Uganda’s President, Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni Kaguta has said cheating in elections as witnessed in NRM party primaries is a shame and dangerous for peace and development.
In a dossier he posted on social media on Monday, Museveni described the recent “shameful conduct” during the recent National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries, as most annoying to the patriots in NRM party but also vowed to ensure that elements involved in election rigging are prosecuted.
In the document, Museveni stated that the practice of rigging, mainly propagated by the elite, undercuts efforts towards progress since the cheats end up diverting from solving problems in the society once they assume offices.
“The practice of cheating is dangerous for peace and development. Why? It is because the elected People do not care and do not bother to solve the problems of the electors (kubakyenuura – to solve problems). Why? It is
because they know that they will be “elected”, again, whether they kukyenuura the People in their electorate or not. It also affects budgeting. Elected people start budgeting for other things other than the problems of the
People they represent” Museveni sated in a statement issued on Monday.
Museveni said although NRM government has implemented several reforms that did away with electoral malpractices, the reforms depend on the vigilance of the electors and the integrity of the election officials which is still lacking. As a consequence, Museveni says politicians especially the opposition, but also some NRM leaders have been cheating, especially in the NRM primaries, where the party did not have enough funds to counter the vice.
He said, the above reality forced NRM party to lay a trap for “cheaters” by going back to the method of lining behind candidates and using the village as the electoral unit.
“This was a trap for the cheaters. Everybody would see what had happened during the day. Incredibly, some people still thought they could cheat.
Museveni said when he was informed of this “criminality” he ordered a nationwide audit which has done a good job, for a start and although the time was short, the audit will continue even after the nomination.
“Cheating is a crime. Even after you are nominated, you can be indicted in court” He noted.
He however blamed the practice of election rigging to ideological bankruptcy, “misdirection and mis-governance” by cultural, religious and community leaders of the past who acted as agents in weakening Africa by preaching parochialism in the form of tribal chauvinism when the enemies of Africa (colonialists in this case) were acting on a global scale.
He said in the last 500 years, whether they (past leaders) did it consciously or unconsciously, the biggest enemies of Africa are people that have been pushing Sectarian, chauvinism – tribal, religious or gender
Museveni said countries that are lured by foreign ‘opportunists’ and emphasized identity reaped death and disintegration citing examples like Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia etc.
“It is against this enemy line, that the NRM objected to, starting in 1965. Instead of identity, we )NRM) emphasized interests of the People: peace, wealth, jobs, health, education, infrastructure (roads, the railways etc.) etc” He stated.
“I, therefore, use this occasion to re-affirm that, indeed, the NRM, by ideologically re-orienting the politics of Uganda, has rescued our country from peace and development deficit to a country of peace surplus and development surplus, certain problems notwithstanding.” Museveni stated.
At national level, Museveni said the answer is in electronically-read
finger prints which the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Byabakama will ensure in the upcoming general elections. He said if use of Biometrics are correctly implemented by the EC, it will end cheating in the elections in Uganda forever.