By The Independent Team
19th April, 2009
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President,
Republic of Uganda.
RE: DELAY IN AMENDING THE ELECTORAL LAWS
I salute you Mr President.
I am addressing you on the above subject as a matter of extreme concern for peace and stability of our country. The Electoral Commission has announced a programme for the 2011 general elections well in time for the people of Uganda to be sensitised to play their constitutional right to elect their leaders for another five years.
Mr President, the People’s Progressive Party and indeed all peace loving Ugandans are worried that up to now, your government has not bothered to bring to Parliament the necessary amendments to the electoral laws that should ensure free and fair elections.
Your Excellency must be aware of the controversies that followed the 2001 and 2006 elections that ended in Courts of Law whose verdict was that, the electoral process was marred by malpractices which many consider worse than those which triggered your heading for the bush to wage an armed war against the Obote II government. You need not be reminded of the price this country has paid as a consequence in terms of blood epitomised to date by monuments of human skulls and the tragedy of the northern war which still claims lives of Ugandans and has created a traumatised society in disarray whose hearts will continue bleeding for decades to come.
Judging by what has been happening during the by-elections which have included intimidation, beating of voters and stuffing of ballot boxes perpetrated especially by your NRM, the country is likely to experience the same if not worse chaos come 2011.
The primary solution obviously lies in amending the electoral laws and procedures in order to ensure free and fair elections. The PPP and other parties are certainly working to dislodge you from the leadership of this country to arrest further destruction of the country, your good beginning in the eighties and nineties notwithstanding. However, the PPP will not raise a finger if your unbridled love for power is achieved through free and fair elections which unfortunately are not possible with the present Electoral Commission and present laws.
Mr President, we see your unwillingness to amend the electoral laws as part of a deliberate scheme to rig the 2011 elections so that even if ultimately some amendments are stampeded through Parliament, it will be logically impossible to implement them because of time and resource constraints.
I can assure Your Excellency that that will be a recipe for another spate of bloody chaos in the country. You might have equipped the army, militarised the police and the civil service, misused the poor peasants’ children by training them into ‘Kiboko Squads’ to beat the very people you are mandated to protect but this time the price in human blood and subsequent skulls could be much more than the country has seen before.
In stating so, I am not a harbinger of doom, but one only needs to feel the political pulse of the people of Uganda today and place it in focus with our past and what recently went on in countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Mr President, you are in charge of this country. You have an ethical and constitutional obligation to protect the lives and properties of Ugandans. You have a capacity to anticipate what is likely to jeopardise the peace and stability of the country and take the necessary pre-emptive measures. One such a step is to immediately present amendments to the electoral laws to Parliament to avoid a stampede in their implementation. This is the time to reconstitute the Electoral Commission in order to reflect a credible institution that will not only be, but also appear to Ugandans to be impartial under a multiparty democracy. Be informed Mr President that there is a limit beyond which reliance on money or the might of the gun and other means of coercion will keep one in power against the will of the majority of the people’s wish.
Incidentally Your Excellency, what really has happened to the Museveni of the eighties and nineties? Why have you persisted in destroying the democratic institutions of governance with impunity and instead taken over their roles? Why set Parliament against the Presidency? Cultural institutions against each other? Public officers against each other? As a student of political science, what does NEPOTISM mean to you? And what do you feel when its ugly face and consequences are attributed to your leadership? When you read The Independent [newsmagazine] issues detailing the involvement of almost your entire family and relatives in the governance of the country, is not your conscience perturbed in any way?
Mr President, you have played your part and made a monumental contribution to this country. You have an obligation to hand over to the next generation a united peaceful free Uganda with its people living in harmony. Please turn your inner ear to the message enshrined in our national anthem which is now more of a ritual to you than a solemn reminder to us all to always dedicate our commitment to the service of our country and the people of Uganda.
