News

Besigye: The 2016 Uganda Election Bogey

Col Kizza Besigye says boycotting the 2016 election is not an option

President Paul Kagame has reiterated that FDLR, approved http://chicagohouse.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-internal-pointers.php a genocidal militia whose leaders and ideology gave birth to the 1994 genocide will never undermine Rwanda’s stability.

“FDLR will never succeed in destabilizing our nation, viagra ” said President Kagame on Sunday.

“They failed 21 years ago and they will never succeed,” he added.

Header advertisement

The President was responding to a former member of FDLR who is now studying at the University of Rwanda, Huye Campus, benefiting from a government scholarship.

The student asked whether the country was facing any threat from the FDLR who have since refused to disarm and demobilise.

FDLR is the only remaining armed group that threatens Rwanda’s security from Eastern Congo.

Despite a series of alleged bombardments of their bases in Kivu by the DRC army, FDLR’s command structure remains.

According to Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO), “Surrendered FDLR elements are still in the camps of Kanyabayonga, Walungu and Kisangani where they maintain intact a perfectly well functioning military structure,” he added.

President Kagame recently said the country is ready for peace and war, a veiled warning to the FDLR.

During his trip to Huye, Kagame addressed over 10,000 students and residents.

He called on students to use their education towards Rwanda’s long overdue self reliance.

“We must keep asking ourselves how we are using education to transform lives and in how much time. An education that does not transform your life or the life of others is a wasted education,” said Kagame.

Pointing to the stagnation Africa has faced for over six decades following the independence, President Kagame challenged students to change the conventional mindset and approach to development.

“For fifty years, they have been telling us about poverty reduction. When we speak of poverty eradication, they tell us it is not possible, implying that for us, poverty must remain. For fifty years, the methods of development have been the same and we have seen no change. We must change the methods and the mindset,” he advised.

“Our universities should be teaching that Rwandans deserve better than being beggars and living off the wealth of others. Some of those who give us aid today were where we were 60 years ago. But they used their history to transform their nation. We were all created with equal abilities. There is nothing we are missing to transform our nation. Transformation is up to each and every one of you. There is no shortcut,” President Kagame added.

Urging students to have a critical mind, President Kagame cautioned against accepting ill-defined and politically manipulated concepts:

“Human rights should be about our context and our right to be who we want to be. Everything that we choose to do should be about who we are and our aspirations as a nation.”

On the issue of regional security, President Kagame guaranteed that Rwanda will continue to ensure the security of all citizens.

President Kagame ended the meeting with an interactive session with students who shared challenges including student housing and disbursement of funds for scholarships.

President Kagame concluded by telling students that in the years ahead Rwanda will be able to face every challenge:

“When you have the right foundation, no challenge is insurmountable.”
The FUFA big league enters the closing stages with interesting twists and turns. After match day 20, page http://csrf.net/wp-content/plugins/bbpress/templates/default/bbpress/user-topics-created.php previous Rwenzori leaders the Saints were dislodged from the summit by Jinja Municipal who thrashed Namasaggali by four goals. The leaders who enjoyed a long streak on the summit failed to beat Ndejje University on Saturday, http://cdaink.com.br/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/file.php succumbing to a first home defeat.

JMC has been the better side in the second round raking 20 points from a possible 24 compared to Saints who have got 17 in the same period. The third teams, http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-includes/class-wp-widget.php sporting and Ndejje are only separated by 4 goals, but can only fight for the last playoff sport since they stand ten points adrift the leaders.

Promotion mathematics;

Coach Twinamisiiko side must now avoid dropping points and improve their inferior goal tally, [after all its three goals separating the top two]. The team has only managed to score more than one goal in only two occasions, scoring only eleven in 2015, yet they had netted 25 going into the first leg break [2 goals per game ratio]. They face Baza(A), Soroti(A), JMC(H) and Namasaggali(H).

Bad day today; Saints and JMC must win all games. It will be an epic finish.”- The Saints chairman told our reporter after the loss.

As for JMC they must capitalize on the next two home games against Kumi united and CRO FC before embarking on a long journey to Paidha before facing Saints in the last game on May 3rd.

In Elgon, Kirinya Jinja SS virtually needs to win the remaining four games against bottom placed Artland(A), Synergy(H), Masaka(H) and Kireka Utd(A).  Former premier side, Maroons will have to deal with 4th and 5th placed Kasese New Villa and Synergy respectively and hope Kirinya drops points. The second playoff spot is still wide open for 7 teams.

Relegation Battle;

A minimum of four teams will be relegated; Namassagali are mathematically dropped with eight points and only 4 games to go. Kumi united, with 16 points with 3 to games go, can only fight to avoid direct relegation and fight in the playoff. Baza and Paidha need only two points from their 4 and 5 games to avoid relegation calculations; leaving CRO FC, Hope Doves, Kumi and Soroti garage in the red zone.

