UGANDANS IN THE NORDICS ISSUE A PETITION.

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Rt. Hon Stefan Löfven

Prime Minister

Rosenbad 4 103 33 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 405 10 00

 

24th February 2016

UGANDA DIASPORA PIO

Sweden branch

(www.ugandadiasporap 10.org)

Tel 0728425658

 

A PETITION AGAINST GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE AND THE FRAUDULENT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN UGANDA.

YOUR PETITIONERS; THE UGANDA DIASPORA IN SWEDEN together with human rights and pro-democracy activists who also happen to be Sweden’s taxpayers and your voters. We are part of the Uganda Diaspora, a major stakeholder in Uganda’s development for we remit about $ 1.2 billion to Uganda annually. We have relatives and friends living in Uganda. We are gravely concerned about the volatile political state of affairs in our mother country and are in particular, desirous of seeking your intervention on behalf of the Swedish government and people to the ongoing onslaught of gross human rights abuse against presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) members of his party and the campaign task force and his vote protection agents commonly known as the Peoples’ Power 10 or (PIO).

We are part of the “Uganda Diaspora PI O”, the International communication arm of presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye a pressure group for the enhancement of good governance, true democracy, and socio-economic development.

We condemn in the strongest terms possible, the frequent state inspired violence and the show of force since February 22, 2016, in arresting opposition leaders, FDC members of staff and hundreds of opposition party supporters.

We believe like President Barak Obama said while on his first official visit to Africa “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions”:

“Development depends upon good governance”.

“No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.

That is not a democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.” Democracy and good governance are the ingredients which have been missing in Uganda, for far too long.

Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the 72-year-old revolutionary turned dictator who has ruled Uganda for 30 years attained power by gun, rules by the gun and believes only the gun shall remove him from power. He legitimizes his rule and disguises dictatorship through sham elections.

We also believe like Gen.Museveni said in his book “WHAT IS AFRICA’s PROBLEM” that overstaying in power by Africa’s leaders is the largest reason for Africa’s underdevelopment but we are surprised that the author of the book himself has stayed in power for 30 years and wants to be life president.

YOUR PETITIONERS CONTEND:

THAT; the 2014-2018 Sweden development cooperation with Uganda Agenda aims at achieving among others things:

  • Strengthened democracy, respect for human rights and freedom from oppression
  • Safeguarding human security and freedom from violence
  • Democratic governance and peaceful resolution of internal armed conflicts.

THAT; Despite Swedens aid engagement in Uganda, there is widespread poverty and the lack of respect for human rights, freedom of expression, women’s autonomy and empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to contraception and the rights of LGBTs.

THAT; We note that the brutal harassment, rest-actions on the freedom of assembly and association against Dr Kizza Besigye leaders and activists, his election task force and the ransacking of the FDC Party severally is a deliberate attempt by the ruling NRMO party and the state to obstruct Dr Kizza Besigye from compiling evidence to use so that he can in the 10 mandatory days, petition court against the gross electoral malpractices which include among other things; forged results, intimidation of voters, stuffing of ballot boxes , failure to conduct the elections according to the law, disenfranchisement of millions of Ugandans of their rights to vote and announcing a wrong winner of the 18th February 2016 Presidential election. This is very undemocratic and a threat to constitutional order and peace.

THAT; Ugandans are visibly tired of 30 years’ rule of President Museveni and his rather personalized National Resistance Movement (NRM), ruling party that is also fused with the state and disguised as a democracy. They are now determined than ever to have a peaceful change from the corruption infested, dictatorial, and very repressive regime. Unfortunately, since Uganda got her independence peacefully in 1962, has not had a smooth peaceful change of government.

The regime’s brutal acts during the election campaign, on the election day and the constant arbitrary arrests of Dr. Kizza Besigye and other opposition leaders and activists are provoking a nationwide popular uprising which President Museveni a combat hardened militaristic ruler will turn bloody and may slide Uganda into civil strife that shall take longer than that of Somalia to resolve. This situation has a potential to spread violence to the entire Great Lakes region and an influx of refugees to Europe.

THAT Uganda’s post-independence history, which has been characterized by political and constitutional instability and failure to have peaceful succession from one leader to another!

NOW YOUR PETITIONERS;

Appreciate the statement of concern made by you and His Royal Majesty, King Karl Gustav that appeared in the Svenska Dagens Nyheter on 23rd February showing your concern on the current situation in Uganda.

Pray that you help us to:

  • Persuade President Museveni to order that the consistent state inspired attacks, arrests and house detention on Dr. Kizza Besigre should stop forthwith.
  • Secure the freedom of movement, assembly and association for Dr. Kizza Besigye and all his colleagues involved in compiling the evidence required to petition the High court of Uganda against the grossly flawed presidential election.
  • Persuade the government of Uganda to stop raiding the headquarters of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
  • Persuade the government of Uganda to allow Ugandans enjoy their right to demonstrate
  • Evacuate members of our families and relatives that are being persecuted for answering our call to support Dr. Kizza Besigye.
  • Help fund Dr. Kizza Besigye to manage the petition and put an international independent audit against the forged results of the presidential and parliamentary election.
  • Persuade the government of Uganda to respect all the freedoms and fundamental human rights including but not limited to; freedom of, assembly, association, expression, demonstration and above all, to choose leaders of their choice in a free and fair election as guided by the constitution of Uganda and the international law.

We pray to your high office that should the government of Uganda reject our request; we request you to intervene in the following manner:

  1. Do not accept the results announced by the Uganda Electoral commission
  2. Do not recognize Gen.Yoweri as the president of Uganda
  3. Suspend aid to the government of Uganda and instead, channel the same aid to the civil society organizations that work to develop democracy, human rights, good governance and socioeconomic development.
  4. Put targeted sanctions on the regime and its functionaries that are involved in brutal acts against civilians
  5. Put sanctions on members of the Uganda Electoral Commission
  6. Help to persuade all Development partners to intervene in the same way

On behalf of the Uganda DiasporaPIO – Sweden branch I thank you for your appropriate, swift and positive response.

Erias Kisitu

Chairperson

Sweden branch of Uganda Diaspora PIO

For furth inquiry:

Contact us on

Chairman: 0763231319

Kisituelias0413@hotmail.com

Secretary: Mande Samson 0728425658 samnordic2013@gmail.com

List of Petitioners to be attached to the petition we intend to deliver to your office physically as soon as you us an appointment to do so.

Letters to Prime Minister of Great Britain

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25/02/2016
The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
Prime Minister of Great Britain
10 Downing St, London
SW1A 2AA
Dear Sir,
This is to bring to your attention the on-going extensive abuse with impunity of the basic human rights and democracy in Uganda.
As you are aware on 18/02/2016 Ugandans were to democratically and freely elect the next President. Even though these elections took place, they totally fell below the international standards compared to other countries as stated by many International and local observers.
Throughout the campaign and election process, there was excessive use of ammunitions, tears gas among others towards unarmed opposition supporters and sympathisers. There is plenty of material that can easily be accessed online showing how women and other vulnerable people were/are victims of these violations of the basic human rights.
Many opposition activists, volunteers, sympathisers, supporters and leaders were rounded up by agents of the current regime and thrown to torture chambers known as safe houses, others have disappeared, some have been murdered by agents of the state, many others are in prisons across the country with less access to their families and legal representatives.
As am writing to you now, the leading opposition candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye is under house arrest with no formal charges brought against him. Dr. Besigye has been arrested many times during and after the elections. It is public knowledge that Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986 is not willing to hand over power to any other person in Uganda however much the will of Ugandans states otherwise.
The majority of Ugandans are freedom lovers, non-violent, yawning for democracy, accountability, development, international solidarity and partnership. However, this cannot happen with the on-going leadership of Mr Museveni.
Many Ugandans are currently fleeing Uganda to seek asylum in other countries that can protect them.
This letter is not about Mr. Museveni as a person but to highlight and request actions against the impunity in the abuse of the basic human rights that has led and still leading to losing of lives and property during his 30 years plus regime.
I am aware Britain has a close relationship with this Mr Museveni’s regime. It is my humble request that Britain should immediately review its relationship with this reign of terror based on the gross abuse of human rights.
The majority of Ugandans are currently living under fear for their lives due to their political opinion or choice. Indeed, many people in and outside Uganda have labelled Mr Museveni’s regime a reign of terror. We strongly believe you can do a lot to avert this situation. Even though you may say Britain cannot directly involve itself in the internal affairs of another independent state like Uganda however, history has it that Britain’s involvement in stopping reigns of terror has been a success, though inaction by the British government in the past has produced fatal consequences.
The just concluded sham campaigns and elections in Uganda have been formally criticized by the United Nations, leader of the Commonwealth observers team President Obasanjo, the United States government, Botswana government, local observers and Uganda opposition candidates. However Mr Museveni has also been praised for retaining power into a 4th-decade leadership by the World’s most prominent dictatorial leaders such as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President of North Korea, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda among others.
The election results as read by the regime appointed electoral commission do not tally with the actual figures as witnessed by people at the polling centres. In many parts of the country some polling agents belonging to opposition parties were forcefully removed by the state agents. The state has also made it impossible for Dr. Besigye to access the manipulated results as read by the electoral commission.
The elections were characterised by, among others; murder of opposition supporters, torture of women, children, elderly among others, intimidation, disappearance of people, delay of delivery of voting material in opposition strongholds, manipulation of results, lack of transparency, imprisonment of opposition leaders and supporters, harassment, social media restrictions and state monitoring and broad daylight vote rigging. These among others are the tactics used by rogue regimes that were first to congratulate Mr Museveni.
The British government should follow the evidence as provided by independent observers in the just concluded elections and denounce the leadership of Mr Museveni.
The British should work hand in hand with other international and local Ugandans to verify the elections results in order for Uganda to have a leader that reflects the will of the people.
The British government should work hand in hand with other governments and international agencies to freeze assets of all those that have masterminded the reign of terror in Uganda.
The British government should work hand in hand with other countries to impose travel bans on all those people that have masterminded the reign of terror in Uganda.
We are also calling for a debate in both houses of UK Parliament on the current and previous abuses of human rights by the Museveni regime.
The British government should work hand in hand with other nations and Ugandan counterparts to bring these master-minders of the reign of terror to justice through the courts of law locally and internationally.
We would also like to draw your attention to the famous book titled Sowing the Mustard seed by Mr. Yoweri Museveni in which he described the problem of Africa as being leaders who overstay in power. Indeed, on this point, Mr Museveni was very right. This is what many Ugandans believe to be true as well. Thus, your involvement will enable Ugandans and the World to solve one of Africa’s greatest problems as illustrated by Mr Museveni in his book. Your inaction in this matter will not only set a bad and dangerous precedent, but it will also lead to continued loss of lives and property.
Once again we would like to appreciate your role in influencing the introduction of the rule of law and democracy across the globe.
The people of Uganda will be very glad to hear from you at their greatest hour of need.
Thank you.
Prince Dickson Wasajja
Secretary for Mobilisation and Publicity
Forum for Democratic Change UK and Northern Ireland &
Chairman P10 UK Chapter.
E-mail: dickson.wasajja@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

 

 

 


 

22.02.2016

 

THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER

10 DOWNING STREET WESTMINISTER

SW 1A 2AA

LONDON, UK

 

THE STATEMENT OF A UGANDAN CITIZEN LIVING IN CROYDON

 

We commend the USA state department for voicing their concern on the Uganda’s presidential election through deputy state department spokesperson Mark Toner  recognising Ugandan pledge for peace and committed to democratic process despite excess irregularities, official misconduct of by the state that were deeply inconsistent with international standards and expectation.