A word about my son Muhoozi Keinorugaba: I know him well enough. By nature and training he should be one of the finest soldiers we have in the country. Please protect him by weaning him from your parental grip to enable him fulfill his professional mandate to the country. He is NOT his father’s soldier. You have ceded Muhoozi the son to the service of the country and to the people of Uganda. Set him free so that his destiny is not embroiled in your destiny which in the end will be defined and decided by your own actions and decisions. This is a divine law of nature that has enabled the children of past leaders like Amin, Obote, Lutwa and others live peacefully outside the shadows of their parents. The same position though does not hold in respect of the children of the late Mobutu Sese Seko or the Sadams of yesterday.
You and I are not prodigies of the whims of Kaguta your dad or Bumali Kakonge, my late father. Hence the imperative on our part to untether our Muhoozis and Omur Kakonges (my elder son) to chart their own destiny in life in their own right.
Finally, let me once again assure Your Excellency that I write all this to caution a colleague I respect but who I believe has lost conscience and all ethical ethos of leadership, and therefore bound to land our country in the abyss of further disintegration, hatred and chaos.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
People’s Progressive Party
14th May, 2009
Hon. Bidandi- Ssali,
People’s Progressive Party
RE: DELAY IN AMENDING THE ELECTORAL LAWS
I have received your letter of 19th April 2009, regarding the above subject.
You talk of amending the Electoral Laws. Amend it in order to achieve what? You were there when we reformed the UPC electoral laws ‘” introducing one ballot box, one ballot paper, counting and announcing results immediately after counting etc. The only remaining point is computerising the voters’ register in order to stop the opposition from engaging in multiple registration of voters which they have been doing in Kampala, the north and other areas. Which other electoral reforms are you talking about?
About ‘nepotism’, I have pointed out to all concerned that I have nothing but happiness for my son to offer his life in the service of the Army as my young brother, Saleh, did. He is where he is by merit and his desire to sacrifice for his country. Ugandans should salute such Patriots. Uganda is where it is now because of such patriots.
About causing conflicts among kings, Mzee Bidandi I need very little lecture on the issue of kings in Uganda because I led those who restored those kings having been abolished by Obote in 1967. However the kings must respect the constitution.
We shall resist any king who persistently violates the constitution. About threats of bloodshed, I would like to take this occasion to inform you that anyone who precipitates a crisis involving attempts to kill Ugandans will give us opportunity to create real discipline among the opportunistic political class of Uganda.
Yoweri K. Museveni
|Fr. Sylvester Arinaitwe ‘” UJCC
‘I disagree with the president when he says there is no need for reforms. Yes, there is need for reforms. A good example is when you have people who have been taken to court and their election nullified due to either malpractices or lack of proper academic papers. You find the same people standing for elections again. That is wrong. The decisions of courts of law must be upheld. Unfortunately many times they are not respected.’
John Ken Lukyamuzi ‘” CP president
‘Museveni’s response is clear proof that his government and the Electoral Commission have been coordinating in stealing elections thus robbing Ugandans their constitutional right. We in opposition will not allow Museveni to bulldoze the up coming 2011 elections like he did in 2001 and 2006. There is urgent need for electoral reforms and there is a basis for these demands. The Supreme Court said it in the Besigye petition; during many election petitions in the grass roots the EC has been found wanting. If this continues, we may consider other alternatives which are too scientific to explain at this point in time.’
Salaam Musumba ‘” FDC
‘For the fist time, Museveni was honest with himself, with Bidandi and with Ugandans. He has finally shown that he threw away all sense of democracy and good governance and is just after staying in power. There is definitely urgent need for electoral reforms. The Constitutional Court in its ruling unanimously said that there were malpractices in the elections that need to be addressed. All seven Supreme Court judges agreed that there is need for reforms. Unfortunately, he has thrown out all these facts by saying there is no need for reforms. ‘
Badru Kiggundu ‘” Electoral Commission
‘Electoral reforms vary from person to person and in different regions of the country. There is nothing major. We just need to streamline a few things otherwise this system is working and is better compared to what Uganda had in the 1980s.’