Uganda’s President Museveni and Chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has said state minister for labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana, and others who were involved in election-related violence will be prosecuted and jailed.
In a strong-worded letter he published on his social-media pages, Museveni said the problem of violence, threats, intimidation, and bribes as witnessed in the NRM primary elections must stop.
“Those who beat People, like in Bukono, are all in jail or on the run. Minister Rukutana is in jail and will be prosecuted. They will be fully accountable with robust charges: assault, attempted murder, murder etc.
Those who altered results will go to jail on forgery, fraud, subversion etc. and their forgeries will not stand.” Museveni said.
Rukutana was arrested on Saturday and charged with attempted murder following an incident of gun violence in an election for NRM flag-bearers in Ntungamo District.
Museveni expressed resolve towards ending vote rigging in Uganda which he said has been part of my mission since 1961. He highlighted several gaps in the system being exploited by “crooks” including corruption and inadequate use of technology in elections, which he said he is determined to address.
“The only way to close this gap that did not depend on the vigilance of the People was the digital verification of the voters using their biometric-data (fingerprints etc.) so that voter registers only once and if he or she tries to register a second time, the Central memory of the system will detect it and block it.” He said.
He said the procurement of a highly technological system to have the electoral process digitized and ensure a transparent electoral process is on-going after the “corrupt team” that was in the Electoral Commission refused to procure it on time.
“This will end this sad story of the anti-democratic forces at least as far as the problem of multiple voting and multiple registrations is concerned. It will also deal with the problem of ballot stuffing because the fingerprints digitally read must be equal to the votes in the ballot box.” he noted.
On the issue of bribery, threats and attacks, Museveni said it is for the Police and the Public to capture the evidence, and the criminals dealt with.
“These measures would free the voting process of the Country from the crooks.”
He however noted that there may not be need to repeat the elections (NRM primaries), except where they were not held but an audit is required to know what happened in each village.
He also lauded the lining-up method used by NRM in elections for the transparency albeit few other bad practices from some party members.
“You have seen how it has succeeded. It is transparent for everybody to see during daylight. However, the shallow crooks still think they can bribe, can intimidate, can assault or can, even, alter results of the obvious that was witnessed by hundreds. This is an incredible shallowness.” he stated.
“Any other shallow schemes like moving voters on Lorries from village to village are easy to unearth. Those are all crimes for which the perpetrators will be answerable criminally.” he added.
“This, therefore, maybe the tail end of cheating in the NRM. Even the victims of these schemes should be steady. Just get facts from your village agents (truthful facts); the crooks are wasting their time and ours. The NRM will end rigging in Uganda by the digitized bio-metric voter registration and by transparency through lining behind candidates or their photographs within the NRM. Another first for the NRM.” Museveni said.
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