Ugandans at large share common concerns and demands for access to information by lifting the blockade on all media and social media platforms, immediate release of the opposition leader DR Kizza Besigye and all the political activists without due process or course: respect for the people’s right to assemble, peaceful to protest the outcome of the presidential race and an independent review or audit of the outcome of the election. During the campaigns that last for 3 months leading to the February 18.02.2016 election were neither free nor fair .It was common that the opposition presidential candidate DR kizza Besigye was arrested by the police several times, many political activists were threatened and some of them executed on the orders of the incumbent president and the civil society organisations law curtailed

 

Several voters were arrested on the eve of the election , they were nightly military operation to intimidate voters the campaigns and elections were carried out under excessive fear among the voters because of the presence of the military, armed crime preventers at all polling stations which crated fear to the voters

The electoral commission was partisan intimidated by the incumbent to declare the election results which were tainted with irregularities inconsistence and alternations to favour of the incumbent.

On the morning of the Election Day (18th-02-2016) Uganda communication commission blocked access to the media Telecommunication companies like MTN Uganda the largest Telecommunication and internet service provider were forced to shut down the social media platform like Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp among the others

The media were threated not to report about the electoral process leading up to the polling day.

The few media report were very inaccurate geared towards promoting the incumbent. During and after the elections many Ugandans were denied access to information and the right to communicate this was against the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the Uganda international commitment to access information, the right to association, freedom of expression and freedom speech.

An independents tally centre and projections by local and foreign election watchers projected Doctor Kizza Besigye was in the lead; this was demonstrated when many Ugandans participated actively.

 

Doctor Kizza Besigye has been under house arrest amidst local and international concern of the electoral rigged. The chairman of the electoral commission announced results while parties where still collecting data from their agents in the field. The police stormed Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party headquarters tally centres with tear gas and arrested the opposition leader, the party president and their general secretaries.

International election observers including the European union have stated that the elections were not free and fair; the elections were distorted by dominance of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) of the political landscape, voters intimidation by the state agencies, unfair advantage by the incumbent, lack of transparency and independency of the electoral commission, delays in delivering electoral materials in the opposition strong holds which disfranchised the people of Uganda of their right to vote, however there hasn’t been no concrete support from the international community to the opposition members arrested or kept under house arrest.

For the past four days the opposition leader Doctor Kizza Besigye was held comunicado with no access to media or internet services. This has not permitted him to address the press, freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of association with his supporters immediately after the elections to reassure concerned citizens about the state of affair in Uganda following the elections.

The whole country is held hostage by the increased military presence, state of fear which symbolises the current regime lead by the incumbent.

 

We Ugandans living in Croydon are very concerned and distressed about the current militarization of the state of Uganda contrary to the constitution of Uganda and Uganda’s international obligation to non-violent free and fair democratic process, we concerned and worried about the safety, liberty and infringement of the fundamental human rights and freedom of Doctor Kizza Besigye and the Voters who dared to stand their grounds to exercise their right to vote for the leader of their choice and their right to have their vote counted, freedom of assemble and speech against brutality and state inspired violence.

The precedent pattern of the current regime involvements in the crack-down of dissenting, dissident voice, civil society arbitrary actions without due process.

Ugandans have exercised restraint in the face of violent, provocation by the state actors’ remarkable determination to uphold peace and pledged their commitment to a common purpose of stable, violence free democracy. However this patience and commitment to peace is being over stretched and tested at the moment.

Now this is the for action and meaningful engagement by all countries committed to democracy, United Nations Organisation, human right organisation, international civil organisations, political activists, Jurists, Lawyers  from around the world to protect the scared fundamental rights to vote and the right for the vote to count. Prosperity will judge the inaction or reaction of the international community for the people of Uganda at this moment. Any abuse of the rights of people of Uganda is an abuse on the people of the world.

The people of Uganda have never witnessed a regime change without violence or blood shed since we achieved independence in the 1962 by the British.

The people of Uganda have been ruled by one president for the last thirty years the international community has acquiesced in this democratic anomaly and look-on with impunity. The people of Uganda are at cross roads between political and economic transition.

As concerned citizen we seek deeper engagement with all international diplomatic corps and democratic societies , United Nations organisation advocates for peace and human rights organisations to ensure that at no time should Uganda degenerate into political instability like many others in the great lakes regions. Situation requires urgent innervation considering the current of immigration and refugee crisis in many parts of the world due to political instability.

The rule of the law should prevail in Uganda and ensure peaceful democratic process.

 

I unite once again with my fellow countrymen in this correspondence.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Morris Green Musisi

 

 

My Message to The Youth of Uganda:

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My Message to The Youth of Uganda:

Claim Your Country! Claim Your Future!

 

Thank you for fulfilling your civic duty by voting for change. Your enthusiastic participation in the stolen 2016 elections demonstrates that you wanted to change the politics of this country and secure your future through the ballot box; only to be frustrated by partisan security agencies and an incompetent electoral commission. The electoral process was rigged using intimidation of voters, imprisonment of opponents, sabotage of rallies, late delivery of election materials, delayed opening of election centers, vote falsification at undisclosed tally centers, and bribery, among other malpractices.

But do not be discouraged — the struggle for a democratic dispensation did not start and end on Election Day and the electoral process itself did not end with the announcement of doctored results. Therefore, do not surrender. The majority of you were not even born when the current NRM regime came into power in 1986. Yet all you have inherited are the consequences of its bad governance.

Youth unemployment in Uganda is known to be the highest in Africa estimated to be between 62% and 83%! I addressed the unemployment rate, deteriorating the quality of education, corrupt credit schemes that did not benefit you; and the desperate circumstances of Uganda’s youth during my campaigns. You know your conditions better than me. The election has been rigged and the government is doing all it can to silence me. It is time for you to claim your rights and lead this struggle.

Uganda’s future, your future is in your hands. Remain firm. We can make this country work for each and every one of us. But you must assert yourselves and claim your future. There is no other person who will do it for us.

Here is where we are: As of now there is no winner, the election process has not ended. The law gives us 10 days after the announcement of results to challenge the outcome that is announced. As you all know, I have spent the first of those ten days under house arrest. I am now left with 9 days to exercise this right. Therefore, tomorrow I am going to the Electoral Commission to receive their results. I will then meet the campaign team and following that we will go around the country and collect all our information in order to prepare a well-considered response. This is a right we take for granted and are not asking for permission.

I invite you my friends,

To rally behind the demand for an independent and transparent audit of the 2016 presidential election results. Explain this to all your friends.

If you are in Kampala join me to walk to the Electoral Commission. We leave my gate at Kasangati at 9:00 AM.

Police will try to stop us; I know, but this is about claiming our rights. We will walk peacefully.

In every village, collect the Declaration Forms that may still be in your possession. Use your phone or camera to photograph the results Declaration form. We will tell you how to transmit them.

My friends online, engage our African brothers and sisters as well as the international community to reject the results and support our demands for an independent audit.

Friends, I have warned that we are witnessing a creeping military coup that aims to subvert the will of the people. We set out to claim our rights and our country through defiance, not compliance. We are still on that path and we shall win by defiance NOT compliance. The NRM government believes that by isolating me the defiance campaign is dead but it was not a one-man campaign. This was your campaign and you must now LEAD IT! Peaceful protest is a human right that is in our Constitution. As you know whenever we have gone out to exercise that right peacefully we have been met with extreme violence. But we will not be cowed. The most brutal dictatorships have crumbled when the people asserted themselves. In Philippines, Romania, Guatemala, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, we have seen them fall when the youth stood up for their rights. There will be pain and sacrifice. I am ready for it and I have been absorbing it. Do not be afraid, it is our historic duty.

 

Aluta Continua

For God and Our Country

KB

 

Dr.Kizza Besigye;The results of the presidential elections must be rejected .

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DEMOCRACY IS ON TRIAL IN UGANDA

Press Statement

Message: The results of the presidential elections must be rejected Kampala, Uganda

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20 February 2016

Citizens of Uganda

My Fellow Africans

International Citizens and Friends of Uganda

Members of the Press Corps and the Diplomatic Community,

We have just witnessed what must be the most fraudulent electoral process in Uganda. We participated in this process to highlight and show the world quite how fraudulent this military regime is. The Electoral Commission is not independent and its technical incompetence and partisanship has been made clear for all to see. The voting material was not delivered in time. People were unlawfully removed from the Voters’ Register whilst ghosts were wantonly added. Freedoms of assembly and expression were wantonly curbed. We were not free to carry out our campaigns without intimidation and interference from the partisan Uganda Police Force and the NRM’s militia dubbed the Crime Preventers.

On election day, all access to social media platforms was switched off. This can only have been designed to impede transparency of the election. The popular mobile money platforms were also disabled, cutting millions of ordinary people off from their meager resources. This can only be described as illegal collective punishment, which is an offense under international law.

Then after the elections as the Electoral Commission started announcing falsified results when we called a press conference to show the world how the results that we had, results that were announced at polling stations in the presence of citizens and our own polling agents, the Uganda Police Force brutally stormed our offices and arrested the Party President, Maj. General Mugisha Muntu, our Chief Mobiliser, Ms. Ingrid Turinawe, and myself. We were detained without charge at Naggalama Police Station and whilst General Muntu and I were released late in the night, Ms. Turinawe was detained overnight.

Today I am under house arrest. My home is sealed off and I am not allowed to leave. Nobody is allowed to access my home. I am also under some kind of electronic blockade. I am unable to access any form of internet service in my house.

Generally, the regime is baring its bloodied fangs and claws for all to see. This has not been an electoral process. This is a creeping military coup.

  • I

What must be done

I have come to ask for two things:

The results of the presidential elections must be rejected by the international community.

An international commission should be established to audit the results of the elections.

  1. A Profound Faith in Democracy

While I address you as a presidential candidate, I greet you today as human rights and a pro-democracy activist. As you know, I have dedicated my adult life to the struggle for democracy in Uganda.

  • 2

I come from the generation which beliefs that democracy is the gateway to human rights and human dignity and to the rule of law, and to tolerance and pluralism. Any government which claims to derive its mandate from the people must believe and practice democracy.

