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    OPINION: Ashraf Shooting And Senteza Death Could Have Been Avoided – Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye’s Strong Dossier On How Violence Can It Be Stopped…

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    Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye

    Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Political Commissar, Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye has revealed that it’s a high time Ugandans tell the architects of violence in the country the truth.

    Below is Brig Gen Kulayigye’s dossier.

    It has taken me close to 48 hours to analyze what was happening, especially the sad events. It takes two to fight, you will not find a fight that has one person fighting against no one but two people are always involved. To stop violence, we must look critically at the cause of violence, we must bring leaders of sober minds to speak the truth without fear to both the NUP and Police.

    The idea of blaming police is just not helping, why, because police work is protected by the law, you cannot win against a law in any courts of law.

    ASHRAF SHOOTING

    This shooting should have been avoided if only we speak the truth to people, Ugandans need to know that police have the mandate to maintain law and order under the laws of Uganda, this is also universal. Police can stop you from proceeding to any area and to challenge their decision you will have to go through the police leadership or courts of law.

    You cannot under any circumstances use force to disobey a police order, no country in the world accepts a civilian to use force while disobeying a police order, unlawful orders can be appealed or challenged in courts but not by use of force. If the NUP understands this fact we shall eliminate the violence.

    In some well-documented cases police has allowed NUP to disorder forcefully, we have seen videos where NUP supporters jump off their cars to make way for Their leader, we have seen videos where police officers are assaulted and insulted, we have seen videos where the leader himself has assaulted police officers at the rank of ASP and SPs these are regional police commanders. These are bad videos for your struggle, to settle this Bobi Wine should come clean about such videos.

    The International community will back the police on this, they will tell you that it’s on record that disobeying police authority is not accepted anywhere. So had Bobi Wine and police engaged themselves into peaceful talks there wouldn’t be such cases of firing rubber bullets, NUP must have disciplined sober people to talk to police, find a way forward and not let everyone shout at police, using force should not be the option because it takes away your right to appeal the matter or even seek justice.

    Ugandans should know that rubber bullets and teargas are widely used worldwide by police to disperse crowds, rubber bullets can be dangerous but accepted. These are the things the international community looks at.

    ON FRANK’S DEATH

    It is Unfortunate, this death would have been avoided, I sympathize with his family, I feel the pain of a loved one dying especially in such a manner. After the Ashraf incident, Bobi Wine rushed Ashraf to a Kako Hospital, they were offered an Ambulance to move to Kampala to a referral hospital, at this point Bobi Wine entered the Ambulance together with Ashraf and they headed to Kampala with a convoy of over 30 cars escorting them, this was not necessary it’s posed a risk to other road users.

    Reaching Kyengera the huge convoy got into a traffic jam, at this point we assume the ambulance was ahead of other cars, NUP says that Frank  got off his transport and decided to clear the way “fungula ekubo” as they call it. This was the second mistake, you can only stop traffic under the law if you are authorized, had he stayed in his transport car we would have avoided this.

    Why did he get off his transport this was uncalled for because the Patient Ashraf was in an ambulance which had the right of way and was ahead. Under Ugandan traffic and road safety laws, only three people have the legal right of way, the President, the Ambulance, and the Police. NUP should be told the truth that unless the police move ahead of you and provide a right of way for you, you can not create it yourself, you do so illegally and the courts can’t protect you, the principle of you can’t seek justice from courts with dirty hands applies here.

    Circumstances under which Frank died are sketchy, the NUP claims he was intentionally knocked by the Army, so to them it’s murder while UPDF says he missed a step and fell down, the moment UDPF denies foul play then the burden of proof shifts to the accuser (NUP) to prove that indeed the Army Intentionally knocked Frank dead.

    I was listening to an eyewitness at NUP headquarters, one speaker said “the army car hit him then reversed back and added him to ensure he was dead” how come we have no recording of this, is it possible that he tried to block army vehicles from moving ahead of their convoy and he was knocked by accident we still don’t know. I want to put my focus on avoiding violence (prevention) if all these would have been avoided since a lot is missing and besides that we can’t turn back the clock but am sure there will be another confrontation if we don’t show people what is acceptable and not.

    We are tired of saying Rest in Peace, let’s take appropriate blame on what happens, let the disobedience stop it’s taking our Youths nowhere, the only people that benefit from this short-lived sympathy are those that get money out of it. The worst will be these youths over powering one police officer and taking possession of his gun then shooting at police or military killing one or two, this will be the end of NUP, police or the Army will shoot back. I have seen incidents that are close to these youths attacking the military like the one at the hospital. These youths should be told that there are clear limits you go beyond, that you are giving police the right to shoot back just because of your actions.

