went into turmoil. The Military Police and ordinary Police went into a violent streak. That manifested itself at Jinja Road which turned into a war-zone like scenario; as in the aftermath the blood of the hurt and the diseased. Visible was the empty shells, the dust and dirt, even metal-boxes as murals of the tear-gas.

As the Police used force and hurt people to the extent that some blood touched the scorched earth and dust; the people in the area scattering in fear while the police continue to push them away as the resilience to the violence committed by the state. The sounds of bullets and metal hits the ground makes the tarmac shake. People we’re running; mixed sounds of shoes knocking grounds while the sounds of gas flowing into the air as the area goes from being casual to pink.

Wandegye Kampala 15.02.2016 FDC P2

This is the signs and scenes of the 15th February in Kampala. The reactions and chaos as the Police went into the procession of Forum for Democratic Change to the planned rally at Wandegye and Makerere. So the continuation of violence from the state security outfits as the military, the police and the military police; as they have been tools in the machine hurting the public as they want to greet the opposition leaders in the sub-counties, towns and districts. There been steady violence against from the Police as the execution of the Public Order Management Act is more used then paper-towels at the Police Headquarters in Kampala. The sadness is all the hurt people and shot people during the pre-election period.

The reason why I got into Ugandan Politics was because I became a board-member or council member in a project supporting and building a library in the town Uvira in Southern Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Later I became an exchange student to Uganda. Where I read the Daily Monitor and the New Vision Daily; that together with the books I had read about the adventures of UPDF in DRC, I was still ignorant about the politics there. But the moment after staying in Uganda for month changed it for me.

Mbale Gas-Station

What changed me:

I was on the way with a group going for a training conference in Mbale. On the way we stopped at a Total or any gas-station. While the Hiace we’re getting fuel. I was looking around the area as I lived in Kampala was curious about the environment. This was on the road and no big place. We had passed Mabira forest, but were not too far on the road to the bigger Eastern town. As I was looking it was this GIANT ad for NEW VISON. And saying something similar to this: “‘I am the only one with a vision” and “Publishing the Vision every day”. When I saw that and hadn’t thought well about it. I asked polity with a grin: “Are they serious, only one man with a vision?” The little moment of silence before he answered me: “You can say that, but I can’t; and please not speak about it”. That ate me and made me wonder; why we couldn’t speak about the wonders of the” man with a vision” in public by a gas-station. And why he wouldn’t’ say anything and asked me to not speak about it. On the broad daylight without anybody near us; hours later on the same day we would be stopped by Police and had to convoy to nearest police station; reason missing valid insurance card in the window. The same brother who wouldn’t want to speak about politics gave the Police men some money because of the hunger of the Police men. The first introduction to the bribery culture of East Africa! This day was an eye opener for me. How he could not speak his mind and question the one man with the vision that The New Vision printed his Vision every single day. I started to questioned the vision that they printed every single day.

Mbarara Police 02.02.2016 FDC Campaign Convoy

The election violence in Uganda is massive and has been in all corners of Uganda. In Kabale, Soroti, Jinja, Maska, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Bukwo and so on. More than twice in Kampala as when Hon. Erias Lukwago started his campaign the Police shot a Journalist when he was planning to campaign. Later was the election violence ushered in by the Police before FDC campaign convoy could come to Makerere Rally on 15th February. The was violence at Jinja Road and at Wandegeya as they demonstrated that Dr. Kizza Besigye wasn’t allowed to campaign there. There been so many times during the calendar-year as the consultation meetings and also campaign rallies has been shut down by the Police and Army. Even campaign venues has been closed for the opposition leaders, while days before been open for NRM and President Museveni as Makerere, Kyambogo and Lira where opposition leaders at one point was not allowed to take part.

There is so many malfunctions and hurt people by the way the government security outfits has hurt both emotionally and bodily hurt that they have inflicted during the recent time. As the canisters and the left clothes is still lying in the corners of the streets. As they did in days after the Rukungiri where the FDC cars was demolished and the police shredded a woman’s respect.