Anyone who believes in human dignity, and who believes that we are all created in the image of God and that we all stand equal before the law, must be believe and practice democracy.

Anyone who believes in Pan-Africanism and the dignity of the African person, and that an African has the equal claim to life as any person on this earth, must believe and practice democracy.

And to those friends around the world who wish Africa well and who believe in the dignity of the African continent, they too must believe in democracy and the inalienable right of the African to enjoy it and to live by the universal democratic creed.

I believe deeply in my heart that the African Renaissance will never happen without democracy. I believe profoundly that the East African Federation would be stillborn without democracy.

Sir Winston Churchill once said that the empires of the future will be the empires of the mind. That was true and profound. I hasten to reframe that statement. The empires of the future will be the empires of democracy.

No one can be a full citizen of the 21 st century without enjoying the full blessings of democracy. Any Image claim to the contrary is false.

There can be no citizenship without democracy.

  1. Democracy on Trial in Uganda

Today democracy is on trial in Uganda. The evidence is all around us.

The most sacred right of a citizen is the right to vote peacefully and freely. There is no greater right in a free and open society. It’s upon the right to vote that all other democratic rights are anchored. Today the right to vote—and the right to do so peacefully—has been wantonly violated in Uganda.

That violation should be a profound moral offense to all of us.

A profound offense to all the citizens of Uganda. And it is an offense to all Africans and to all global citizens.

When you violate the rights of an African to vote, you insult his and her humanity and you rob him of his human dignity. That was the fundamental offense of colonialism: the odious practice, and the insulting belief, that an African could be a subject but never a citizen.

Today in Uganda, the right to vote—the very essence of citizenship—has been violated with impunity.

  1. International Community asked to sanction impunity and human rights violations

And the international community has been asked to sanction those gross human rights violations.

You have been asked to sanction elections that are neither free nor fair nor credible.

  • 3

And there is only one logic to that request: that African lives do not matter. And that an African can live without democracy or human dignity.

Instead of democracy, the logic goes, an African would rather receive international charity.

Instead of democracy, an African would rather be trained in post-conflict resolution.

By ratifying these sham elections, the international community is being invited to become a partner in the violations of the African people.

I am therefore here to ask the international community to have the courage to defend the millions of Ugandans—the youth and the elderly—who had the courage to vote. Let them know that it’s not a crime to be an African.

Please reject the temptation to ratify these sham elections.

But should you ratify the results of these sham elections, at least, have the courage to admit that you do not care about democracy or human rights in Africa.

No one who can sanction these elections can credibly profess to be for democracy or for human rights in Africa. I am greatly heartened by the fact that the International Observer missions from the AU, the EU, and the Commonwealth have all, in their preliminary reports indicated that this exercise has not been free, fair, transparent or credible.

I urge you, on behalf of the brave citizens of Uganda, to reject the results of these sham elections.

To my brothers and sisters across Africa, I urge you to stand with the people of Uganda and to assert the rights of every African to live in a free and democratic society.

To my fellow Ugandans, I salute your courage and thank you for your support and for believing in democracy and peace. Democracy is the only path to peace and prosperity and to the rule of law. Remain vigilant and steadfast. The struggle is long and hard but, in the end, we shall win if we continue in our patient and steadfast resolve. The regime cannot survive without our co-operation. Let us denounce this electoral theft by withdrawing our recognition of the regime and ceasing to co-operate with it.

Let us have the strength and the courage to finish this struggle. I  mow deep in my heart that Uganda shall be free!

One Uganda! One People!

For God and My Country.

Dr. Kizza Besigye

Kampala, Uganda 20 February 2016

Download the PDF version below.

Press release

 

 

 

EU OBSERVERS PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

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Kampala, 20 February 2016

 

Voter enthusiasm for democratic process eclipsed by atmosphere of intimidation and ruling party control of state resources in Uganda’s third multi-party elections.

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Summary

 

Voters actively participate in campaign events and expressed a remarkable determination while waiting for long hours on the election day to cast their ballots. Furthermore, for the first time in Uganda’s political history a presidential debate with all candidates, including the incumbent, took place. However, the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM’s) domination of the political landscape distorted the fairness of the campaign and state actors were instrumental in creating an intimidating atmosphere for both voters and candidates. The incumbent had access to funding and means, including to public media that were not commensurate with those available to his competitors. The lack of transparency and independence of the Electoral Commission (EC), and its markedly late delivery of voting material on election day to several districts considered opposition strongholds – most notably in Kampala, decreased the opportunity for voters to cast their ballots. The Uganda Communication Commission blocked access to social media on election day which unreasonably constrained freedom of expression and access to information.

  • Voting was conducted in a calm and peaceful environment in the vast majority of the country. However, in certain areas the voting material arrived late and the EC failed to communicate effectively the steps that would be needed to calm the growing frustration and tensions among voters deferred from voting. The EC chairman only announced the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso shortly before the official closing of the polling stations. Additionally, this was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas. Counting was generally assessed as transparent, however one in five the numbers in the result forms did not reconcile. The tallying process was described as slow and lacking transparency.
  • While the EC Chairperson was announcing the preliminary results of the presidential polls and the political parties were still following tallying and collecting data from their agents in the field, the police stormed FDC’s party headquarters using teargas and arrested the flag bearer Kizza Besigye and the party’s leadership. This action severely violates freedom of expression.
  • The EC lacks independence, transparency and the trust of stakeholders. The EC narrowly interpreted its mandate by limiting it to the organization of the technical aspects of the elections. Moreover, the EC lacked transparency in its decisions and failed to inform the voters and contestants on key elements of the electoral process in a timely and comprehensive manner.
  • Vibrant campaign events attracted large crowds across the country and were generally peaceful. The candidates conducted some 900 campaign events, largely following the EC’s harmonized schedule, and made considerable efforts to reach out to the electorate.
  • Intimidation and harassment of opposition by police and law enforcement bodies, as well as arrests of supporters and voters were reported from more than 20 districts. Opposition candidates’ ability to campaign freely was restricted on several instances during the campaign period. This particularly affected Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and The Democratic Alliance (TDA)/Go Forward. In the run-up to the elections, the large scale nation-wide recruitment of Crime Preventers, acting outside a clear legal framework, was broadly perceived as adding to an intimidating pre-electoral atmosphere.
  • The orchestrated use of state resources and personnel for campaign purposes was observed. Government officials took an active role in the NRM campaign, with several Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and high-ranking security officials openly endorsing the candidacy of President Museveni and the NRM campaign. Thus candidates’ equality of opportunity was not respected.
  • There are no legal measures to ensure a level playing field in the campaign. Access to funds, including those attached to the president’s office as permitted by the law, led to the disproportionate expenditure on behalf of the ruling party and incumbent. This distorted the fairness of the campaign. While legislation contains provisions on reporting and disclosure of political finance, these are neither followed by parties or candidates, nor enforced by the EC.
  • A small number of outspoken commercial media offered a pluralistic discourse, with the first ever live presidential debates as its highlight. However, the overall reporting environment was conducive to self-censorship. State actors interfered with local radio stations’ programming. Reports on violations on of freedom of expression were received from more than 15 districts, including on the harassment and assault of journalists. Thus, the variety of information available across the media was constrained, limiting voters’ ability to make an informed choice.
  • Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) failed to fulfil its specific duties as a public broadcaster and neglected the legally binding provision of equal access of all presidential candidates. The incumbent was granted more than 90 percent of airtime allotted to presidential candidates within the UBC’s prime-time news programs. The EC and the broadcasting sector’s regulatory body remained silent on this breach.
  • The new voter register compiled from the National Identification Register was introduced as an effort to achieve inclusiveness and accuracy. However, establishing the cut-off date of 11 May 2015 for inclusion in the voter register disenfranchised potential voters who turned 18 after this date.
  • Civil society displayed a commendable commitment to the democratic process. It proposed the ‘Citizens’ Compact’ document proposing necessary amendments for the conduct of democratic elections, inter alia independence of the electoral administration and a legal framework granting a level playing field for all contestants. The Civil Society Organizations also thoroughly scrutinized the pre-electoral environment, including candidate’s campaign expenditures and the conduct of media and deployed a large number of observers on the election day.

Preliminary Findings

I.            POLITICAL BACKGROUND

The third multi-party elections were held against the backdrop of long-standing overlap between the ruling party and the state. President Yoweri Museveni, the ruling National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) flag bearer has been in power for 30 years and was standing for his fifth consecutive term.

In a highly competitive race, eight candidates stood for the presidential elections. The three most prominent contenders were the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni; the main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC); and Amama Mbabazi, a former Prime Minister, who ran as independent with the backing of the Democratic Alliance (TDA)/ Go Forward. The independent candidate Maureen Kyalya was the only woman contestant. Parliamentary seats were contested by a total of 1,749 candidates, including 909 independents. NRM candidates were unopposed in nine seats. Opposition parties did not field candidates for a further 82 seats, leaving those to be contested by NRM and independent candidates.

 

II.LEGAL FRAMEWORK

The legal framework consists of the Constitution, Electoral Commission Act (ECA), Presidential Election Act (PEA), Parliamentary Election Act (PPEA), other relevant laws and EC regulations. The legal framework is generally consistent with international and regional commitments of the country, but several areas remain under-regulated, and enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms is not adequately guaranteed.

The right to vote is constitutionally provided to every citizen of eighteen years of age and above. The right to stand is guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen having the right to participate in the affairs of the government, individually or through his or her representatives according to the law. Despite previous EU EOM recommendations, the requirement for parliamentary candidates to hold advanced educational qualifications has not been removed and excludes a substantial part of the population from the possibility of being a candidate. Also the provision requiring candidates to resign from official posting severely limits the right to stand.

While legal amendments, advocated by civil society groups under the ‘Uganda Citizens Compact on Free and Fair Elections,’ could have improved the electoral process and increased respect for fundamental freedoms across the country, they were only partially considered by the authorities. Key proposals to increase the transparency in the appointment of EC’s members, to restore presidential term limits, and to improve campaign finance reporting, were disregarded. On the other hand, the new voter register was enacted. Other amendments were contrary to the objectives of the ‘Citizens Compact’, such as increase of the nomination fees for presidential and parliamentary candidates and the shortening of polling time.

Authorities repeatedly interrupted meetings and dispersed gatherings under the 2013 Public Order Management Act (POMA). Vaguely and broadly worded provisions of this act enable selective interpretations and allow for excessive discretionary power of the police. Citizens should be able to peacefully assemble in support of political candidates. The fact that the Uganda Human Rights Commission was not operational between April 2015 and February 2016 further limited human rights protection in the country. The recent appointment of the commissioners should be seen as a positive development.

The Constitution provides for representation of special groups, including military, youth, workers, and persons with disabilities (PWD) through indirectly elected representatives. While promoting rights of PWD is desirable, other groups are not usually recognized as needing special protection. This system, through which members of the unicameral parliament are not elected by universal and equal suffrage, contravenes Article 25 of the ICCPR.

