Tuesday, January 18, 2011
WE ARE STUCK WITH MUSEVENI
WE ARE STUCK WITH MUSEVENI!
Museveni Swearing in 1986 - he initially came on a 4 year ticket, now he wants to make 30 years!
On 26th January 1996, Yoweri Museveni made 10 years as President of Uganda. Funny enough, due to the manipulation he is believed to have been party to; the time of his leadership up to when the Constitution was inaugurated was ignored for his case such that the effective 2 terms in office commenced after he was re – elected in 1996; meaning that his two terms expired at the expiry of 10 years, which was in 2006. But because Ugandans have had to bear with a military leader disguised as a civilian President; Mr Museveni was able to influence Parliament before the 2006 General Elections; which Parliament (the opposition) is believed to have been induced with shs 5 million each to vote in favour of removing the Presidential term limits! On February 18, 2011, Museveni will be going for re-election where he is convinced he will be victor partly because of the resources he is using in the campaigns coupled with fear in some circles that the country may get back to blood bath if he is not re-elected.
The situation is clear; President Museveni stands chance of getting back to office. However, many political opponents wanted the Electoral Commission in place disbanded, but His Excellency Museveni refused to abide by the wish of the people. In his wisdom, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Engineer Badru Kiggundu would have succumbed to pressure and resigned office, but to date he has not. There is continuing controversy with the forthcoming elections where he has come up openly to say that the Commission will not issue Voter Cards to newly registered voters; which in the eyes of some of us may be one of the tricks out of which the cheating to see Museveni a victor may be maneuvered. The President who nominates the Electoral Commission is well aware of a recommendation which was made where the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission should be such a one who qualifies to be a Judge of the High Court of Uganda. His refusal to disband the Kiggundu Commission is testimony that he is at liberty to ignore the wish of the people, which is absurd. The President ignoring people’s wishes is not happening the first time.
"About 35 women from the Inter Party Cooperation (IPC), an umbrella opposition grouping, were arrested as they tried to deliver a letter to the Electoral Commission Chairman, Hajj Dr Eng. Badru Kiggundu, calling for his resignation. In an environment where demonstrations of any variety are strongly discouraged, their “success” shows the adaptive methods the Opposition is resorting to and signal the changing face of political protest. Ingrid Kamateneti Turinawe, the chairperson of FDC’s women’s league, who was the chief planner of the demonstration, told Inside Politics that their success showed that the State security and intelligence could be beaten."
Mr. Kiggundu ought to be aware that the NRM Revolution was ‘justified’ by reports that the 1980 Elections were rigged. This position can still be used by other party when Dr Kiggundu fails for no justifiable reason to process Voter cars when his Commission had ample time to do so. In the Electoral Commission Bulletin, Volume 6; Issue 2 of September 2008, the then Vice Chairperson is quoted to have written, “As the Voter’s Card attains multiple uses, we should not forget its principal purpose, which is identification during elections.” In the same newsletter, under “What do I need to know about Voter’s Card,” it is said, “If a registered voter’s particulars and photograph appear on the National Voter’s Register, he/she can be identified on polling day, and allowed to vote, whether he/she has a Voter’s Card or not; this means that holding of a Voter’s Card does not entitle one to vote unless he/she is on the National Voters’ Register for the particular polling station where he/she wants to vote.” It should be noted that in all past General Elections since 1996, there have been reports of rigging of variable magnitude. With the Electoral Commission always having a window to accommodate people on the Voters’ Register suspecting foul play cannot be ruled out. It simply defeats understanding where the Electoral Commission comes up with stories to do with the National Identity Cards, yet when in its budget the item must have been budgeted for; therefore the excuse is null and void.
According to Electoral Commission Voter Education Hand Book, REF: VED HB/01/06, DATE: 23/11/2006, Paragraph 7.3 b) Polling Day: “On polling day, Voters should do the following; 1) Go early to the polling station, where one is registered to vote with the Voter’s Card.” If this is so, why does Engineer Kiggundu shift the goal posts?