The bullets and the tear-gas towards the general public is not an security issue, but an democracy issue, freedom of speech issue, and issue of trust between the public and the security organs. As the Electoral Commission is not trusted as the high payed leadership prays on the loyalty towards the regime. The NRM electoral Commission is highly flawed and the reactions to the primaries has been burning offices and membership cards, that was even happening in Nakawa Division as the Police turned against the happy celebrating people looking forward to be parts of Besigye’s rally that day. The result of the tear-gas and dispersing of the public instead of proving any steady progress! So the certified message is the tarnishing the venues of opposition while the ruling party keeps up as business as usual.

steve-biko-quotes-5

As my brother told me that day, that I should be silent and not talk about; I feel it still is the same and the reports make it feel the same; as the opposition has not the same rights as the ruling party. The violence ensures the fear and insecurity of a volatile state instead of bringing the positive changes the government might already have brought. Without the Police State and the Militarization of the Politics it might even brought in other type of investments that could have raised the economic climate in the country. As the export of natural resources and natural products instead of finished products and industry; as the assembled industry happens in other parts of the world, it could been in Uganda if the Government tried to pull that in and facilitate it or even used stronger Co-Operations between farmers to bring educating to earn more and yield better quality agricultural output instead of ending struggling to get the maize and matooke to the market. That is not bringing the men with cash-money in (to invest).

Certainly the fear and semi-democratic environment isn’t making the bargain, the talk I had with my brother; I am sure people are still having today even in the midst of the polls that starts in hours-time. As the conversation stays put in my mind and still eats my heart out. The issue of not letting the truth out or speaking their mind out; as the people has to stay put and silent as the ruling regime does as it please. Only giving away money to the villagers in pre-elections period to buy the votes, but when the ballots are gone, the representatives are long gone and forgotten the promises like old-sweethearts who never got the ring. The same seem to be with the talk of choice of the people and the right to speak your mind.

NRM UPF 07.01.16 Mbale Clock Tower

My brother and the conversation is why I am focused on Uganda Politics, as I can’t help that he didn’t have the ability to even comment the “only one man with a vision” paradigm in the country. The canisters and the shattered metal should not be stories. The blood and the toil of the people should not be story of the elections. The story shouldn’t be sad as the violence and spoken fear from the ruling party as they have the only man who can control the army and run the government; as the opposition doesn’t have the manpower to do so; which is lie the ruling party lives on. The ruling party uses security outfits to hurt the public and blame the opposition parties for their activities to deflect the issues of the campaign. Christopher Aine the diseased security agent for Hon. Amama Mbabazi the now opposition leader is the epitome and manifestation of government violence against civilians together with the one that lost his life on the streets of Kampala on the 15th February. Two people who have lost their life for a struggle that is far from over. The Democratic values is rendered down by time and cronies that has spoiled the potential as the movement system turned into the big-man system built with the head-of-state deciding it all; while giving when needed and taken the rest for himself or to his loyal fellows. This here together with the semi-autonomous and militarized politics as there so many former military men in the parliament the public knows the value of the elected or hand-picked men from on top is on the scale they can follow the chain-of-command instead of delivering the pledges and governmental service they deserves.

As it ate my heart out when my brother said he couldn’t talk about it years ago. It hurts to see the same state of affairs and struggles still, and it continues. It is time to let it pass and move to the next level of democratic values; and also good governance with state institutions serving the public instead of making the government officials fat and rich. That is not why the state and government exists; they exist because they supposed to serve the public, not for the governmental officials to take the money supposed to go. The same with the Security Organization as the Police and the Army, they follow the orders up high instead of serving the people and generating peace. As we saw on 15th February Kampala the Military Police didn’t secure the public, but made the citizen in fear and hurting them instead. That is the hurting to hear again and again, as the day is different, the place is different, but the opposition party and supporters are the ones in the cross-fire getting hurt for supporting the leaders of opposition instead of the old-man with the hat.

