President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has lamented that opposition parties are planning to use a number of schemes to rig elections.
In a commentary released recently, Museveni who is the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer however said those involved in the schemes will be held accountable.
“Some elements will use Computers to disorganize the voters’ register; they will use the Computers to change the results at the stage of transmission; they will bribe the election officials to rig for them etc,” Museveni said.
Adding; “All stand warned. All those involved in those schemes will be held accountable. Moreover, even those who hear of those schemes but do not report, will be held accountable Abaragaine tibetana (a pre –arranged rendezvous excludes any further communication).”
Election Rigging in Uganda
In 2014 Museveni penned an 11-page missive titled: Election Rigging in Uganda 1961-2014 in which he chronicled his own account of Uganda’s electoral history, dating to the first pre-Independence election in 1961 right through to the last general election in 2011.
He argued that “elements from the Opposition, totally lacking in ideology or mission other than thirst for power and money, engage in rigging where the NRM vigilance goes down.”
Museveni’s apprehension comes after the launch of the Biometric Voter Verification System by the electoral commission.
THE JOY OF CAMPAIGNING FOR THE NRM IN 2015-2016
Some weeks ago, I wrote an article under the same heading to inform the readers about my observations on the campaign trail. Today, the 17th January, 2016, I have addressed rallies in 196 constituencies without including the one I will address today in the Kasese Municipality.
It has really been a joy to campaign for the NRM during this election. It reminds me of the 1996 Elections when the people of Uganda massively rejected Rt. Hon. Paul Ssemwogere’s efforts to return Uganda to the sectarian politics of the past in spite of the insurgency that was still going on in the North of our country at that time. In the peaceful parts of the country, however, the population massively rejected Ssemwogere’s message and rallied around the NRM.
This time, the support for the NRM is countrywide. The universal enthusiasm for the NRM, the difficulties caused by the primaries notwithstanding, is on account of three factors, in my opinion: the peace in the whole country because of the strength of the UPDF (following the defeat of Kony and the ADF and the disarming of the cattle rustlers of Karamoja); the tarmacking of more roads in the country, especially using Uganda Government money; and the massive expansion of the electricity transmission network to almost all the districts of Uganda (except for Kotido, Kaabong, Nwoya and Buvuma). Fortunately, even for those four, plans are afoot for taking electricity there. Even where the electricity has not yet arrived, the people have hope because they have heard of the neighbours that have got the electricity.
I have now directed the Government that since electricity transmission has now been achieved or is about to be achieved up to the district level, we should now plan systematically and transparently to take electricity to the sub-counties first, starting with the old sub-county headquarters. As you take electricity to the old sub-county headquarters, you provide transformers and connections to the villages and trading centres on the way. This will eliminate the complaints of smaller centres getting electricity while the bigger ones have not yet got. The rationale for this distribution should be clear and well explained. Hence, the sub-counties and centres that have not yet got the electricity such as Rhino Camp, Terego, Obongi, Midigo, Kapelabyong, Toroma, Kashongyi, Bihanga, etc., etc., should know when they will get electricity. The same with tarmac roads. All the major roads that we wanted to tarmac now have funds, mainly from the Government of Uganda but also from some of the external sources. The last one that got funding from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) was Rwenkunyu-Masindi Port-Lira-Kitgum Road. We are now identifying new roads that will be designed for tarmacking.
Knowing that we cannot tarmac all the roads, we have arranged to buy good equipment from Japan to give to the districts so that each district has two graders (one Chinese and one Japanese), has a wheel-loader (mwetiihe), has a road compacter, a water – bowser and two tippers. Then, at the zonal level, there will be a caterpillar with its low-loader for transporting it to deal with the new murram roads (kutembuura) or to work on the difficult old ones like the road to Bukimbiri (Rubuguri) from Kisoro or from Rubuguri to Busanza in Kisoro that had stone patches in the roads (ebibaare). These should be bulldozed or even blasted with appropriate explosives. Their fragments would be used to improve the roads. The roads built by the Romans 2000 years ago are still in use in Rome. Our granite rock out-crops (amabaare) are much stronger than the Roman ones. On the issue of murram roads, there is also the possibility of applying soil stabilization chemicals that can make murram roads last for 15 years. Some individuals in the Ministry of Works have been blocking this technology for their own corrupt interests. However, God, who loves Uganda, has exposed the schemes of these corrupt elements to us. The technology for soil stabilization for the murram roads, once the due diligence is done, if it is viable, will be acquired. This will make travelling, both on tarmac roads and the murram ones, most enjoyable and efficient.