    Religious leaders should talk openly to Bobi Wine, his Friends should do the same, there is no excuse for attacking a police officer, no excuse to attack the army or any other person.

    God Bless Uganda. Stop the Violence

    Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye

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    NATIONAL

    We Shut Down Facebook, If They Can’t Cooperate, They Will Not Operate In Uganda – Museveni Warns…

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    Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, the president of Uganda has banned Facebook in Uganda.

    Museveni argued that it is not appropriate for Facebook to partially interfere with the usage of its services to target some groups.

    “The other day Facebook decided to block the NRM message senders. Why would anybody do that? When I heard about that I told our people to warn them. That social media channel (Facebook), if it’s going to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everybody,” Museveni said.

    “I am sorry for the inconvenience to those who have been using this channel (Facebook), but we cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad,” the president warned.

    “There is no way anybody can come and play around with our country to decide who is good and bad,” he added.

    President Museveni also warned some groups that he said have made it a habit to cheat in elections. “I want to tell you, that cheating is treason. When you use violence to intimidate to be voted for, you are committing treason,” he warned.

    “If you plan to cheat or alter results so that you win even when the majority didn’t vote for you, it means you won’t go back to solve the issues of the people because you will cheat in the next election. This renders democracy null and void. I am warning everyone, don’t try to cheat,” he added.

    President Museveni also appealed to EC to not allow any voting where a thumbprint is not used. “Anybody trying to cheat, we shall go for them. Don’t waste our time by trying to cheat. One of the reasons we are appealing to you to vote peacefully is because your country is doing very well,” the president said.

    President Museveni revealed that sometimes he gets problems with some of Uganda’s foreign partners because they don’t understand the history of Uganda. He said they don’t know that Uganda is strong because of the massive organization, strong strong army, and strong economy.

    “We realized the importance of the private sector, and because of that, we have a very strong economy which will be stronger if we eliminate corruption. Ugandans, be confident, we have everything. Our economy is strong and so is the army, and it is well experienced,” the president said, urging all citizens to go and vote. “If anybody tries to intimidate you, we shall deal with him or her,” the president warned.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    Museveni Leads Kyagulanyi In New Poll, Most Losers Will Not Accept Results – Afro-Barometer…

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    As the country nears the D-day for presidential elections this Thursday, a new research from Afro-barometer shows that National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is also the incumbent is in the lead.

    In a 54-page document, Afro-barometer says that the research was conducted between 22 December 2020 and 7 January 2021 in 300 enumeration areas across 110 districts.

    “President Museveni holds a clear lead, but many respondents would not say how they intended to vote, so the final outcome may be much closer. The nation could also be headed toward electing a more closely divided Parliament,” Afro-barometer says.

    They add that although a majority of Ugandans are prepared to vote and see the Electoral Commission as well prepared, fewer trust that the 2021 elections will be free, fair, and credible.

    “Large majorities of respondents say they have National ID Cards (85%), are registered to vote (84%), have confirmed the name and location of their polling station (77%), and have verified their voter registration status (74%),” the research says.

    “Among the 84% of survey respondents who said they were registered to vote, more than half (53%) indicated they would vote for President Yoweri Museveni, while 18% said they would cast their ballots for challenger Robert KyagulanyiSentamu (better known as BobiWine).”

    Concerning whether drama that has been witnessed during the campaigns, the research notes, “Fewer than half of respondents feel that the election campaign environment has been free and fair for all candidates.

    The proportion of Ugandans who say the opposition and its supporters are “often” or “always” silenced by government has almost doubled compared to 2015, to 61%. Fear of political intimidation or violence during elections has increased compared to 2011.”

    “Large majorities expect that the losing side will not accept the election results (80%) but believe that security agencies will be able to prevent large-scale violence (73%),” the research says.

    Below are some of the highlights from the research:

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    Bobi Wine Wants To Go Into Hiding In One Of The Embassies After Casting His Vote – Enanga Reveals Why Security Has Been Tightened Countrywide…

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    Uganda police Public Relation Officer (PRO) CP Fred Enanga has revealed that they have credible information that National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine plans to go into hiding in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote.

    In a statement released today, “We also have credible intelligence that the NUP Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert wants to go into hiding possibly in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote. And thereafter, allege through his NUP networks and bloggers, that he has been kidnapped by state operatives.”

    He adds, “The intention is to incite the public and cause another wave of protests.  We want to inform the public that this is a tactic that we strongly condemn and issue a strong warning to the perpetrators.”

    Below is Enanga’s full statement on elections:

    We would like to start by congratulating all Ugandans, and in particular candidates, their campaign agents, fans, well-wishers and other stakeholders, for approaching the last day of the political campaigns for Presidential and Parliamentary positions.  Despite the challenges faced along the campaign trail, we must acknowledge the efforts of every sector including the media, security, all political actors, medical experts, electoral officials and other stakeholders.