I never want to hear in any state that you can’t comment towards a ruling party, when that happens I know something is wrong. And knowing it still is like that with the canisters in the streets, the burned yellow membership cards in the bins and the people getting healed after police violence. The families losing their loved ones during the calendar year should not only vote, but only mourn the loss of the valuable people who was a part of the struggle to gain true freedom and respect for the people; as they now are now in invisible chains as the government keeps them tight knit in fear and in a police state using the militarized politics that ate my heart that day and haven’t let go. As I also understand is that the people who has lost their family members because of political affiliation; I understand if they don’t want to do their civic duty, still we all should and shall not forget the people who died for the cause. As we should not forget the people who are jailed and detained for following a political belief that counter the ruling-party and the NRM-Regime. And it wont until change that gives progression and let the accountability; the true transparency and let the will of the people shine as the template of the representatives that deserve to work-hard to be there for the citizens. Something that not been important, what has been is to be loyal to cadre-line and to Mzee! Peace.

The 1996 election and the 2016 elections; staggering similarities of government party and actions towards the opposition! The difference now is Besigye VS M7; then it was Ssemogerere VS M7!

1996 Museveni Sworn in Ceremony

As President Museveni lost with no swagger in 1980 he later returned twice with armies to become the president in 1986. The 1986 where NRA took the power; that story knows all of Uganda well; what Uganda has forgotten is the tactics and ways of rigging the elections of 1996. Even Dr. Kizza Besigye was ready for somebody else in 1996. That says something as the NRM tactics was using levels of fear and tell the general public: “if you vote for somebody else then the Obote-Dictatorship will return!” There is something wrong with that picture as this should be the ushering of democratic values that was installed and promised in the 10 Point Program from President Museveni. This was also the Election that ushered in the Universal Primary Election (UPE) while has done certain things with educations and spreading schools around the country, after many years to many of them has been neglected and has shown that the promise and reform was easier then actually achieving quality school education under the NRM-Regime.

The democratic values and fair elections were not achieved in 1996. As the countless reforms says. The Western nations and International Organizations accepted the result as a positive move for Uganda, even with the malpractices and also because still at this time the world saw President Museveni as the new breed of leadership. He would go away from all the things he might have built later in his presidential career. 1996 Elections was “No-Party” election with a new Interim Electoral Commission who was far from impartial. Kind of what the Electoral Commission proves without any subtlety in today’s election climate.

Besigye against Museveni candidature in 1996:

“Though Besigye was a National Political Commissar, minister and Museveni confidant, by 1996 – as his 1995 decision, and that of other officers like  now Lt. Gen. David Tinyefuza and the late Lt. Col. Serwanga Lwanga to oppose entrenching the Movement’s monopoly of power in the constitution and the  near-banning of political parties – the differences were public” (…)”However, it has now emerged that Besigye and other people in the NRM and army  in 1996 were opposed to Museveni running as the Movement presidential  candidate” (…)”In 1996 Besigye relented at the last minute to go and campaign for Museveni in Rukungiri. He appeared at no more than two rallies, and spoke at one. The very personal and acrimonious face off between the two men last year therefore arose from a feud that had been simmering for about 10 years” (COO, 2002).

Ssemogerere Manifesto

How not to vote for Ssemogerere:

“The Constant refrain during Museveni’s 1996 presidential campaign was that a vote for his opponents would cause a return to the past, the former dictator Milton Obote was waiting in Zambia to return to power if Museveni was defeated. One of Museveni’s presidential election poster featured a picture of skulls and bones besides a mass grave in Luwero with the caption: “Don’t forget the past. Over one million Ugandans, our brothers, sisters, family and friends, lost their lives. YOUR VOTE COULD BRING IT BACK”; another campaign advertisement stated bluntly: “A vote for Ssemogerere is a vote for Obote” (Bouckaer, 1999).

How the sentiment was during the campaign:

“Ssemogerere seems to have hugely underestimated the depth of fear and hatred for Obote and his party among the majority of Buganda. Virtually everyone interviewed  who had voted for Museveni emphasized that they had voted in part to avoid any chance of a return to the violence and anarchy of the early 1980s. The effect of Ssemogerere alliance with UPC, however, does not seem to have been intimidating. Most people felt shift in sentiment against Ssemogerere in the last two months prior to the election. The Museveni campaign strategy of increasingly emphasizing the UPC and Obote connection towards the end of the campaign period was felt to been effective” (IFES, 1996).

