Uganda Peoples Congress
Statement From Party President On Uganda Elections
Uganda Peoples Congress
UPC Position On The Presidential And Parliamentary Elections, 2006
- Ugandans have just gone through the process of Presidential and Parliamentary elections. All of us had hoped for a free and fair process leading to results that could be accepted by all stakeholders especially the losers.
- Regrettably the process was blatantly unfair. Everybody knows what has happened but we can point out a few salient issues:
- The political parties who are the major stakeholders in a multiparty election were by constitutional, legal and administrative measures debarred for nearly twenty years from participating in the politics of Uganda and reaching their grassroot supporters. On the other hand, the National Resistance Movement has for twenty years enjoyed state patronage and resources to campaign for itself and to decampaign its political opponents whether individuals or political parties. The NRM secretariat which was an institutionalized department of government continued to campaign for NRM as a political party up to polling day.
- For twenty years the security services, especially the National Resistance Army now UPDF and the Internal Security Organization (ISO) continued to act in a sectarian manner to campaign for the movement and intimidate and harass political opponents. In the just concluded elections, the UPDF was deployed in most sub-counties to parade and terrorise the villages, and intimidate the voters. The message was clear: either Ugandans vote for the NRM or risk being engulfed in war. Accordingly, the people did not vote of their free will, but out of fear.
- The NRM took advantage of its incumbency, to abuse state resource for massive buying of votes and for funding its excessively lavish campaign. This was in sharp contrast to the opposition and its supporters who have been deliberately impoverished for two decades. The desperately poor voters became easy prey to NRM vote-buying.
- There was massive abuse of the voter register. The appeal to extend the voter registration exercise fell on deaf ears. As a result, thousands of eligible voters were disfranchised. Even some of those who had managed to beat the registration deadline, found their names missing from the voter register. There was no satisfactory reason for the removal of thousands of registered voters from the register. These voters were targeted and deliberately eliminated from the register.
- The President's Office and the State House that control vast resources and all security agencies, acting through the state structures, including RDC's, DISO, LC structures and even public service structures unleashed a terror campaign against voters especially those working in the public sector.
- Now that the elections are over, we have to reflect on our past and chart a better course for our country. The UPC calls upon the President elect to urgently address the serious short-coming that have characterized our politics and electoral process over the past 20 years.
- To save this country from the prospect of further chaos and war, economic and social decline, and possible national disintegration measures should be taken to:
- Reconcile Ugandans with one another. The President should agree with the UPC proposal to appoint an impartial Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Demonstrate genuine magnanimity by withdrawing all politically motivated criminal charges against political opponents.
- Demonstrate even-handedness in the management and allocation of national and public resources. The practice of making appointments to public offices and awarding of tenders for public contracts on the basis of family, clan, ethnicity and political affiliation should stop henceforth.
- Institutionalize a system to allocate national resources fairly among all districts and regions of Uganda. Affirmative action should be instituted to redress the unfairness meted out to various sections, of the population, districts and regions of Uganda.
- Demilitarise politics. The army and all security agencies should not be used and abused for sectarian and political gains.
- Stop the use and abuse of public resources to further the personal and political interests of the President and/or his political party and cronies.
- End the two-decade long fratricidal war in northern and parts of eastern Uganda. The people in these regions desperately need peace and a return to normal and decent lives in their homes.
- Undertake genuine and concerted efforts to stamp out the cancer of corruption in the country which is being nursed by those in leadership and positions of influence.
- Rationalise the administrative units to ensure that they are economically viable and not an unnecessary burden to the taxpayer. We should aim at bigger administrative units working under a federal system.
- Re-establish peaceful and friendly relations with all our neighbours.
- We thank the people of Uganda for the warm and friendly reception they accorded to us during the campaigns and for their active participation in the campaign process inspite of all the immense odds.
- We thank all the members of the Uganda Peoples Congress for their selfless efforts in the campaign. We warmly congratulate those of our members who were elected to Parliament.
- The UPC wishes to assure all its members and all persons of goodwill of our determination to continue with our concerted to efforts to establish genuine multiparty democracy in Uganda.
- Finally, we wish our country reconciliation, unity, peace and prosperity.
For God and my Country
Miria Kalule Obote
Kampala, Saturday 25th February, 2006