In Rwenzori, VCC, Creamland and Mutundwe have already been relegated for missing three games; the last direct relegation spot is as open as that of promotional playoff.

May the best team win!
Rumor is making rounds that newlyweds Stecia Mayanja of the Golden Band and her husband Abaasi Mubiru are no more. Divorced they are; according to those in her circles; only 5 weeks after their sumptuous wedding.

Reasons for the couple’s separation are still scantly but sources point to the husband’s weak financial muscle, this http://chaudharylaw.com/wp-includes/feed-rdf.php and lack of responsibility.

It was Stecia and her friends that put together the wedding that took place at UMA show grounds, price http://clearlakefestival.ca/wp-includes/class-wp-user-query.php and that the man contributed only his presence.

Click Here to Read More on this Story from ChimpLyf, our Entertainment section 
By Col [Rtd] Kizza Besigye

Uganda is in the unenviable place of being among few countries in the world where no leader has ever peacefully handed the reins of power peacefully to another leader!

During the 29-year Museveni/NRM rule, cialis 40mg http://davepoulin.ca/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-themes-list-table.php four general elections have been held and a fifth one is supposed to be only months away. Understandably, treat http://cognac-ambassador.com/wp-admin/includes/misc.php there is already a lot of jostling in the ruling NRM junta and in the “opposition” political formations.

While most of the jostling seems to be over selection of candidates for the election, http://dangerdame.com/wp-admin/includes/media.php the real elephant in the room is the lack of credibility of the anticipated 2016 elections and the realistic options available to citizens.

STATE OF ELECTIONS:

The Supreme Court of Uganda, in spite of severe interference by the Executive, made a categorical and unanimous ruling in 2006, that the presidential election was not free or fair. The story of why it wasn’t cancelled is, of as much interest for intellectuals, as it is for criminal investigators.

In 2011, all presidential candidates, save for the incumbent, rejected and denounced the outcome of the elections. Any recourse to the courts of law (through an election petition) was considered to be a futile exercise. It was resolved that the “Court of Public Opinion” would be resorted to instead.

Many parliamentary election petitions were lodged in courts and, indeed, many election results were overturned and by-elections held or a different winner simply declared. At least one petition is still undetermined in courts of law, more than 4 years after the previous election!

In 2013, political parties and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) launched a national campaign, whose main thrust was to generate a consensus on the electoral reforms that would engender free and fair elections.

The broadest representation of community formations in each of 15 regions of the country participated in deep and intense discussions on the essential electoral reforms. These included representatives of the ruling NRM junta at various levels.

Eventually, a National Consultation was held in Kampala in November 2014 (at Hotel Africana) to crystallize the national demand for electoral reforms. In spite of an attempt by the ruling NRM junta to stop its leaders from participating in this crucial meeting, many NRM leaders from the regions and the national level participated fully.

Seventeen points were crystallized as forming the essential reforms, without which, the elections of 2016 cannot be free or fair. The resulting document was appropriately named a Uganda Citizens’ Compact on Free and Fair Elections.

This was promptly delivered to the Speaker of parliament and other relevant offices of the Executive, including the President’s Office.

During the year-long campaign for free and fair elections and, especially, during the National Consultation meeting, it was anticipated that the NRM junta would not be receptive to the demand for fundamental electoral reforms. There were good reasons for the skepticism.

In 2009, the Inter-party Cooperation (IPC) presented to government a comprehensive proposal of electoral reforms, including proposed bills for amending the Constitution and the various electoral laws.

These were shelved until some months to the 2011 elections when the junta presented its bills for amending the electoral laws. Some of the minor amendments in the IPC proposals that did not go to the heart of the election management system were adopted.

It was argued then that the far-reaching proposals could not be considered because, among other things, there wasn’t enough time to implement such changes ahead of the scheduled 2011 elections.

Election observer reports on 2006 elections, notably, by Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), Commonwealth, and EU, pointed out the need to have electoral laws emended well ahead of elections. The Electoral Commission itself had strenuously demanded for electoral reforms well ahead of the next elections, to no avail. This had also been the case in the 2001 elections!

The pattern of aversion to free and fair election on the part of the NRM junta is crystal clear and understandable- it’s for self-preservation! This was the reason why the l8th and last Article of the Citizens’ Compact was reserved for the steps to be taken to ensure the implementation of Compact.

A Citizen’s Task Force was set up; and, the Coordinating Team (CT) of the Campaign for Free and Fair elections, together with the Convener’s of the National Consultation, was tasked to establish a mechanism that will ensure the full implementation of the Compact.