Hon Ssemogerere in Northern Uganda campaigning

Museveni used the laws to stifle Ssemogerere campaign:

“The Ssemogerere camp tried to set up branches in the country. This ran foul of the law against setting up party structures. The police constantly frustrated this method of trying to reach the voters. There was a simpler and more effective method used by the Museveni camp. It is simply to announce campaign task forces and groups for given locations. While Ssemogerere was attempting to organise by “structure”, Museveni was organising by “process”. The former violated the existing law; the latter did not. The task force approach recognises the criticality of patrons who mediate the delivery of the votes of their peasant flock. In this approach it is not direct contact with voters, which is not feasible in backward areas with all forms of barriers (language), but contact with the patrons who go through lesser nested patrons to reach the final voters. Yoweri Museveni set up a more effective patron–client campaign network than Ssemogerere’s party structure approach” (Kotorobo, 2000).

How it ended:

“Hours after the Interim Electoral Commission (IEC) led by Stephen Akabway had announced provisional results on May 10; the IPFC candidate Ssemogerere dismissed them as false at a press conference at IPFC headquarters in Kabusu, Kampala. Ssemogerere said: “I cannot accept these results as valid”. The New Vision, The Monitor, as well as the Crusader newspapers of the following day, quoted him as having said. “I have been a patient person in public life. I thought this was the best thing for this country. I have spent time with people I don’t agree with for the sake of democracy. I have not known time before or after independence, when people of different political beliefs, religions and nationalities have come together for once. Now all this has been shattered by the stubbornness of [Yoweri Museveni] wanting to cling to power,” he added. During the press conference, Ssemogerere also revealed 54 cases of malpractices recorded by DP across the country. The 64-year-old DP stalwart said rigging of votes included intimidation of voters by the State, use of pre-ticked ballot papers, use of fake voter’s cards and doctored voter registers” (Mugabe, 2016).

Questionable freedom of speech during the 1996 campaign:

“The Government controls one television station and the radio station with the largest audience. There are three local television stations, three local radio stations, and five stations available by satellite. Uncensored Internet access became widely available through three commercial service providers in major cities, although its price was prohibitive for all but the most affluent noninstitutional users. Freedom of speech did not fare well in the context of the transition to constitutional government, including the presidential and parliamentary elections. Guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs prevented members of the former constituent assembly from addressing groups outside their constituencies. Electoral rules prohibited “campaigning” by presidential challengers until the official start of the campaign 39 days before the election. However, in their official capacity, President Museveni and senior members of the Government were free to travel throughout the country for months prior to the election. Rallies in support of all three presidential candidates suffered varying levels of harassment from thugs, in some cases resulting in physical injuries. It appeared, however, that such incidents were particularly directed at President Museveni’s opponents. Yusef Nsubuga Nsambu, a leader of the Conservative party and a supporter of presidential challenger Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, was arrested in May and charged with sedition for his unflattering descriptions of President Museveni. He was released unharmed 2 days later” (U.S. Department of State, 1997).

Celebrating the victory:

“KAMPALA, UGANDA — Thousands of President Yoweri Museveni’s supporters drove through the capital honking car horns and chanting “No change” Saturday to celebrate his first electoral victory” (…)”When Museveni was declared the winner on national radio Saturday, tens of thousands of his supporters poured onto Kampala’s streets, chanting “No change” in the local Luganda language, blasting car horns, and waving branches and flags” (Bashor, 1996).

One reason why he won the 1996 Election:

“Not all NRM successes showed the system’s popularity. The government manipulated small constituencies to gain beholden candidates in many special interest seats created by the 1995 constitution for women, youth, workers, the disabled and the army” (ICG, 2012).

Ssemogerere Museveni

Reports of malfunctions during the 1996 elections:

““The election drew a lower turnout than expected and suffered some logistical problems, but Ugandans generally avoided widely feared violence” (…)“Many of the country’s 8.4 million voters stayed away from the polls, and in many districts, turnout hovered around 50 percent. Logistical problems also hampered voting. At numerous polling stations, Ugandans complained that their names were not on the list of registered voters. “We have waited for hours, and we cannot vote,” said Patrick Nuwgaba, 20, surrounded by about 20 people who said they had been barred from voting. “We have our voter cards, but they say the numbers we have don’t match the numbers they have for us.” Despite those problems, calm prevailed around the country. Election observers reported, however, that in some pro-Museveni districts, especially in western Uganda, Ssemogerere backers had difficulty voting because of hostile crowds” (Buckley, 1996).