    Our focus as the Joint Security Agencies is now on the Election Day, where all Ugandans especially voters, will make their choices.  It is therefore, a very crucial stage of democracy, and we shall ensure all eligible voters, safely perform this sacred civic duty.

    As we head into the polls, we would also like to remind Ugandans, that we are a peaceful community, although there have been attempts by some sections of the pubic to promote hate speech through several audios and videos to cause ethnic divisions in the country.  Surprisingly, most of these recordings are by Ugandans abroad including mobilized bloggers in Asia, Europe, the US and South Africa.  We urge all Ugandans not to infringe on the rights of fellow Ugandans, during this Election and the days to come.  We have a history of togetherness amidst all threats against our country, and we are confident that even this time, we shall remain Ugandans at peace.

    Despite the rights and freedoms to vote, there are a few basic rules that voters need to follow when voting, so that they do not end up breaking the Law.  They should do the following;

    o   Make sure you carry along your National ID or NIN

    o   When you arrive, ONLY Electoral Commission staff will take you through the voting process.

    o    You will receive a ballot paper listing your candidate, party, symbol in your constituency.

    o   Read it carefully and then vote for your chosen candidate by ticking or us of a thumb print.

    o   When you are ready fold the ballot paper for privacy and insert it in the ballot box.

    o   Avoid writing comments on the ballot paper for your candidate, do not sign your ballot paper or imprint names.  It will not count.

    o   You are not allowed to photograph the ballot paper you receive at a polling station.  A selfie risks giving away how someone voted which is against the law.

    o   Stay sober, drunken people can be disruptive and can spoil their ballot paper.

    o   Persons with disabilities, and elderly should seek help from the polling officials.

    o   Voting is secretive.  Avoid discussing candidates inside the polling station.  It can easily unsettle others.  Always alert the polling staff if someone is discussing a candidate inside the polling area.

    o   Do not distribute any election related materials.  It clearly shows your political allegiance and if in large groups its an act of intimidation.

    o   Employers are warned against refusing their employees time off for voting or even penalizing them after voting.

    o   Do not bribe others to vote in a certain way or not to vote at all.

    o   Do not threaten or ask someone else to threaten or impose violence on other voters at the polling station.

    o   Do not campaign at the polls because all political activities on polling day are prohibited like displaying campaign symbols, verbally advocating for a specific candidate, and having campaign literature.  In addition, wearing political attire to the polls, such as T-shirt, caps is considered campaigning.  Therefore, let us leave all the political swag at home.

    o    Regarding health, all voters must know that voting safely during the pandemic requires wearing a mask, hand washing or use of hand sanitizer and on observing social distance.  Precautions are really important because of the high COVID location.

    Once again, we would like to reiterate that there are no specific threats targeting the Elections.  However, we are prepared for any eventualities including demonstrations and riots.

    As the Joint Task Force, we have an operational plan to ensure the protection and safety of all Ugandans and visitors in the country.  We have heightened our levels of visibility and alertness as we go into the polls.  Additional manpower has been deployed tactically in the field, from the Polling station, the Parish level, Sub-county, County level.  All villages, trading centres, Town/Urban Councils, Municipalities, and Cities are effectively covered in our deployment plans.

    Our task teams stationed at specific points will be responsible for responding to any election related calls.  We already have patrols at all levels (foot, motorcycle and motorized) along selected hotspotting poling  centres especially in 39 districts out of the 146 districts in addition to the special checkpoints and traffic enforcements operations among others.

    Additional efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that intend to incite violence and engage in criminal activity, especially Youth Brigades like Agenda Kifuba Ddembe in Nansana, Mityana Municipality; “Ten Ten” in Mukono, Makindye, Nansana, Kiira and Nakawa; Team Banyiivu in Makindye and Lubaga; Hard Body along the Northern bypass, Kawempe Division, Team Jalia in Nakawa; Jua Kali in Najja Sub-County and Kiyindi Town Council in Buikwe District; and other Youth Brigade in Teso Sub-region, Rukungiri, Mbarara, Arua, Gulu and Jinja Cities.

    We also have credible intelligence that the NUP Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert wants to go into hiding possibly in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote.  And thereafter, allege through his NUP networks and bloggers, that he has been kidnapped by state operatives.  The intention is to incite the public and cause another wave of protests.  We want to inform the public that this is a tactic that we strongly condemn and issue a strong warning to the perpetrators.

    All Ugandans should rest assured and fell safe as we head into the elections.  The elections will be largely peaceful, since we are more than prepared to address any acts of impunity, lawlessness and political violence that may occur on polling date and thereafter.

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