Large population discrepancies between electoral constituencies violate the principle of equality of the vote, provided for by the ICCPR. The Constitution subordinates the requirement to meet the population quota to the requirement that each county has to have at least one constituency, thus rendering adherence to the principle of equally weighted votes not implementable.

III.            ELECTION ADMINISTRATION

The Electoral Commission is a body mandated to organize, conduct and supervise all elections and referenda as provided for in the Constitution and the Electoral Commission Act 1997. While the Constitution guarantees the independence of the EC, the President with the approval of Parliament appoints the commissioners of the EC. Due to the appointment system, the EC does not reflect the complete political spectrum and does not enjoy widespread confidence. The opposition parties and civil society expressed deep concerns regarding the impartiality of the EC.

The EC issued its Strategic Plan 2013-2017 three years ahead of the 2016 elections. The plan included steps meant to strengthen its capacity to deliver a credible electoral process. The most important targets were a new biometric voter register, the consolidation of all guidelines and procedures as well as timely and comprehensive civic and voter education. The EC met the first target. The objective to have a comprehensive voter information program was not met, as was not the consolidation of the procedures and guidelines. Those failures casted further doubts on the EC’s efficiency.

The EC planned some other safeguards to enhance the integrity of the process, such as introduction of a biometric voter verification system (BVVS) and a voter location slip (VLS). However, the late introduction of new technology into the process combined with the lack of communication to both the electorate and political parties created an atmosphere of mistrust among all stakeholders.

In the approach to election day itself, the EC largely met legal deadlines in terms of logistical preparations for the conduct of elections such as the distribution of non-sensitive materials to the sub county level. The ballot papers arrived in the country in time and representatives of political parties observed the process. The EC issued soft copies of the voter register to the presidential candidates and hard copies to the political parties within the timeframe required by law. The EC also harmonized the campaign schedules of both presidential and parliamentary candidates at different levels.

However, the failure by the EC to convene the Inter-Party Liaison Committees at the national level and the District Election Security Committees at the lower levels as constitutionally provided for negatively affected consensus building and resolution of disputes among stakeholders. The inaccessibility of the EC website for several weeks during the period December to January 2016 left the public without accurate information regarding the electoral process.

IV.            VOTER REGISTRATION

 

The newly introduced voter registration system aimed to improve inclusiveness and accuracy of the voter register (VR). The EC compiled a new voter register for the 2016 general elections by extracting data on voting age citizens from the National Identification Register (NIR), changing the voter registration system from an active to a passive one. This change was reportedly not sufficiently communicated, leaving many stakeholders without an understanding of the connection between the ID registry and the VR. The final VR contained 15.277 million voters, extracted from the NIR database of about 16.46 million citizens aged 16 years and above at the time of registration in 2014.

The creation of a new VR extracted from the NIR data did not conform with the established legal framework as the EC is mandated by law to independently compile, maintain, revise and update the VR.[1] Despite changing the voting system from active to passive, necessary legislative changes, determining relevant procedures for the new registration exercise were not enacted. Instead, the EC issued press releases and acted upon provisions in the ECA, which were not fully consistent with the new system. The establishment of the cut-off date of 11 May 2015 for inclusion in the voter register de facto disenfranchised potential voters who turned 18 after this date. Again, the EC employed provisions that were not mandatory for the current system, for which data extraction is continuous. Thus, people who turned 18 between the cut-off date and 18 February should have been included in the voter register.

V.            CANDIDATE REGISTRATION

 

The candidate registration process for the presidential elections was largely inclusive. At the national level, the EC registered eight presidential candidates out of nine who sought nomination. District Returning Officers (DRO) registered 1,343 candidates for the directly elected 290 open parliamentary seats and 406 women candidates for the 112 directly elected women district seats. Candidates’ nomination fees were substantially increased after the start of the nomination period by enacting amendments to the PEA and the PPEA. The EC was subsequently forced to extend the nomination period by a month.

VI.            CAMPAIGN

 

A mostly peaceful atmosphere prevailed during vibrant campaign events attracting large crowds across the country. In total, political parties conducted more than 900 campaign events largely following the EC schedule and making considerable efforts to reach out to the electorate. Nevertheless, on some occasions the campaign was marred by violent clashes between the different candidates’ supporters. The most severe incident took place in Ntungamo on 13 December, involving supporters of NRM and Amama Mbabazi. EU EOM observers reported skirmishes between NRM and FDC supporters in Jinja, Mukono and Wakiso, and violent clashes between NRM and independent candidates who lost NRM primaries in Mbale, Mbarara, Mitooma, and Kayunga.

On a number of occasions, opposition candidates, particularly from the FDC and TDA/Go Forward were denied access to campaign venues, restricting their ability to campaign freely. EU EOM received reports and observed extensive use of force by police including teargas and assault rifles to disperse crowds during Kizza Besigye’s and Amama Mbabazi’s rallies in Bukwo, Kasenge, and Ntungamo among others. On 15 February, police detained Besigye twice, preventing him from addressing scheduled rallies in Kampala Central and used teargas and live ammunition against his supporters, resulting in one death and several injured.

The orchestrated use of state resources for campaign purposes was observed. The large-scale recruitment, training and deployment of ‘crime preventers’ in the run-up to the elections was criticized by opposition parties and civil society as illegal and politically motivated, contributing to an atmosphere of intimidation. According to police, crime preventers are recruited and trained to monitor and report incidents of crime under the framework of community policing to complement the efforts of regular police. The EU EOM received reports of intimidation and harassment of opposition parties by security agencies as well as arrests of supporters and voters from more than 20 districts. The disappearance and alleged death of Christopher Aine, the head of Amama Mbabazi’s security team, added tensions to the campaign environment.

The campaign was polarized and marred by use of violent rhetoric that became prominent prior to election day. The incumbent’s high-ranking NRM cadres and Police officials repeatedly stated in public that they would use force against anybody opposing state power.[2] At the same time, the FDC reinforced its ‘campaign of defiance,’ aimed at challenging any action or decision taken by the state authorities that could be considered to be outside the legal framework. While actively participating in the campaign, FDC reiterated its preparedness not to recognize the election results in case of rigging and malpractice. The FDC also mobilized supporters under the ‘Power 10’ program to protect the vote. The EC and the IGP condemned Power 10 and declared it to be an illegitimate militia group. Narratives of orchestrated vote rigging and potential post-election violence were widespread. At the beginning of February, the Chairman of the EC called on all stakeholders to promote peace and to desist from using any language that may cause fear or create tension among the public, yet it yielded little effect.

Throughout the campaign, the blurred line between the state and NRM structures was manifested predominantly in the use of state budget and security resources at campaign events and by the extensive use of public media. Government officials took an active role in the NRM campaign, with several Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and high-ranking security officials openly endorsing the candidacy of President Museveni and the NRM campaign. While the law prohibits the use of government resources for both presidential and parliamentary campaigns[3], it allows the President to use the government facilities ordinarily attached to his office. The state budget covered his travel and accommodation costs on the campaign trail. Last November, President Museveni made a pledge to provide a total of 18 million hoes to six million households. The distribution of hoes during NRM campaign events was observed by the EU EOM in Arua on 8 February.

VII.            CAMPAIGN FINANCE

 

Ugandan legislation does not contain campaign finance provisions to level the playing field – there are no donation limits, no spending caps, and no state subsidies for presidential or parliamentary election campaigns. The disproportionate expenditure on behalf of the ruling party and incumbent president distorted the fairness of the campaign. Media ads, posters, and party logo items promoting Museveni/NRM have been observed over six times more frequently than those of all other candidates combined. These observations are in line with estimates of local NGOs, according to whom Museveni/NRM spent eight times more than all the other candidates combined.

Two weeks before the election, the EU EOM observed NRM candidates and mobilizers gathered in Kampala receiving so-called “facilitation” cash. In the following days, the EU EOM observed cash being distributed to voters in locations across the country. While both giving and receiving bribes are illegal, political parties, candidates and civil society organizations confirmed that bribery is widespread. Authorities, however, do not take necessary steps to investigate numerous well documented allegations of cash and goods being distributed to voters.

Significant problems were observed in candidates’ and parties’ keeping of income and expenditure records, reporting procedures, and the EC’s disclosure of public financial documents. While legislation contains provisions on reporting and disclosure of political finance, these are not followed by parties or candidates and not enforced by the authorities. Political parties and candidates confirmed to the EU EOM that their own financial reports are inaccurate and that most of their donations are not included. For the 2016 campaign, the FDC presidential candidate was the only one to disclose the total amount of his donations in the 2016 campaign, which was 96 million UGX. While the EC is responsible for collecting financial reports, it has confirmed that most of the reports were never submitted. The lack of information available for public scrutiny and the lack of enforcement of transparency rules limit the transparency and accountability of campaign finance and is not in line with Article 7(3) of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

VIII.            MEDIA

 

While a small number of outspoken commercial media at national and local level strove to offer pluralistic discourse, the overall reporting environment was conducive to self-censorship and yielded coverage overwhelmingly in favor of the incumbent and the NRM. The EU EOM received numerous reports on state actors, most notably RDCs, interfering with local radio stations’ programming. Radio station owners affiliated to the NRM exerted a direct influence on editorial decisions. Assaults and harassment of journalists in Arua, Abim, Bujumba, Gulu, Hoima, Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Mukono and Masaka further impinged on the freedom of expression. Thus, despite the fact that more than 300 media outlets operate in Uganda, the variety of information available across the media landscape was constrained, limiting voters’ ability to make an informed choice.

Freedom of expression is granted by the Constitution, yet is not protected through legislation. The legal framework stringently regulates media’s content and licensing, yet defines provisions for implementation poorly. Such gaps can lead to arbitrary applications of power, as demonstrated by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), broadcast media’s regulatory body, which closed and seized equipment from 13 radio stations in January. Such actions subdued dissenting voices and undermined Uganda’s international commitments, most notably ICCPR General Comment 34.

The conduct of the media throughout the elections has been poorly regulated; the few statutory instruments contain ambiguities such as prohibition against using “unauthorized sources”. The PEA and PPEA grant presidential aspirants equal access to state media and envisage a reasonable allocation of time to parliamentary candidates, yet do not stipulate how to grant it. The absence of effective redress for infringement of those provisions contributed to FDC and TDA/Go Forward presidential candidates being denied access to radio broadcasts or stations in 11 cases. The EC and UCC remained silent on those breaches.

The media landscape is further skewed by state media’s subservience to the NRM. The news programming of the public Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) TV was the most explicit example, with the NRM’s share of exposure reaching 89 per cent. In total, the incumbent was granted with more than six hours of direct speech within the UBC’s prime-time coverage allotted to political communication, while Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi received only seven minutes each. EU EOM media monitoring[4] shows that one third of the FDC’s already scant coverage was negative in tone, while the NRM was uniformly praised. The UBC radio’s coverage mirrored that of the TV.

