Sunday, April 11, 2010

We should forgive NRM leaders their mistakes if that way they can leave in peace.

Ritter Mathias, the Muhlbauer programme manager, presenting a specimen of the national identity card in Kampala

Govt unveils national identity card
NRM is a sad story. The Government that came to power to deliver goods for the better of the people cannot get involved in looting! It becomes hard to believe some of what goes on in Government. When a story like that of what went on with CHOGM funds is told; right thinking people simply cannot believe. Executive authority can no the misused to such impunity! If new national identity cards are coming on the scene, just pray that foreigners don’t get them because it looks like everything has gone wrong and there is no more feeling of shame.
If over a million voters are known to be on the voters’ register, it ceases to be a valid voters’ register and the sensible thing to do is simple, just do the registration process afresh. The wrongs by the NRM can only be forgiven by Ugandans. Resources are simply being wasted and people are languishing in absolute poverty never seen in the country. Matters of the country can greatly be improved but the NRM cannot do much to change the tarnished face. We can only forgive their sins and request them to rest, short of that even if they win another election by whatever methods, they will simply take the country from the frying pan to fire itself.
If Only God could this time listen to our prayers and get the NRM out of Uganda’s leadership; because with sanity, the country still has hope.
William Kituuka

By Barbara Among

THE German firm, Mühlbauer Technology Group, yesterday unveiled the new national identity card at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

The ID card will be made of polycarbonate (plastic) material. It will have as visible features a picture of the card holder, a signature, date of birth, sex, card number, date of expiry, a thumb print and the national flag with the map of Uganda.

It will have additional invisible features, such as tribe, clan, village, parish, district, details of spouses, with provision of up to four wives, and children.

The sh185b project will first cover the new voters for the 2011 general elections, estimated at 3.5 million people. They are supposed to get their ID cards by October this year.

Under the second phase, Ugandans who are already on the voters’ list, a total of 10.5 million, will have their bio-data updated.

They are expected to get their ID cards in the next two years.
The German firm yesterday kick-started the training of 450 trainers who will in turn train 8,000 operators to carry out the voter registration at parish level.

However, Mühlbauer Technology Group did not respond to media reports which claimed that the price of the project was highly inflated.

The Observer yesterday quoted similar projects in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania which cost sh53b and sh41b respectively although they have larger populations.

Questions have also been raised about the procurement process. A tender for the ID cards project in 2005 was cancelled by the IGG due to irregularities and corruption.

The three bidders were South African Face Technologies, Indian Contec Global and an Israel company called Supercom. Mühlbauer Technology Group was not one of the bidders.

Instead, the German company bid for the Electoral Commission bio-metric voter registration last year but the process was stopped by the procurement authority, PPDA, in December due to irregularities in the evaluation process. PPDA advised the Electoral Commission to re-evaluate the bids.

However, the commission did not follow this advice and abandoned the tendering process altogether.

Last month, the Ministry of Internal Affairs signed a contract with Mühlbauer for not only the ID cards but also the bio-metric voter registration system.

A third concern raised is about the type of ID card, which uses barcode technology.

The East African Community secretariat as far back as 2008 advised Uganda to abandon that type of technology because it was unsuitable and not compatible with other countries in the region.

“The experts advised Uganda to use the smart card technology which Tanzania has opted for,” said Monique Mukaruliza, the chairperson of the EAC council of ministers, during a session of the EAC Parliament in December 2008.

The smartcard technology uses a chip instead of a barcode. A chip can accommodate a lot more information, such as medical records, criminal records, educational data, driving permits and social security data.
It can also authenticate fingerprints and photographs, which are additional safeguards against forgeries.

“A smartcard is critical for e-government,” an expert told The New Vision.

“You present your card to a hospital and it shows your blood group, medical history, the treatment you are on or the medicines you are allergic to.

“It can also contain A’level and O’level results or the schools somebody attended.”

Asked for a reaction last week, internal affairs minister Kirunda Kivejinja, also the chairman of the security committee handling the project, declined to give details, arguing that the national identification project was a matter of national security.

“This is a national security matter I don’t have to discuss with the press,” he said.

He added that the deal would not be presented before Parliament as some MPs had demanded.

“There are certain things I do not have to go to the Cabinet and Parliament for.”

NRM Inquiry Reveals How a Million 'Ghost' Voters Got to EC Register
Daily Monitor broke the story of one million 'ghost' voters in the Electoral Commission register. Here is the full Executive summary of the report. This document is an internal confidential document prepared for the Office of the NRM Secretariat as an NRM study on Election Fraud and ways to combat it. It was carried out from May 2008- August, 2009. These are preliminary findings of a wide study and all property; intellectual rights belong to the research team. This has been a voluntary effort for purposes of strengthening NRM Party Systems. The views expressed in this document are entirely the views of the team and are not in any way a reflection of views or opinions of the party Leadership.
At the beginning of 2008, the Secretary General of National Resistance Movement (NRM), Mr Amama Mbabazi, tasked us, a team of NRM volunteer researchers, to analyse the 2006 elections and all past elections with a view of informing the party leadership on facts that would create the basis for the preparations for 2011 general elections to all elective posts competed for under the Multi-party dispensation.
Terms of reference
The criteria given for this analysis was an honest and frank reflection on the NRM structures taking into consideration that "Synergy" starts at the grass-root but with emphasis on the following; Analyse the effectiveness of the NRM structures. Generate area specific questions at the parish level for districts. This is to help party leadership understand national performance in 2006. Assess the effectiveness of the current party communication tools. Analyse the internal primaries on the party cohesion especially the phenomenon of independent candidates.
Analyse the potential threat of party disunity to NRM. Analyse the methodology of data collection and NRM effectiveness at using that data. The performance of the NRM Presidential candidate was in the Secretary General's opinion not a true reflection of the Party's Performance. He strongly believed that the National Resistance Movement candidate did indeed score 70 per cent. The group was to identify all methods used by the opposition to "create" this 59 per cent score.