Many parishes have government Primary Schools, many sub-counties have Government Secondary Schools. The ones that do not have, will get. Out of 7,409 parishes of Uganda, 5,667 parishes have Government Primary Schools. Out of the 1,500 sub-counties, 971 sub-counties have got Government Secondary Schools.
The same with the Health Centres. Out of the previous 238 constituencies (previously 150), 193 have Health Centre IVs (county Health Centres); out of the 1500 sub-counties, 930 sub-counties have Health Centre IIIs (Amagomborora Health Centres). The complaints are that there are drug thefts and absenteeism by the Health Workers. During the campaigns, I am able to point out that the Government has put in place the Health Monitoring Unit headed by Dr. Atwiine, which has made 227 arrests. The only problem now is the Judiciary which releases those accused. I have brought this to the attention of the Chief Justice. Besides, I have also pointed it out to the Public during some of the rallies (Bunyaruguru, Kahungye, etc.), that the NRM, right from the beginning, empowered the People by giving them structures manned by people elected by them rather than just depending on the public servants (Gombolola Chief, DC, etc.) as previously. Why did we add LCV and LC III chairpersons? We already had the DCs. Through the LCIII and the LCV, the people have their own mizindaaro (loud-speakers-voice) to defend their interests. These are governments that are near the problem of the stealing of drugs, the absenteeism of the Health workers, the inspection of the Government Schools etc. They can easily monitor performance. The Secretariat of the Party and the RDCs can also monitor the delivery of these services. Our candidates at Kahungye pledged before the People to sort out this issue. Our candidates everywhere need to pay attention to the relationship between the masses and the local elite. The Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) officers should consult the masses when they are distributing the seedlings and the livestock, the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) needs to consult the masses when they are running schools and the Health workers should hold Parish Public meetings to hear the comments of the Public about their work; the LC3 chairperson and the Gombolola chief should lead in this effort of ensuring customer (masses) satisfaction with the services provided and so should the NRM Secretariat through the Administrative Secretaries.
In some areas (Mayuge, Namayingo, Bukaanga, Isingiro, Bunyaruguru, Kashongyi, etc.), the issue of water came up because the boreholes, which have provided answers in other areas, do not yield water here either because the areas are mountainous or because the under-ground rock does not permit accessible sub-terrenean aquifers. The answer here is to transfer water from far, push it to a high point and it comes down by gravity. The sources for such water are there: Lake Victoria, Lake Kakyeera, River Kagyera with Tanzanians’ agreement. We have not as yet put as much money in water (shs 576.billion) as we have put in the roads (shs. 3,442 billion), electricity (shs. 2,858 billion), Education (Shs. 2,321 billion), Health (shs1,301 billion) or Defence (Shs.1,400.billion). Why have we not done so yet? It is because we cannot do everything at one go. Since we have achieved a decent level of funding the five crucial areas per annum (roads, electricity, education, Health and Defence), we are going to turn to other areas: water, veterans’ pensions, cattle compensation, pay for Public Servants, Wealth Creation Funds (NAADS, Youth Fund, Women Fund, Micro-Finance and the Innovation Fund) and other issues.
On account of the undeniable achievements of the NRM, certain challenges notwithstanding, it has really been a joy to stand atop my campaign vehicle and look at the huge masses of, mainly, our children, grandchildren and, sometimes, great grandchildren in their excitement as they express support for the NRM. The children are in their forties (mothers and fathers). The grand-children are in their teens and their twenties. The great grandchildren are babies, toddlers etc. carried by their parents to come and see the “Oldman with a hat”! It is so pleasant and satisfying given the 50 years I have put in the struggle for Africa.