The NRM was equally prevalent on the local radio stations that are the primary source of information for the general public. In 11 districts, opposition candidates were denied access to radio broadcasts or stations and in 32 districts, biased coverage against FDC, Democratic Party (DP) or Go Forward (GF) was reported. The EU EOM’s media monitoring highlighted local radio’s lack of balance. On King’s Radio in Masindi, 93 percent of the presidential candidate’s coverage was devoted to Museveni; half of Mbale’s Open Gate radio’s programming allotted to the FDC was negative in tone and 66 percent of the election related coverage on Kabale’s Voice of Kigezi was paid for, thus never subjected to any critical analysis.

For the first time two issue-oriented live presidential debates were organized by Kampala-based commercial media and broadcasted live on several radio and television stations. This indisputably contributed to overall pluralism and for the first time enabled the electorate to directly compare candidates while their manifestos were subject to critical assessment. However, due to its limited range, the balanced approach applied by Kampala-based commercial media did not verifiably alter the overall picture. NTV, Daily Monitor and Radio One devoted equitable coverage to key candidates of the presidential and parliamentary races and Radio Simba was the only broadcaster who granted Besigye slightly more airtime than the incumbent.

Social media sustained a critical narrative throughout the electoral period and revamped traditional media’s agenda. Politically colored, interconnected profiles on Facebook and Twitter were instrumental for campaigning and in disseminating the “protect your vote” messages. At times, bellicose posts halfway between personal insult and incitement to violence blanketed those citizen’s groups. However, the police detained and charged only pro-opposition activists with charges of offensive communication. The UCC blocked social media on election day “due to the security reasons”. Such justification falls short of ICCPR Art 19.

IX.            CIVIL SOCIETY

 

Civil society organizations (CSOs) thoroughly scrutinized the pre-electoral environment and the conduct of elections and issued regular statements highlighting the drawbacks of the process. The Citizens Election Observers Network-Uganda was the largest domestic observation group with 223 long-term observers deployed since October 2015 and an additional 900 short-term observers on election day. The Uganda Joint Christian Council was equally active. Both groups issued regular reports that highlighted key drawbacks of the election preparations.

For the first time, civil society also monitored campaign expenditures and the conduct of the media. From 1 September 2015 the African Center for Media Excellence carried out full-scale media monitoring, employing an internationally acknowledged methodology and publishing comprehensive data on access and balance of reporting. It highlighted public media’s preferential coverage of the incumbent and the NRM. The Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) is an umbrella organization of 16 national and regional organizations, which systematically monitored election related expenses of candidates and parties since summer 2015 in 74 constituencies. It concluded that voter bribery was widespread and that difference between size of budgets between the ruling party and other parties was striking. The ACFIM ran an anti-vote-buying campaign with nearly 4,000 village meetings across the country.

X.            GENDER ISSUES

 

Women continue to face a number of structural, socio-economic and political constraints that limit their full political participation. Poverty, lack of education, insufficient access to information and political parties’ reluctance to place women in leadership positions, among others, are the key impediments for full enjoyment of equal rights. The increased level of political violence further hampered the participation of women in these elections.

For the presidential election, one of the eight candidates was a woman. For the constituency seats in parliament, 88 out of 1,343 nominated candidates were women, representing seven percent of the total number of aspirants. The constituency seats are often referred to as ‘men seats’ and are dominated by the patronage system of politics. A total of 406 women, including 200 independents, contested the 112 district women special seats. NRM fielded women candidates in all but two districts, while opposition parties did not have candidates in 41 districts. Women’s rights activists raised concerns that the creation of district women special seats is counter-productive, as it effectively confines women to the district seats and decreases the quality of women’s leadership. Nevertheless, women aspirants for parliamentary elections were granted wide exposure in media, including on public media. Another positive step was civic education programs in media aimed at encouraging women’s participation in elections.

XI. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

The electoral dispute resolution system allows for complaints and appeals in all phases of the electoral process. The EC and the courts both have jurisdiction to adjudicate election complaints. Provisions for the complaints and appeals process largely respect the right to effective remedy as enshrined in the ICCPR. However, a lack of procedures for the EC’s activities and the absence of specific timelines for issuing decisions undermined the timely and effective remedy of electoral disputes. The hearings on candidates’ nomination petitions remained ongoing until the election day, failing to provide a timely remedy.

The number of complaints submitted to the relevant authorities in the field was low, highlighting the lack of trust in the judiciary at the district level and the slow review of complaints. Court fees and corruption are reported obstacles to those seeking legal remedy. Thus, in most cases aggrieved persons preferred to resort to mediation. At the national level the EC presented to the EU EOM a list of 160 cases mainly related to candidate registration and only a few on the violations of campaign regulations. Comprehensive information on the total number of complaints submitted either to the EC, to courts or to the police, was not available to the public.

The EC decision to retire the previous voter register without amendment of the legal framework, which remained unchanged from the previous exercise, provided a basis for legal challenges. Most notably, former MP and Presidential candidate from DP, Norbert Mao filed a case in the Constitutional Court against the refusal of the EC to nominate him as a candidate on the grounds that he was no longer registered. Civil society interlocutors expect similar cases of disenfranchisement to follow after elections.

XII.            PERSON WITH DISABILITIES

Although Uganda ratified UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008, the authorities did not take any legislative steps needed to enable disabled persons to vote without discrimination. Under the Convention, the country should give blind voters an option to vote independently and by secret ballot. Disability organizations proposed Braille ballot papers and the EC did not accommodate their requests. Consequently, blind persons can only vote through another person. Many polling stations are not accessible (add statistics) and persons in mental hospitals do not have the possibility to vote, both of which contravene the Convention.

XIII.            ELECTION DAY

 

Voters showed remarkable determination on election day, waiting long hours to cast their ballots. The EC failed to effectively communicate the steps that would be taken to calm growing frustration and tensions among voters deferred from voting due to the markedly delayed delivery of voting material in certain locations. There was an imposing presence of police in the vicinity of polling stations and in a few cases tear gas was used to disperse crowds. Moreover, the detention of the FDC flag-bearer Kizza Besigye late on the election day added to the tense environment. Additionally, the UCC blocked access to social media, which contributed to the overall uncertainty and constrained freedoms of expression and access to information.

The late arrival of electoral material in certain areas marred an otherwise calm and peaceful election day. EU EOM observers reported that 75 per cent of polling stations observed had not opened before 7:30 AM. Furthermore, eight teams across the country reported that polling stations could not open before 10 AM. A number of polling stations, notably in Kampala and Wakiso, had not opened within six hours. Significant delays and lack of effective communication by the EC fueled frustration and tensions among voters. In at least four cases the police used teargas to disperse voters at polling stations. Only shortly before the official closing of the polling stations at 4 PM did the EC chairman announce the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso. This was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas.

Throughout election day, EU EOM observers noted a number of problems in polling stations visited. In one out of five polling stations observed, ballot boxes were unsealed or not properly sealed, in 12 per cent of polling stations EU EOM observers witnessed proxy voting and in 11 percent of observed polling stations, the layout compromised secrecy of the vote. 11 percent of polling stations lacked essential equipment. The EU EOM observers reported isolated cases of electoral malpractices, including vote buying, ballot stuffing and influencing of polling staff and voters by party agents.

EU EOM observers reported that the newly introduced biometric voter verification device was functional and broadly used, yet significantly slowed polling, thus frustrating voters. The voter register was not used consistently as the main means of voter verification in 20 percent of polling stations observed.

Almost one third of observed polling stations closed after 4:00 PM, and voters in the queue were able to vote. Counting was generally assessed as transparent, yet adherence to counting procedures was often lacking. In 37 percent of polling stations observed, the Presiding Officer had difficulties completing the Declaration of Result Forms (DRF) and in 20 percent of polling stations observed the numbers in the DRFs did not reconcile. In 95 percent of polling stations observed, results were posted outside the polling stations, as required by law.

The tallying process was described as slow and lacking transparency. The environment outside district tally centers was tense. Crowds thronging tally centers were dispersed in several instances by police using tear gas. In only 10 of 42 tally centers observed by the EU EOM, District Residing Officers distributed print-outs of sub-county results broken down to polling station level, a key feature to enhancing the transparency. Results were transmitted to National Tally Center (NTC). The system provided for the cancellation of polling stations results where the total number of votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters, but lacked other key fraud mitigation measures.

On 19 February, while the EC Chairperson was announcing the preliminary results of the presidential polls and the political parties were still following tallying and collecting data from their agents in the field, the police stormed FDC’s party headquarters using teargas and arrested the flag bearer Kizza Besigye and the party’s leadership. The police justified their actions by accusing FDC of planning to “disturb public order” by “announcing the final results of the Presidential elections,” which is the mandate of the EC. This action severely violates freedom of expression.[5]

 

 

The European Union was invited by the Government of Uganda to observe the elections of 18 February 2016 and Memorandums of Understanding were signed by the EU with the Government of Uganda and the Electoral Commission on 23 November 2015. The EU EOM is led by Eduard Kukan, MEP from Slovakia. The mission comprises a core team of ten analysts who have been present in Kampala since 28 December, 30 Long Term Observers, who have been present since 9 January, and 54 Short Term Observers, who have been present since 12 February. in addition, the mission is joined by 27 Local Short Term Observers and a 7-person Delegation of Members of the European Parliament, led by Jo Leinen, MEP from Germany. Overall the EU EOM deployed 137 observers on election day, drawn from all 28 EU member States, as well as Norway.

 The EU EOM assesses all aspects of the electoral process and the extent to which the election process complies with national laws and international standards for democratic elections. The mission is independent in its findings and conclusions and operates in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. Observers were able to cover all 112 districts of Uganda and have met with election officials, government representatives and local authorities, candidates, parties, media representatives, civil society groups, domestic observers and voters. On Election Day, observers reported from 56 out of 290 constituencies, observing in around 350 polling stations. Observers will remain to follow the tabulation of the results and the EU EOM will continue to observe post-election developments. A final report will be issued later, containing detailed findings, conclusions and recommendations.

The EU EOM wishes to express its appreciation for the cooperation of the people of Uganda, the Government, the EC, Ugandan Police Force, political parties, media, civil society, EU Delegation and Missions of the EU Member States.

Mission details

The English-language version of the EU EOM Preliminary Statement is the only official version

For media enquiries, please contact Maria-Jose Games, EU EOM Press Officer

Tel: 0788 975 219 or 0703 000 143 / Email: mariajose.gamez@eueomuganda.eu

[1] Constitution, Chapter 5, Section 61 (e) and Section 62

[2] Section 23, The Presidential Elections Act (PEA) states “a person shall not, while campaigning uses any language which constitutes incitement to […] violence.” See also General Comment No. 25 (1996) to Article 25 of the 1960 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC).

