Saturday, July 1, 2017

PICTURES: Kyadondo East - Elections Chairman, Byabakama joins list of witnesses against Eng. Kigundu #Uganda

The conduct of the Kyadondo east by-election in a transparent, free, fair, and non-violent manner is attributed to the new Electoral Commission Team. It rejected the toleration of the usual election malpractices by the regime. It did not endorse the fanning of harassment of candidates, their agents and supporters by the regime agents. Usually it is that state orchestrated violence that provides the smokescreen for the all forms of rigging more especially ballot stuffing.
This makes the new EC Chairman, Simon Byabakama qualify as a vital prosecution witness in the impending trial of the former EC Chairman, Engineer Badru Kigundu for crimes again Ugandans. Justice Byabakama's testimony will dwell on proving that its only when the EC connived with the regime by whatever means that the Museveni regime fans violence as a way of rigging.
Further, that rigging is only possible with the connivance of the EC. However, its not clear whether by the time of the trial Justice Byabakama will still be a credible witness or he will have lost his credibility by 'dancing to Museveni's tune' with regard to election rigging. As usual, the regime had plotted to rig through the traditional ways of bribery of candidates’ agents, violence to keep away voters and their polling agents and outright ballot stuffing.
Candidate Kyagulanyi's profile appealed to the electorate. The constituency being located in the opposition stronghold of Kampala city, the contest was not between the opposition and the regime but between the so called independent contender, Kyagulanyi and the opposition FDC official candidate, Apollo Kantinti. There is no doubt, Kyagulanyi's candidacy was linked to Dr. Besigye.
In 2015 when leading artists fell for Museveni's cash by composing his campaign song, Tubonge Naawe, Kyagulanyi stood his ground and rejected the cash bonanza. Instead, in January 2016, he composed a song that appealed for violence free elections and peaceful transfer of power. The regime's Communications regulatory authority (UCC) threatened to ban the song but chickened out at the last minute. In March 2016 when Dr.
Besigye was incarcerated at his home, Kyagulanyi and his wife paid him a visit, played music for him and the video went viral. In July 2016, Kyagulanyi visited Dr. Besigye at Luzira Prison and thereafter publicised the political messages he had been given. In October 2016, Kyagulanyi took his son, Kampala Nyanzi Solomon to visit Dr. Besigye at his residence. In March 2016, Dr. Besigye joined Kyagulanyi at his studios in Kamwokya for a recording session. During the recent by-election campaigns, Dr. Besigye made a statement to the effect that; "Apollo Kantinti was the official FDC candidate but if Kyagulanyi won it would also be fine." 
Both Kyagulanyi and the voters believed that Dr. Besigye was behind Kyagulanyi's candidacy. During the last campaign rally, Kyagulanyi told the mammoth gathering that Dr. Besigye had endorsed his candidacy but was bund by the party (FDC) rules to publicly support the official party candidate, Apollo Kantinti. Therefore, it can be authoritatively submitted that within the FDC, Apollo Kantinti represented the moderates under the party President, Gen. Mugisha Muntu while Kyagulanyi represented the extremists under Dr. Besigye. When Museveni joined the campaign trail. the contest shifted from NRM Vs Opposition to MUSEVENI Vs Besigye.
Kyagulanyi also reeled from the internal squabbles within the regime party (NRM). The attempt by the regime to carry out the usual rigging machinations was leaked by their very own. Because of the regime's preferential sharing of the loot, some of its cadres are disgruntled and had to vent their anger by supporting Kyagulanyi. The 4.6b shillings Presidential Hand-shake is at play in Kyadondo east and we are yet to see more of its effects on the regime.  Otherwise, what happened to NRM Ssebalu's 8000 votes that he garnered during the February 2016 elections? That is why the NRM Electoral Commissioner, Tanga Odoi was excited by Kyagulanyi's trouncing of Sitenda Ssebalu. To him, its the Secretary General, Kasule Lumumba who had lost and he tweeted; "dejected, disappointed, devastated and defeated." 
Right from the day of the last campaign rally on Tuesday when the Electoral Commission stood it ground and ejected preparations for Museveni's rally from a venue that they had arrogantly hijacked, a clear message was sent that its not business as usual. The vigilance and resolve demonstrated by Kyagulanyi's supporters when he was briefly arrested and detained, sent another message to Museveni's rigging machinery. In the event of rigging, the regime couldn't rule out an eruption of violence that could have spread to the rest of the city because Kyagulanyi had supporters throughout Kampala and beyond.
This explains the extra ordinary heavy security deployment in Kyadondo  yet there had not been any indicators of a potential breach of security. They had planned to rig and the heavy security deployment was in anticipation of spread of violence. After finding extra ordinary vigilance on the ground and lack of cooperation from the EC, they abandoned the scheme at the last minute. This is not to ignore the significant role played by the media more especially at the polling stations.
The voters of Kyadondo East and Ugandans in general have lost a Musician in Kyagulanyi but have groomed a clever politician. Dr. Besigye and the voters of Kyadondo East have helped Kyagulanyi to rise his political and social status. Just like all other M.Ps elsewhere, Kyagulanyi will not uplift their sorry social and economic status because he doesn't have the required resources. Even if they had voted anybody else, the situation would still remain the same. Maybe if Kyagulanyi opts to go and kneel before Museveni, then some small changes may come their way.
Moreover, bringing development to the constituency is not the core responsibility of the M.P. Though he has all the qualities of an M.P, by voting him they have vented their anger against Museveni. The regime will also try to reach out to him through some proxies. They will even gamble an attempt to go through his Munyarwanda wife but luckly enough she has proved to be a strong lady since as is usually the case, she did not abandon her husband even when he was still poor. Zaituni abandoned Francis Babu for Moses Kigongo whom she is now plotting to fleece. Jackie Nsenga murdered her husband Juvenal Nsenga over his wealth. Thanks Barbie for being yourself and congs Kyagulanyi.
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