Questions about the victory:

”Within 24-hours of voting — and while the ballot papers were still being counted — the Inter Political Forces Cooperation (IPFC) backing the main opposition candidate Ssemogerere, announced that the constitutionally imposed “no-party” elections had been rigged” (…)”We have left it up to individuals to decide whether to stand,” Ssemogerere told IPS. “The electoral process is wrong and its going to be wrong again. If anyone stands they should know it will be with those disadvantages.” (…)”The IPFC’s compromise decision was reminiscent for some people of the 1980 elections in which the UPC are widely believed to have cheated the DP of victory — leaving Ssemogerere open to accusations of legitimising the government when he then took up position as leader of the opposition” (…)”Museveni was backed by, and represented his Movement “no- party” system of government while Ssemogerere was supported by the DP and UPC alliance and represented a return to multi-party politics — a return which would have required a change to the constitution” (Bozello, 1996).

m7, besigye

As we see about this Dr. Kizza Besigye and other opposition candidates get the same treatment that Dr. Paul Ssemogerere of Democratic Party in 1996. The vote-rigging, the issues with meeting people, with consulting the party members in the districts, the time for campaigning which apparently happens also before the pre-election period in Uganda in 2015. President Museveni doesn’t only recycle pledges his Police acts similar in 2015 as in 1996. That should be thought of as he talks of that the Movement brings progress. If progress means the same structure that doesn’t offer people freedom or liberty to discuss politics. Then it is NRM for you tomorrow. As the 1996 experience shows; there is a multi-party elections tomorrow, but the signs of 1996 looks strikingly similar, and the Police Force and Governmental institutions is structured to facilitate for the ruling party and funding his campaign while the opposition struggles with unleveled campaigning field that has been all through to the 18th Feburary polls. There is a certainty that Dr. Kizza Besigye has used smarter tactics than Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, but them both has fought the same monster which used the same style of campaigning in 2015-2016 as before the 1996, as he then gave 40 days campaigning as the districts was less, and the same now to the other candidates.

The fear used to intimidate candidates has been used in 2016. As even the security outfits has been deployed and both the army and Special Forces Command; they have been there following opposition and the police has target their trail as the Electoral Commission has given okay to their campaign trail in the start of the campaign in November 2015. This here shows the levels of fear and strong militarized politics that President Museveni feeds on; that has occurred through the whole campaign in the same way it did in 1996. That 2016 and 1996 looks so alike is staggering. The names of the other “actors” are different, but the end-game is the same. Though we hope that the people who are ready for change will see it as the old-man with the hat will do what he can to keep power; even if the people are ready for something else then his empty promises. Peace.

Reference:

Bashor, Richard – ‘In First Direct Election Since ’62, President Wins Overwhelmingly’ (12.05.1996) – Chicago Tribune.

Bouckaer, Peter – ‘Hostile to Democracy: The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda’ (August 1999).

Borzello, Anna – ‘UGANDA-POLITICS: ‘Where-To-Now’ Conundrum For Opposition’ (16.05.1996) – Inter Press Service

Buckley, Stephen – ‘INCUMBENT LIKELY WINNER IN UGANDAN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE’ (11.05.1996) – Washington Post

Katorobo, James – ‘The Uganda Presidential and Parliamentary Elections 1996’ (2000)

Mugabe, Faustin – ‘How free and fair was the Uganda 1996 election after 10 years of rule by the political party of the National Resistance Movement?’ (30.01.2016).

International Crisis Group (ICG) – ‘UGANDA: NO RESOLUTION TO GROWING TENSIONS’ (05.04.2012).

International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) – ‘Uganda: Long Term Observation of 1996 Presidential and Legislative Election (May-July 1996).

Onyango-Obbo, Charles (COO) – ‘Besigye Opposed Museveni’s Bid in 1996, And Set Off Movt Demons’ (15.12.2002) – Daily Monitor

U.S. Department of State – ‘Uganda Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996’ Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, (January 30, 1997).

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