[3] Section 27 PEA, Section 25 Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA).

[4] The EU EOM monitored prime-time programming of public UBC TV and radio; partly state-owned Bukedde TV, Radio Rupinyi (Gulu); Buganda kingdom owned WBS TV, CBS radio, commercial NTV, Radio One, Radio Simba (all Kampala based); Kings Radio (Masindi), Open Gate Radio (Mbale), Voice of Kigezi (Kabale) and newspaper New Vision and Daily Monitor.

[5] Paragraph 25 of ICCPR GC 25 protects the “free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues” and Paragraph 9 ICCPR GC 34 reads: “All forms of opinion are protected, including opinions of a political nature…. The arrest, detention, trail or imprisonment for reasons of the opinions they might hold, constitutes a violation of article 19 paragraph 1.”

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EU Preliminary Election Statement_20160220

Full report of the investigation on Uganda government electronic surveillance:

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Full report of the investigation on Uganda government electronic surveillance:

cmi
This is an excerpt from the detailed report from the investigations carried out by Privacy international and the full report is downloadable from this website.
Police and CMI officials can also obtain call data by presenting formal requests, or by requesting print-outs of call data. These requests are often fabricated and the process is often abused. Journalists with whom Privacy International spoke discussed how plainclothes CMI agents would present them with call records as a warning when working on sensitive stories. CMI agents can also be enlisted – for a fee – to track down stolen phones using location data.
In recent years the security services have invested heavily in cyber defense. In 2013, a new forensic lab for the analysis of computer crime was opened in Kampala72 and the UCC launched a Computer Emergency Response Team to investigate cyber crimes.73 In 2014, the UCC opened a media monitoring center with “digital logger surveillance equipment”,74 though it appears to be targeted at recording and analyzing public radio, television and print media rather than private communications. Police have also signed an accord with the UCC to cooperate more closely in the investigation of cybercrimes.
Despite these developments, the Police’s ability to actually conduct forensic analysis on devices and trace cybercrimes is rudimentary.The Police acquired tools to conduct advanced cyber forensic investigations in the past two to three years, but, according to one industry expert, the “Police force still do not have the skillset. They have some tools and training, doing incident reporting and the like, but moving towards expertise and analysis is difficult.

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Uganda_Report

 

UGANDA LAW SOCIETY PRESS STATEMENT ON THE POST-ELECTION ENVIRONMENT

ULS

ULS

It is evident that a sombre mood hover over many parts of our Country after the recently concluded presidential and Parliamentary elections. Presidential  election results were announced when at least  one Presidential Candidate was under house arrest.

That candidate has continued to be variously incarcerated and press reports indicate continued multiple arrests of opposition supporters. In particular, one opposition political party the Forum for Democratic Change appears to be taking most of the brunt of police and security actions which many in the population appear to frown upon.

Ugandans were treated, during and after the vote io a menu consisting of teargas, the firing of live rounds in multiple locations in Wakiso, Kasese, Mukono, Kampala, Omoro and Jinja and in some cases there are reports of violent clashes between members of the population. Recent reports also suggest that another Presidential candidate appears to be under house arrest as well.

It has also emerged as a serious concern that the Declaration of Results forms which are by law the basis of tallying of the national result were absent or unavailable at the National Tally Centre.

We must, however, leave all the fact finding and the evaluation of the circumstances under which most of these events took place to the Courts to avert any triggers for violence. The Courts have the power to set aside an election if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court there is non-compliance with the provisions of the relevant law, or if Court is satisfied that there was failure to conduct the election in accordance with the law and that the noncompliance and failure affected the result of the election in a substantial manner.

The Courts have put aside the next six months to attend to only election petitions. Let us trust our Courts and let all aggrieved parties file their grievances with the Courts.

It is clear to any observer that there are deep-seated grievances amongst the populace.  Moreover, we continue to see high numbers of heavily armed security forces on the streets and a Presidential  Candidate who should be facilitated to exercise his right to petition the election results is in jail.

There is fear, fear of the unknown, fear of violence, fear of arrests, fear of tear gas, fear of live bullets etc. In an ideal situation, the people should not be afraid of their “Contributing towards a Public well served by a competent, Ethical, Honourable and Independent Legal profession”  Government.

It is incumbent upon any Government to seek to understand its People’s grievances and address them.

Looking at the campaigns and the issues that arose among the people, it is clear that key among these

grievances are;

  • the restoration of presidential term limits in the Constitution, strengthening the governance and independence of the Electoral Commission and other proposed reforms that Government ignored from a document that was referred to as the Citizens Compact;
  • rampant and runaway grand corruption;
  • endemic institutional inefficiencies; iv) unprecedented levels of poverty, gross inequality and unequal opportunities v) overwhelming youth unemployment
  • ineffective and in some cases nearly inexistent delivery of public goods and services.

All these have led to the lack of trust in the Government and will be critical issues for any new Government.

People want a Government that creates an efficient and dynamic market that assures prosperity.

The unfair treatment of a PresldentJal Candidate and the arrests of his supporters breed feelings of injustice and intolerance for political parties.

Political parties are fundamental pillars of democracy.  It is also a strange occurrence in an environment of multi-party politics.

As we look at the aftermath of the election, we call on all citizens to maintain law and order and desist from any form of violence.

We call on political leaders to practice the politics of inclusion and empathy so as to deepen

democracy in Uganda.

We further call for:

  1. All aggrieved parties, Presidential and Parliamentary candidates, to petition the Supreme Court and High Court respectively for the necessary orders.
  2. The Courts to ensure speedy electoral justice by efficiently resolving complaints to avoid further triggers for electoral violence.
  3. The Police to observe the human rights of the media and all Ugandans and desist from using unreasonable force and illegal detention of opposition leaders and their supporters.
  4. The 10th Parliament to carry out the much needed constitutional reforms as their first business.
  5. The Electoral Commission to learn from this election and make the desired improvements; including, the display of a signed copy of the declaration of the results format each polling station which we believe IS Vital In preventing manipulations at the Sub- County and District.
  6. An inclusive National agenda of all political parties and discourage winner-takes-all Government
  7. Political and District leaders to explore democratic dialogues for communities to discuss their grievances openly at community centres. This will help to reduce deep-seated anger, prejudices, and misunderstandings among the conflicting groups.
  8. In due course, when the animosity has come down and trust is rebuilt within communities and as the People heal from this process, Political leaders to consider engaging in a National Democratic Dialogue to enhance and deepen democratic governance in Uganda.

As People and Communities are fragile now, we should all work toward peace, reconciliation and healing which are the most fundamental elements of social stability.

Ruth Sebatindira

PRESIDENT

UGANDA LAW SOCIETY

EC needs to explain this.

prez-result-graph

prez-result-graph

By Denis Aguma:

EC needs to explain this.

 

The Mathematics doesn’t add up. Here is why the presidential announcement should be recalled and a re-run or recount ordered.

First I need to state that I love numbers as a former Auditor of Ernst and Young and an international Banker with a global bank but also a certified fraud examiner and financial crime certified. I spent time looking at the numbers released by EC and unlike previous posts and all the hate posts, I have assumed that there was no cheating and that electoral commission was independent and results were accurate and just concentrated on the numbers so my readers can read without bias and I came to the conclusion that EC errorred not only in the percentages quoted but also in announcing M7 as the winner of the elections and why a recount or Re-run is needed.

First the law requires that a candidate should get 50% and above of the votes to be declared a winner or else there will be a re-run. Now on the numbers declared by EC.

Bw- 86,075- 0.93%
JPAM- 132,574-1.43%
Barya – 51,086- 0.55%
Biraro – 24675 -0.26%
KB. – 3,270,290-35.37%
Mabirizi- 23,762. -0.26%
Kyalya – 40,598. -0.44%
YKM – 5,617,503- 60.75%

Total of valid votes – 9,246,563

invalid votes- 455,175- 4.69%
Spoilt votes – 25,538

Total votes – 9,727,276

When you add up the %ages quoted above including invalid votes, the total is 104.69% instead of 100% as expected because when determining percentages for candidates, EC didn’t include invalid votes and spoilt votes which it should as per the law since they form part of the votes cast. ( Lawyers can confirm).

If invalid votes are added when determine percentages of candidates as per released results, president M7 would have scored 57.75% which still is ok for him to be declared president but then don’t forget that Electoral commission announced M7 pre-maturely by including only 93.62% of the polling stations. Leaving 6.62% of the polling stations unaccounted for or not included.

After analyzing the EC released results you will notice that the polling stations not included came from JInja, Kampala, Wakiso etc. now it’s not a coincidence that those are some of the most populated voting areas and I won’t assume they are for FDC or NRM. The 6.62% of non included polling stations actually account for over 12% of the registered voters and therefore by not including them in the counting EC knowingly or unknowingly might have prematurely announced M7 winner bse there remained a possibility of M7 getting less than 40% of the votes not counted in which case opposition would get the remaining 60% as it happened in Kampala in which case M7 would fail to get 50%. It’s therefore possible that a re-run would occur. Please not all those figures were based on actuals released by electoral commission but it would be real worse if rigging is factored like some areas where M7 got more votes than actual polling station numbers or where pre-ticket ballots were discovered.

I would therefore request journalists and those concerned to look through the numbers first before we even factor in rigging which was obvious.

I hope somebody interested in facts analyses the numbers and I hope the opposition challenges the election based on facts so that the element of substance and substantial is established to give us ground for a repeat of the election. I would also welcome any criticism on the law.

EC needs to explain.

Moses Atocon Atyekwo's photo.
24 comments
Comments
Mulamata Coxton Kezron

Mulamata Coxton Kezron · Friends with Kizza-Besigye Wrn

Plse this is real and lets follow us.kb is our president 2016.even God knows that.
Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hrs
Otto Richard

Otto Richard Amazing!

Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
Lubulwa Henry replied · 2 Replies · 1 hr
Pile Peter

Pile Peter Museveni Deserves To Go To Prison And Not StateHouse#DonaldTrump

Sunday Geoffrey

Sunday Geoffrey You can not determine this unless you know the rules used. In the USA, Australia and Canada, spoilt and invalidated votes are not part of the final vote count. But in other democracies, these votes are part of the total vote count.

In the UK, facSee More

Samson Okwii

Samson Okwii · Friends with Channy Loy and 3 others

Wow
Vincent Adima

Vincent Adima Sure Moses, these people are just forcing us to accept their lies, if they are right, why are they scared and arresting the opponent frequently like that?

Danniella Kokunda

Danniella Kokunda · 10 mutual friends

Ths nw makes senses
Okot Patrick Junior

Okot Patrick Junior · 19 mutual friends

you were suppose to be the next EC and not that old man with small eyes who work under somebodys shoes,
Catherine Kanabahita

Catherine Kanabahita Way to go Moses. EC should explain but maybe we are asking for the impossible. M7 said he would not hand over and that he would smash his opponents. He sure meant it. Uganda is under a military regime with a dictator. We are in for a long haul of a struggle and we shall overcome.