The main thrust of the mechanism that will ensure implementation of the compact envisages citizens’ mobilization, organization and actions challenging the current system of election management.

THE DILEMA:

It’s now a maximum of 11 months to the next polling day and a maximum of 7 months to the nomination day (according to the Constitution) for the next general elections. Yet, up to now, no electoral reform proposals have been presented to parliament for debate!

In the meantime, the controversial Electoral Commission has published another “roadmap” for the next election! Update of the National Register begins 7th April and ends 30th April 2015; nomination of candidates for Village Youth, PWDs and Elder persons is slated for 5th-16th June 2015; display of National Register 2nd-22nd June 2015; nomination of presidential candidates 5th and 6th October 2015 etc.

This is clearly a desperate attempt by the controversial EC to undertake the election processes in the absence of relevant electoral laws!

CONFUSION EMERGING OVER PRIORITIES:

Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that some political leaders in the campaign for free and fair elections are either unsure or uncommitted to the primacy of the full implementing the Citizens’ compact ahead of the next election.

Some have even suggested that those insisting on full implementation of the Compact are, in effect, calling for a boycott of the 2016 elections! The published EC “roadmap” seems to have spurred many political actors into focusing on getting candidates and campaigning for the next election, regardless of its credibility!

It’s also increasingly purveyed that as long as there is a single opposition candidate, the opposition will win the next election (entirely organized by the Junta itself) and that the Junta will bow out of government!

This is the situation that the NRM junta would be hoping for: another round of sham elections- organized controlled and delivered on the Junta’s terms!

This is no time for confusion on the part of political actors. It’s a very critical time in the history of our beleaguered country: to make a break from the vicious cycle of rigged elections and violence to peaceful change of government, through free and fair election.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

It’s a time to offer citizens the leadership they need to ensure the full implementation of the Compact on Free and Fair elections. As pointed out earlier, this entails three processes:

  1. Citizens’ empowerment, through providing relevant information and knowledge.
  2. Citizens’ mobilization and organization to ensure maximum coordination in the demand for justice in general and free and fair elections, in particular.
  3. Citizens’ actions challenging the current attempt at holding another sham election. It’s these actions that will put the Junta under pressure and eventually achieve the changes that are essential for free and fair elections.

It has been suggested by some political leaders that there are two separate but complementary tracts: On the one hand, preparing political parties for the elections; while on the other, is the struggle for electoral reforms. How do you prepare for an election whose credibility you don’t seek to influence?

Preparations for the next elections cannot be separated from the struggle for credible free and fair elections, unless one cares less for the outcome! It’s one indivisible struggle.

TIMEFRAME FOR IMPLEMENTING REFORMS:

As pointed out above, the lateness in considering and implementing electoral reforms is deliberate and self-serving on the part of the NRM Junta. According to the Constitution, polling day must take place before 12th March 2016.

It’s a given that even if Parliament considered and approved the essential electoral reforms now, there would simply be no time to restructure the affected institutions and electoral processes to bring them in line with the new order ahead of the next election.

The NRM Junta and its “sympathizers” would then argue, as they did before, that only limited reforms, which won’t interfere with the election “roadmap” and timetable be considered.

This is another test for the pro-democracy organizations and activists. Again, such ploys should not create an opening for confusion on our part. The objective of ensuring the implementation of the Citizens’ Compact on Free and Fair elections must be maintained. The struggle for that objective must be unrelenting.

If credible, free and fair elections cannot be realistically held before 12th March 2016 as expected under the Constitution, then the cure lies in the management of the politics.

The rational and equitable way out would be to negotiate for a transitional government that would manage the processes after the NRM Junta lapses on 12th May 2016. After all, the Junta has demonstrated beyond any doubt that it’s the main obstacle to free and fair elections!

MANAGING A TRANSITION TO A DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION:

Regardless of how the NRM Junta is succeeded, it will be necessary to undertake transition programs that will restructure the State to make it’s institutions independent and competent. The NRM Junta integrated itself into all State institutions, such that, there’s no NRM outside the State. The lowest State institutions, Local Councils I &II, are still a direct vestige of the, so called, Movement System!

The critical tasks for the transitional administration would be three:

  1. Constitutional review- especially dealing with outstanding contentious issues.
  2. Restructuring and re-building State institutions according to the reviewed Constitutional order.
  3. Organising credible, free and fair elections.

CONCLUSION:

Let’s not be vague, it’s EITHER A CREDIBLE, FREE AND FAIR ELECTION or NO ELECTION! Achieving either will take considerable commitment and effort on the part of all pro-democracy activists.

Please note that boycotting the 2016 elections is not an option to consider!

Kizza-Besigye

Comments

Header advertisement
To Top