Chapter 8 of the Voter Education Hand Book; which stipulates the Duties of Field Election Officials; under ii) Polling Assistants 2) “Check the accuracy of the voter’s information on the voter’s card and ensure that they correspond with that on the Voters’ Register.”
The above is evidence enough that the Voter Education Exercise has no mention of how to handle voters without Voter’s cards; which in essence is proof that it is those who want to cheat in the General Elections that are taking voters for a ride to give cheating a chance. And because of the importance accorded to the Voter’s Card, the Voter Education Hand Book on page 45 states that, “Note: The Electoral Commission may issue voters’ cards during the Display period.” There is No MENTION of Voters turning up without cards!
Kiggundu ought to be aware of the following cases:-
The Democracy Monitoring Group (Demgroup), a coalition of civil society organisations headed by the Uganda Joint Christian Council said in their report released in Kampala that at some of the polling stations monitored, people who were not residents were allowed to vote while some polling officials were biased. “There was bribery by various players including some Cabinet Ministers who are said to have bought alcohol, sugar and even given cash to voters. This happened in Njoga village, Mugoye Sub-county in Kalangala District,” Fr Silvester Arinaitwe, the Executive Director of Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), said.
“At Kairasha Polling Station in Lugusulu Sub-county in Sembabule District, the Presiding Officer demonstrated open hostility to the agents of one of the candidates and behaved in a generally partial and disgraceful manner,” he added. The Sembabule Woman MP seat was won by National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) Hanifa Kawooya, whose election had earlier been nullified by the Supreme Court over rigging.
People wanted the Federal Type of Local Governance, but he is to-date not ready to see such powers (sharing of resources), instead he is always in for substitutes as in this case; the proposal of the Regional Tier arrangement was discovered as a substitute, which unfortunately has been rejected by Buganda the would be one of the beneficiary regions.
THE WAY FORWARD
Buganda Parliament in Session
The Court of the people of Uganda should use this opportunity to see Museveni out of office however much some still love him. This will be in conformity with a limit to a sitting President. Some of us don’t see any future in a Uganda led by Museveni though he seems to be so in love with being Head of the Government of Uganda. It is absurd to see President Museveni continue on with uncalled ‘wars’ with a man who is simply respected by his subjects to the extent that he seems to be the driving force to see the King of Buganda Humiliated, hence encroaching on the Kings Human Rights which are clearly enshrined in the constitution. Indeed the law makes the King ‘lower’ in some respects compared to his subjects! Some of us see this as the limit to un-called for dictatorship. President Museveni should she King Mutebi as a co-leader who is at liberty to mobilize his people for greater productivity so that they can get out of poverty which many are enslaved into. If Uganda Parliament is always to be taken advantage of (rubber stamp) to hurt us the people who feel aggrieved, the way forward is for Buganda to regain its former status as a distinct unit, hence get out of the useless bondage out of which it is simply bleeding. I advocate for this position and my appeal is for those people of Buganda who are opposed to President Museveni’s continued leadership but who cannot stop him, to simply resort to a solution to see Buganda out of the marriage with Uganda. Those who see this as a wrong way forward should equally imagine that many of us are simply fed up of President Museveni’s dictatorship. To the people of Uganda, re-electing President Museveni will see him preside over the breaking off of Buganda from Uganda; and trust us we shall get there.
"IN SUDAN, AN ELECTION AND A BEGINNING"
POSTED BY DIPNOTE BLOGGERS / JANUARY 08, 2011
President Barack Obama published an Op-Ed in The New York Times, in which he addresses the Southern Sudan referendum. The text of the Op-Ed appears below.
President Barack Obama
January 8, 2011
NOT every generation is given the chance to turn the page on the past and write a new chapter in history. Yet today -- after 50 years of civil wars that have killed two million people and turned millions more into refugees -- this is the opportunity before the people of southern Sudan.