Mukiibi Ivan Peter

Mukiibi Ivan Peter But how did that EC thing attain a Doctorate !?

Namujju Teopista

Namujju Teopista What u a saying is true.

Asimwe Greg

Asimwe Greg · Friends with Tumwekwasize Bahene Francis

Out of Panic, they have exposed themselves. Kigundu must never be forgiven for this mess. They robbed us our hard earned Victory and the world must know this.
Francis Pa'lugole

Francis Pa’lugole No,The Kiggundu team couldnt fail to announce the actual winner(not M7).But they did it under indirect gunpoint(MUST)..

Ocen Simon Peter

Ocen Simon Peter · 3 mutual friends

From the 1st release upto the end you should have realised that EC was just playing with % as if they were under instructions to keep that of M7 above 60%. And that is why they left results of other polling stations intentionally .
JP Abaneka

JP Abaneka · Friends with Moses Adonga and 3 others

This is real facts
Bagonza Richard

Bagonza Richard · 3 mutual friends

This is our Uganda
Bangi Lisa

Bangi Lisa ur right Mr auditor, wasoma! EC has embarrassd themselves this tym round. however this is Ug

Herman Mayiga Owekitibwa

Herman Mayiga Owekitibwa · 7 mutual friends

Haven’t you ever seen someone being nabbed red handed with an exhibit but turns around and denies hvg bn caught?
Mubiru Ali

Mubiru Ali · Friends with Mubiru Faridah

And why did they not want to include Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono votes? Who told them to ignore those votes? Are voters from these areas not Ugandans?
Kikodinho Alexandros

Kikodinho Alexandros · Friends with Eddie Mwine Late Muhangi

Verily EC needs to answer on this
Like · Reply · 1 · 14 mins
James Jemo Omoding

James Jemo Omoding lets jst calm down coz hweva much we talk, nothng will hapen so lets agree dat m7 won though we dont knw wether he won in a right way or not.

Richard Kamanya

Richard Kamanya y answer yet its already gone??????

Immaculate Lwetutte
Immaculate Lwetutte There’s always a beginning of the end of anything and it needs 2b sparked off now…

THE HISTORIC DEBATE(S): THE SYMPHONY OF HARMONY, THE “THING.”

THE HISTORIC DEBATE(S): THE SYMPHONY OF HARMONY, THE “THING.”

 perezida_museveni_asuhuzanya_na_dr_kiiza_besigyeelec01+pix

I think all good reporting is the same thing the best attainable version of the truth~Carl Bernstein

2nd Thessalonians 2:8-10: “they perish because they refuse to love the truth and be saved”

Basically, a very objective analysis of the debates against the status Quo has been made: I am very humbled to be making this analysis of the first historic debate in the republic of Uganda; an important learning curve.I clearly articulate the facts in a way that will get Uganda better, and not bitter, and also keep the African Hopes alive. If you listened intently to the articulation of matter over substance, you will love this analysis and it will seal the deal for the best choice candidate. I personally have mine and I will not cower to say his name, the People’s President: DR.KIIZA BESIGYE WARREN KIFEFE (RTD COL).

 

PRESIDENT MUSEVENI. Y. K: He is a leader of the thirty-year-old regime who dodged the first Presidential debate under the pretext of a busy schedule to which he laid the hypocrisies. A day later when he made very uncouth comments saying he couldn’t attend the first debate because it was just “secondary kids’’ in a debate. That was a very gross misrepresentation of facts and utterly disrespectful, the debate being Presidential candidates’, to which issues of national interest were tabled. A lot of heat preceded the events of course especially after he out rightly spilled his utter arrogance and the unwarranted need for attention even when he knows it too well he has a very tough sell now: because the people are tired of his leadership and would rather try a new ‘knight’.

Missing him in the first debate was so defeating.He wasn’t physically present, at the first debate, but the truth is surely he could still have his place in the very details of the discussions. His place is one that isn’t the best to have for a leader of a thirty-year-old regime: dodging the ever first nationally organized debate for the Presidential hopefuls. To this effect, the nation and world over questioned his ability to take the country to the next level. As often the case, he condescended and played twinkle toes, much as he couldn’t pull it off forever. So much happened along the way, with the VOA journalist Shaka Ssali was chosen as moderator amongst the team of moderators and he was quoted saying he couldn’t attend in the event of him being the key moderator. Well, as usual, as his inconsistencies have often been his most upheld consistency he showed up: to a “Children’s debate’’ and also moderated by Shaka Ssali though not as the major moderator. Now that’s what we talk about when we talk about Cognitive Dissonance.

At the debate, where Foreign issues were tabled, he had this performance: Well, I am still in disbelief that he didn’t deflate on national TV because while he entered, you could imagine him asking to use iced water at the very moment of the first Question, thanks to the “comedy central” Elton Joseph Mabirizi who did a great job of keeping him alert to afford a smile whilst staying awake. I will quickly take you through to the end, his love for scripture is interesting, remember where he said:  “we shall know them by their fruits”. It left me thinking about the way of the devil as talked about the gospel of Mathew: “the ravenous wolves dressed in sheep clothing”. If we are going to use the word of God to misrepresent the enabling truths, we are no less the agents of the devil, that’s to President Museveni.Shortly, the following:

Business as usual, President Museveni asserted that rather talking about big things, the debate was wasting time on little things. This careless comment was made when asked about the integration question where instead of answering the question right away, he first looked for his arrogant switch button to insult the other debaters and the organizers, the good news is he ended up playing the best self-made victim to the insane and careless comments. As I have often said, the best time to do nothing is when an enemy is making a mistake; I was so at peace in my heart. In the words of James Baldwin: “Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel; the wet eyes of a sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty”

On oil, he says and believes the NRM, him as the commander in chief is everything there is to the oil discovery. That is insane and often misleads his perspective of thought on the dire need for him to wake up to the reality that Oil resource is for all Ugandans and not just a single party or president. I have grown very conscious of Mahatma Gandhi’s beautiful words: “Earth provides enough for every man’s need but not every man’s greed”. Every time I hear him lay claim to the oil without shame, I am left with no other option but to be reminded of this profound statement.

On the Congo saga to which we are owed ten billion shillings that Besigye properly tabled, he claims all there is to our involvement in DRC was to protect us from them, that’s befuddling of facts trying to overstep the avenues of truth.

On the ICC, President Museveni said a big YES to keeping Uganda out of it, that we often question knowing this a backup plan after the very nearing defeat: an escape route to the crimes he has committed against humanity while meddling Musevenism all the way. Nothing of this grim denouement was unforeseeable—–or, for that matter unforeseen.

DR.KIZZA BESIGYE WARREN KIFEFE (RTD COL): This is the leader of the strongest opposition party and the strongest opposition leader the Museveni government has ever known. At once, I would like to say very importantly, Dr.Besiigye broke the mold of conformism when he succeeded from the strayed NRM party fifteen years ago: Just like Museveni’s thirty years of Presidency matter,of course, without factoring Dr.Besigye’s earlier relationship with Museveni; we would be very unfair. That informs and ideally, illuminates—his perspective and carries a Positive symbolism that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. His towering intellect and trenchant wit have got most of the often ‘done’ things ‘done’: things not done till talked about.Museveni and his ‘worshippers’ have often besmirched him as a chaotic leader ever since his secession but that’s utterly untrue: Dr.Besigye is a true freedom fighter, one that cares about freedom for all, and would like everyone to move with a ‘swagger’. The most part of his political career as an opposition leader has been an authentic calling out of President Museveni’s meddling of dictatorship, a dictatorship they fought very hard to end with the bush war back in 1986, remember these twos were close allies then.

He did proud his party by showing up on both debates. He was very romantically attuned with his beautiful and highly intelligent wife Eng. Winnie Byanyima the director of Oxfam international. Earlier, on the first debate, he had proclaimed he wouldn’t show up in the event where the incumbent didn’t show up. Due to public outcry and advice from the different stakeholders, he showed up, to the debate dubbed a “Children’s Debate’’ by President Museveni.He did put up a great show for both debates and by the objective analysis provided very articulate for most of the ‘teething issues’. He tackled the often seriously avoided issues and gladly he could have a one-on-one rebuttal with the President (Museveni Y K).A few highlights:

Dr.Besigye continued to assert that its unfortunate power handover has never been peace in our country, that’s on record, and is something to worry about as well as pray for. To this, the often used chorus of his trails ever since he came through on the opposition ship made more meaning, to give power back to the people.

Dr.Besigye made a very highly fundamental point while stating his position on regional integration: “structural problems are the major hindrance to the integration: the problem is with the leaders and not the integration of the people”. Anyone very aware of history knows by fact check, that’s very true, if we can cite an example of the times of former Ugandan president the late Idi Amin and Tanzania’s Kambarage Julius Nyerere.

On foreign investors, he questioned the kind of investors the Museveni government has often given chances, calling them fake rather than foreign investors. He pointed out the example of Shimoni and Coffee marketing board, I can say as a matter of factly that was also the realest talk we had in the house. That is a very disheartening issue that needs to be looked into very seriously.

On Uganda’s involvement in Congo to which President Museveni tried to condescend peddling fiction, he made it very clear to the people that we need not try to look around for a way to bury the inconvenient truths but say it as it is: a very UNEXCUSABLE thing. His wife made a nod in total agreement, the kind of agreement your dear wife gives and the world admires in the background, and these two can surely make a great team: commander in Chief and first lady, respectively.

On the Oil question, whether it is a curse or not, Dr.Besigye gave the best deserving answer. He eloquently answered: “Yes, Oil is a curse in the hands of an an unaccountable and corrupt regime”.Dr.Besigye didn’t mince words when it came to reminding the president how the parliamentarians were ferried in army uniform to Kyankwanzi, where they were given good money, that finally lead to the passing of the oil clauses President Museveni had earlier mentioned. This question was a tone setter as per the revelations of the often made outlandish statements that it is “his” oil and he will not leave when it has just been discovered. In the wake of this comment, President Museveni shrunk, though he couldn’t swallow the pride even so.It is often ignored but what President Museveni intends to advance, looking at our oil as personal property, is totally out of step with history and constitutional principles.

His ending statement is very true of him: “I am an eternal optimist, that’s why I keep on trying”. This is one thing that any objective analyst would say of Dr.Besigye.His unwavering determination and dedication to the quest for freedom are a very important attribute to him.Dr.Besigye honestly has done all it takes, he has a very formidable work plan, he can do very beautifully as the next commander in chief.

HON.JOHN PATRICK AMAMA MBABAZI: He is a lawyer by profession and has quite a profile. He is a former prime minister and leader in various government positions. He has served and worked with President Museveni for over thirty years. He did quite fairly in the first presidential debate, him being a very recent defector from the conformism to Museveni, though still in the NRM.On the issues where he finds his hands in a very close relationship, he even often slides it off to having limited or no powers, while he worked with President Museveni.I find it very hard to believe his rhetoric wholesomely, he strikes me as a sincere-sounding liar, though can help in weakening the Museveni NRM base.