There are also the elderly, in their 50s, 60s, and 70s or even older. The rallies have really been massive – 20,000; 50,000;100,000; or even 200,000, totally spontaneous, walking to and from the rally sites on foot. My convoy, while rushing to the helicopter pad after the rally, must move carefully in order not to cause accidents as we snake our way through the throngs moving away from the rallies. Yet we are hard-pressed to get to the next rally because I address four rallies a day, or sometimes, five rallies if there are some local contradictions. A few lorries bring in delegates from the other sub counties where the rallies are not held.
The only inconvenience has been the funding. Ugandans that are wealthy or not so badly off do not bother with funding the NRM. I have told you before that I hear that there are six million account holders in Banks. If each one contributed, one time, shs.50,000, we would collect shs.300bn, enough to fund comfortably this campaign and start on building the NRM House as well as paying for Kyadondo Plot 10. Even if you assumed that only 5 million were NRM sympathizers, that would give us shs.250bn. Obukorwa tibwiita bukombeera (The mongoose though tiny will kill a big animal by combining effort). Small contributions from a large number of people will bring in more money than a few big contributors. I am grateful to the big contributors; they have solely carried the burden. Again, the Account no. is 1100039293 (Shs Account) and 1100069362 (Dollar Account) in the Housing Finance Bank.
I am, however, happy that some NRM members have started making financial and material contribution. People in Rubabo gave me a Friesian cow. People in Ibanda gave me 30 Friesian cows; Kazo 127cattle (long horn); Nyabushozi – 120 cattle (long horn); Kashongyi – 50 Friesians; a cow from Mrs. Muhindo in Kisinga; about 5 cows (friesians) in Kitagwenda; a cow from the woman flag bearer of Kabarole – the young Ms. Sylvia Rwabwogo; Shs.12 million from the NRM Chairman of Nakapiripirit; 25 million from the traders of Ntungamo; shs.1.5 million from a young supporter from Bugabula South whose name should be traced and his contribution acknowledged. There were also goats, sheep, chicken and pigs contributed in some of these places. The Secretariat is directed to gather all these livestock and, initially, put them in Ngoma Farm as we arrange for their long–term management and multiplication. On account of trying to manage with limited funds, we have not yet funded the NRM flag bearers beyond paying their nomination fees. We had to deal with the urgent events such as the two National Conferences, the NEC meetings, the registration of NRM members, the nomination of NRM flag-bearers, the Presidential rallies etc., etc. We will soon, however, manage to fund the village meetings, the flag bearers and keep some money for votes protection, using adjusted budgets. With more funding, things would have been smoother. We would have organizationally consolidated the mass enthusiasm for the NRM to create more cohesion. It will still be done although it has taken longer.
Our people are complaining about the shortage of tee-shirts and posters. It is all to do with funding. Should we fund village meetings or should we fund the purchase of the tee-shirts and posters? We have bought some but not enough.
In the meantime, through intelligence and crime detection, I hear of desperate schemes from the Opposition. Some of the schemes are stated below. Some elements will use Computers to disorganize the voters’ register; they will use the Computers to change the results at the stage of transmission; they will bribe the election officials to rig for them etc., etc. All stand warned. All those involved in those schemes will be held accountable. Moreover, even those who hear of those schemes but do not report, will be held accountable Abaragaine tibetana (a pre –arranged rendezvous excludes any further communication).
The future of Uganda is bright. Down with the schemers. It says in the Book of Ezekiel 33:6 that “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for this blood”. It also says: “ziryabareeba ababikola, naabo ababishemererwa” – Isaiah 5:20-21 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!”
I thank you.
Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (rtd)
CHAIRMAN NRM, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA AND PRESIDENTIAL FLAG-BEARER FOR THE NRM PARTY