Over the next week, millions of southern Sudanese will vote on whether to remain part of Sudan or to form their own independent nation. This process -- and the actions of Sudanese leaders -- will help determine whether people who have known so much suffering will move toward peace and prosperity, or slide backward into bloodshed. It will have consequences not only for Sudan, but also for sub-Saharan Africa and the world.
The historic vote is an exercise in self-determination long in the making, and it is a key part of the 2005 peace agreement that ended the civil war in Sudan. Yet just months ago, with preparations behind schedule, it was uncertain whether this referendum would take place at all. It is for this reason that I gathered with leaders from Sudan and around the world in September to make it clear that the international community was united in its belief that this referendum had to take place and that the will of the people of southern Sudan had to be respected, regardless of the outcome.
In an important step forward, leaders from both northern and southern Sudan -- backed by more than 40 nations and international organizations -- agreed to work together to ensure that the voting would be timely, peaceful, free and credible and would reflect the will of the Sudanese people. The fact that the voting appears to be starting on time is a tribute to those in Sudan who fulfilled their commitments. Most recently, the government of Sudan said that it would be the first to recognize the south if it voted for independence.
Now, the world is watching, united in its determination to make sure that all parties in Sudan live up to their obligations. As the referendum proceeds, voters must be allowed access to polling stations; they must be able to cast their ballots free from intimidation and coercion. All sides should refrain from inflammatory rhetoric or provocative actions that could raise tensions or prevent voters from expressing their will.
As the ballots are counted, all sides must resist prejudging the outcome. For the results to be credible, the commission that is overseeing the referendum must be free from pressure and interference. In the days ahead, leaders from north and south will need to work together to prevent violence and ensure that isolated incidents do not spiral into wider instability. Under no circumstance should any side use proxy forces in an effort to gain an advantage while we wait for the final results.
A successful vote will be cause for celebration and an inspiring step forward in Africa's long journey toward democracy and justice. Still, lasting peace in Sudan will demand far more than a credible referendum.
The 2005 peace agreement must be fully implemented -- a goal that will require compromise. Border disputes, and the status of the Abyei region, which straddles north and south, need to be resolved peacefully. The safety and citizenship of all Sudanese, especially minorities -- southerners in the north and northerners in the south -- have to be protected. Arrangements must be made for the transparent distribution of oil revenues, which can contribute to development. The return of refugees needs to be managed with extraordinary care to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe.
If the south chooses independence, the international community, including the United States, will have an interest in ensuring that the two nations that emerge succeed as stable and economically viable neighbors, because their fortunes are linked. Southern Sudan, in particular, will need partners in the long-term task of fulfilling the political and economic aspirations of its people.
Finally, there can be no lasting peace in Sudan without lasting peace in the western Sudan region of Darfur. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Darfuris -- and the plight of refugees like those I met in a camp in neighboring Chad five years ago -- must never be forgotten. Here, too, the world is watching. The government of Sudan must live up to its international obligations. Attacks on civilians must stop. United Nations peacekeepers and aid workers must be free to reach those in need.
As I told Sudanese leaders in September, the United States will not abandon the people of Darfur. We will continue our diplomatic efforts to end the crisis there once and for all. Other nations must use their influence to bring all parties to the table and ensure they negotiate in good faith. And we will continue to insist that lasting peace in Darfur include accountability for crimes that have been committed, including genocide.
Along with our international partners, the United States will continue to play a leadership role in helping all the Sudanese people realize the peace and progress they deserve. Today, I am repeating my offer to Sudan's leaders -- if you fulfill your obligations and choose peace, there is a path to normal relations with the United States, including the lifting of economic sanctions and beginning the process, in accordance with United States law, of removing Sudan from the list of states that sponsor terrorism. In contrast, those who flout their international obligations will face more pressure and isolation.
Millions of Sudanese are making their way to the polls to determine their destiny. This is the moment when leaders of courage and vision can guide their people to a better day. Those who make the right choice will be remembered by history -- they will also have a steady partner in the United States.