He did a very good display of information power, having served as security minister in Museveni’s time for a while; he called him out on the security he sings all over. He tactfully asked a few hard boiled questions. What kind of security are you talking about when eighty-three percent of the youth are unemployed? What sort of security are you talking about when the hospitals are in sorry state and expecting mothers die like chicken?Wow, these were very solid questions, thanks, John Patrick.

He is articulate on issues to do with transformative leadership since he envisions passing on leadership to the young people. Apparently, he has a great job to do to win the required support to win a national election, especially if Dr.Besigye is still around. That aside, he can be a good player in a non-corrupt government

MAJOR GEN (RTD) BENON BIRARO: He had a very nice presentation in the first debate, that can’t go without mentioning. Honestly, if he had come out earlier, he would be having a huge following already. I loved the most these two things: the Maputo declaration rhetoric and the Indian external benchmark. It was surely a very nice show out there. Wait, there is a part he bored me with the ‘Bushmen’ rhetoric, I have heard enough of it enough. Albeit, he did really well with the comeback when he said that the involvement of the army in the NAADs; “the army are not in the NAADs  to revamp the program, they are there to have some work to do other than the ‘nothingness’ in the army”. That was a very nice show for sure.

In the second debate, he still did well and I will cite out a few areas that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. He said, in regard to having out troops in the other countries, foreign policy is about national interests and certainly you can’t do that in isolation of your own country. That was very eloquent; everyone could feel that ringing truth therein.

As he noted on citizenship and being subjects, a citizen can be subject to the law, being a citizen oppressed by the government in power—-that’s what democracy ought to deal with. As I have often said of Dr.Besigye’s unfettered quest for freedom: “one has not only a legal responsibility to obey the just laws, conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey the unjust laws”. So, the way Biraro brought up his idea rings at peace with what I believe in, unapologetically.

ENG.ELTON JOSEPH MABIRIZI: He was the most ‘terrific’ candidate of the debates: comedy central’s mismatched talent in engineering. He didn’t have to convince you that he was on the wrong platform because it was practically showing. I know I can’t take away the constitutional right of any Ugandan to contest for Presidency but in my sincerest comment, he didn’t have to waste the twenty million Uganda shillings (the no- refundable fee of the EC).Again, I know it is okay to make headlines but honestly it’s not okay to forget that you are a father-figure in real life. His Children and wife may never recover from the humiliation he left for them to live with on that stage. I doubt he asked them how terrific he was when he stepped home. He strikes me as the kind, if elected, would be the direct equivalent of a weather vane that blows whichever way the wind blows, the good news is he can ‘never’ be President!

He did ‘great’ as usual in the second debate, a role play that no one could play perfectly; he is proof positive that everybody in the world is equally important. Let me explain: He took away President Museveni’s grim face, which he had entered with earlier, and also kept him awake with unstoppable laughter for the entire debate. He began by reminding the audience about the dire need to have women “down there –there” and went straight away to strip naked his drama script.When asked about Peace in the East African integration (Region), he bemoaned: we have to restore term limits if we want Peace, President Museveni’s two-minute laughter was at this point in time, actually he almost used a hankie to wipe off the tears of Joy down his chin.

Much as in his deluded mind he imagined himself as president, when he appeared late for the debate, saying he was just following protocol: the late appearance, him being president. The truth is Mabirizi is nuts and to take anything he says serious would be just to have a feel-good moment. We certainly do not need men like Elton Joseph Mabirizi anywhere even close to the local council; he should try his best suit: comedy!

Ms. MAUREEN KYALYA: Maureen Kyalya is the only female presidential contender in this historic election. I remember well, Maureen is the candidate that thinks sociology is the next word that Uganda needs. She had quite an impressive start. Where she said that there is tear gas at every police post than there is medicine in the hospitals. I swear I clapped for her on this. I saw my uncle Dr.Besigye smile (I wish I could insert the moment here).And then, she acted more of a petulant child when she broke out on the Basoga rhetoric. That turned me off. I have heard enough of it from a powerful lady I will not mention here.To assume the basoga are the most neglected would be a terrible thing to believe.

Maureen has a way of starting on fire; you can be seduced to like her just that her UK experience takes over thereafter: She makes me want to go to the United Kingdom very soon. The song she started with narrating the story of how President Museveni made them believe the ‘future’ was for them, then, was a winner. It was a class act out there, I earnestly admired that well-scripted act there, it reveals of the true Museveni: Kudos Maureen Kyalya!If you read my earlier column, PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S SLEW OF LIES here on the website, you know Maureen and I plus millions of  Ugandans we agree to this.

Well, as I said earlier, she starts well and soils everything up eventually. Maureen Kyalya, when asked on what she could do about terrorism, started off to pander over the issue with sheer nonsense, saying: “as a mother I can handle the terrorism affectionately”. Seriously? Does motherhood guarantee any special skill in dealing with terrorism? Well, if you are ignorant about this like I am, that’s the gospel according to Maureen Kyalya.It is extremely and purely unimaginable in the books of history: the day motherhood beat terrorism, terrific!

She was the other candidate that made a very great cause-effect for President Museveni’s light moment, especially when she publicly shared how she and Museveni had talked over recruiting him as presidential advisor if she ‘ever’ became president, the President laughed so very much as soon this came out of her mouth: to which he said she had actually proposed a VP  post that he declined, settling for presidential advisor.Well, again,the President found a very sweet friend in Kyalya other than the ‘renown’  Elton Joseph Mabirizi.Besides that, she can do something very productive as a women representative in a good government.

PROF.VERNASIUS BARYAMUREEBA: Former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University and other impressive duties. He is a very nice match for the post of minister of education and Sports, science and technology. The part where he says he has been in an executive position at Makerere. That was a very perfect inclusive of showing his potential in this ministry if ever appointed. Other than that, he may have some work to do to convince the nation that he is the right man for the job. He actually sadly, wryly laughed at himself when he imagined himself as president in the second debate.

Then again, on our brothers and sisters who are ill-treated in places they go to look for jobs since they can’t be availed back home, he didn’t mince words: “ those ambassadors in charge  are political failures who are appointed as consolation for their local humiliation”. That is a very sincere truth bomb, no one said ever.

He left the public to a biblical thought quoting from Deuteronomy chapter 34; this immersion in scripture is a thing I admire personally, being an ardent lover of the scripture. He is a very resourceful person since he has a snow ball’s chance in ever making it to the biggest office; he can concentrate on his university, for now, he gains ground.

Also: in the second debate, he impressed me major on these: a time when he said that Uganda’s involvement in every war that rings within is playing a “father-figure”, unnecessarily. That was a very hard hit on the government for sure. We can’t afford to play along in each and every war that sneezes from the near vicinity and the far end while ignoring the pertinent issues back home.

 

DR.ABED BWANIKA: A very pronounced agriculturalist. He too can do well in a good government under the ministry of animal husbandry and fisheries. It’s really unfortunate he has failed to fetch the necessary popularity to run the show. I must say he is someone who has very calculated plans at his fingertips, he must be a very good researcher for sure, and his presentation has very rich factual data.

It can’t go without saying that he gave a very brilliant answer when it came to the ‘popular’ Oil question: “Oil can never be a curse; it belongs to the people of Uganda, and not anyone in particular”. He went ahead to cement his point with the clarification that actually anyone who lays claim to the Oil as personal property is a very cruel human being. He envisions the oil resource as a tool and booster for socio-economic development: I totally agree with him, as long as it is not in the hands of a “corrupt and unaccountable regime”.

On the question of the ICC, Bwanika was very deeply disappointing, can’t believe he falls prey to President Museveni’s backup plan. The ICC may not be perfect but as regards justice, they are surely doing a very commendable job, to say Uganda should have pulled out of it yesterday scars the psyche. We can’t afford to see leaders get away with murder and crimes against humanity just because out rigid pan-African mindset is at work. To believe that flawed logic to the end would be very unbelievable: I refuse to buy into that sort of blurred rhetoric, with all my heart.

AN AIR OF FINALITY: I know for sure Pre-electoral bragging is watered down in the office by the realities of actual power (briefly, 1986-2016, breathe in twice).The illusions some of these candidates project that the incredible complexities of politics and economics, (both at home and abroad), can be solved by the simplistic solutions has never been so spine-chilling. The past few years have been frightening and fitful seasons (See the exhibits of unconstitutional constitutionalism… ‘Invisible constitution’, Laurence tribe, Harvard Law school) with moral outrage and police brutality, I see the Law as the sacrosanct. No matter the time lapse between now and the time justice is served, I believe in legal redress. On Election Day: Remember; “If you don’t vote, you don’t count’-Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer.

Sincerely, Grace Abaho, Sr. God bless y’all.

Operation Shellshocks: How SFC plans to secure NRM victory on Feb 18

Operation ShellShock worth $45m to rig elections
Strong indication is that if we manage to seal all rigging loopholes from polling stations, then the result transmission will be the vulnerable point for data manipulation. The Uganda Diaspora P10 has previously written to you about a potential back-end user theft to manipulate results.
Some new information has reached us further that the EC server that they have and show the public is a dummy. We now have been informed that the actual server is being controlled from SFC command in Entebbe by an Eastern European Syndicate called Kushev, who are associated with Russians and some businessmen in Kampala. The syndicate’s IT experts and high tecchy East European members have reached a deal of US$45m to hijack the EC server system and compromise tallies. Their operation is called “ShellShock” and some of the engineers are already in Kampala/Entebbe.
Briefly, the Shellshock problem is an example of an arbitrary code execution (ACE) vulnerability. Typically, ACE vulnerability attacks are executed on programs that are running at the background, and require a highly sophisticated understanding of the internals of code execution, memory layout, and assembly language—in short, this type of attack requires an expert. I detailed some of the requirements in my previous email.
Attacker will also use an ACE vulnerability to upload or run a program that gives them a simple way of controlling the targeted machine. This is often achieved by running a “shell”. A shell is a command-line where commands can be entered and executed. The recently discovered 20,000 ghost voters, apparently, were a test sample of their efficiency.
According to their plan, the server will be hijacked and controlled remotely so that whatever entry is made is automatically changed from Entebbe. Kiggundu’s people will be denied access to the server with 7 hrs left to announcing the results in full knowing of Eng Kiggundu, of course.
In my previous email, I had identified some very specific pointers that the FDC EC and its IT team should have taken care of with Kiggundu’s EC. This is a reminder, that the targeted victory for NRM is between 64-69% and this is precisely why they are bragging and running business as usual.
The source of this information is IT trained. He is a Ugandan with the knowledge of their WiT (Wise Intelligence Technology) programme and is familiar with this operations.
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