Analyse the effectiveness of the NRM database and member register to give accurate data on possible trends and how to manage the overall percentage of all flag-bearers. In event of NRM adopting a policy of adult suffrage, what were the likely repercussions? Use the lessons learned from Kinkizi West, Kanungu 2001 (Mbabazi vs Musinguzi) to understand ways to prevent opposition rigging and opposition pre-organised chaos, pre-meditated negative propaganda and the effectiveness of their propaganda in creating a mindset of perceived NRM rigging. Give strategic ideas to ensure the NRM Presidential candidate in 2011 has 80 per cent of the Presidential vote cast. Suggest ways all office bearers being elected on the same day have a unified strategy that is infallible but based on total internal party discipline and strict adherence to the NRM code of conduct and ideology.
Of particular interest were the 14 polling stations in Moroto County, Lira where the NRM Presidential candidate scored zero or one which was less than the (two) appointed NRM election agents and the 15 elected leaders on branch level. Each polling station comprising at least four villages (branch). Also of interest where the army polling stations in Lira and Kitgum where no voting occurred. Any other matters arising from the statistical data including a prediction of plan A or B that the opposition might have planned down to a plus-minus three per cent prediction. How best to create a Relational database that would contain all NRM members and would be used to ensure free and fair elections within NRM and at national level.
To analyse the past three elections, The group sought and collected information from the NRM branch executive, NRM district representatives, National Electoral Commission results of 1996, 2006 polling station by polling station and 1996, 2001 and 2006 tally sheets, and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics census 2002. We also sampled the districts of Abim and Nakasongola with regard to the NRM database and registered voters.
Our observations
Having examined all general election results from the Movement system to present day (1996-2006), we have found un-refuted indications of rigging in all three elections. The group also found among others;
The "Buzaaya County" effect of 1996 where polling stations were counted twice by Electoral Commission. The persistence of "Buzaaya" especially in Kampala needs to be addressed. Subsequently, we have downgraded the Presidential candidate score of Mr Yoweri Museveni from 4.4 million to 4.3 million to reflect the right score. After adjustment, Yoweri K. Museveni scored 75 per cent in 1996. The "Ayivu effect" 2006 where the NRM failed to prevent internal rigging in NRM elections and caused the NRM Presidential candidate to lose a former NRM stronghold (protest vote for opposition).
The "Mushanje effect" - Rubanda County West, Kabale 2006, where the NRM (Museveni) candidate's victory declared at the polling station was altered and recorded as a Besigye victory at National Electoral Commission. This was done by the presiding officer who probably signed a new declaration sheet after polling. We have no way of authenticating signatures or a citizens' register from which to compare and cross match.
Numbers decided before the elections
The skewed results show that the opposition has been manipulating results. Indeed, they have been in control of middle management of the National Electoral Commission Uganda (ECU) since 2001. They have subsequently built "One Million Ghosts" on the electoral roll and the integrity of the data has been compromised.
The number of people that are registered twice is alarming and is prevalent in Kasese and Lira, with some being registered 20 times. The number of new villages containing one registered voter has also risen to dangerous levels spurred on by an unclear policy on village creation and corruption at the top of Electoral Commission. The inflated levels of villages created by corrupt officials is also a leading factor in this new phenomenon that our group has termed "Demographic gerrymandering"
Demographic gerrymandering.
The group shall show the mixed strategy of add/subtract where select voters were disenfranchised and deleted from the 2001 roll. In addition, voters grew in some areas with an aim of changing the whole political landscape.
The ECU claimed in K.W. Besigye vs Electoral Commission 1st respondent, Y.K. Museveni 2nd respondent (Supreme Court, 2006) that about 33,000 were deleted. Indeed, this only makes up five per cent of total deleted. Why did they massively delete bonafide voters and what implication did it have to the final result?
The NRM voter registration exercise has found entire villages missing from the roll. In totality when one looks at the roll, one is not immediately struck by the gerrymandering, It is only when one separates the two that one can clearly see the machination. Ghost voters and phantom villages.
In Rubanda West for example, over 630 voters out of 1,600 voters in Ikumba Subcounty are born in January or specifically 1st January. It seems ridiculous at first until it becomes apparent that this date, as the group shall show, is used as a marker for the cheater to identify all the "ghosts'.
The uncharacteristic growth of the voter roll is most worrying and more so 13,500,000 - 15,000,000 voter target by the Electoral Commission for the 2011 electoral roll. A figure that we believe has been fabricated by the Opposition to justify their plans of increasing ghosts in 2010. To be fair, the Opposition cannot be blamed for creating ghosts, as the first ghosts were built into the system by directly elected Members of Parliament under the "individual merit" banner. There was no merit for many in the 2006 election.

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