There was less acts of violence during the just concluded by-election in the Oyam North constituency – at least going by the available media reports – that saw slain former Minister, Col Charles Engola’s son, Samuel Engola Junior and also the NRM candidate defeated by the Uganda People’s Congress` Dr Eunice Otuko Apio.
That change in what has been worryingly the growing trend of chaotic election after election in Uganda, save for a few cases of pre-ballot ticking by gangsters said to be security operatives, was both surprising and welcome. Despite having been informed of whatever was amiss on the ground during the process of voting, shockingly and regrettably, the election umpires were reported to have chosen not to act decisively by apprehending those who were instigating such acts of election cheating but, which were fortunately, few and isolated.
Whether few cases of acts of election cheating were reported to have occurred during the conduct of the by-election in Nwoya North constituency, even that is alarming. Considering that the President had just a few days before, castigated such electoral breaches and directed one of the anti-corruption agencies under State House to investigate and file a report about one of such previously chaotic by-elections.
The President’s order was in respect of the recently concluded Bukedea LCV chaotic by-election. In that election, government officials and the ruling NRM are thought to not only have undressed and whipped one of the candidates thereof, but breached also that candidate’s campaign office, moreover, before helping themselves to the victim’s campaign funds worth UGX163m.
That said, it’s possible that those who usually perpetuate acts of election violence could have desisted from repeating such dirty games in the course of the conduct of the by-election in Oyam North constituency, in order to escape from the fury of the President. The other probable reason why less acts of violence were seen and witnessed during the Oyam election as opposed to those before it, could be that the NRM and UPC are somewhat political associates since President Museveni and the leader of UPC, Jimmy Akena Obote, are both political friends.
The fact that the ruling NRM could have probably assessed the candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and that of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and found them to be weaker than it’s own candidate and that one of UPC, could also have helped to dissude the ruling party zealots from carrying out worse acts of violence as those witnessed during the previous by-elections.
The fact that UPC and the ruling party have been for years in what is believed to be a compromise political arrangement, could have also helped to make the NRM leaders comfortable with the UPC candidate finally running away with the victory as opposed to the victory being clinched by the candidate of NUP or FDC.
The fact that President Museveni and UPC’s leader, Jimmy Akena are friends can also help to explain why even when Akena went about in public angrilly protesting about some of the acts of ballot pre-ticking that occured during the by-election in Oyam North, neither the police nor the electoral commission could dare to arrest him as the same could have possibly occured if that had been done by say Bobi Wine and Dr Kizza Besigye.
What cannot be ignored in this by-election is the fact that whereas Engola Junior had counted on the support and funds of the ruling government to help him run away with victory, the voters in Oyam North rejected him.The same can be said of Engola Junior’s other hope to run away with victory simply because he happened to be a son of the fallen minister.
Even his hope of winning on account of a consolation vote, his father having been assassinated before he could complete his term in parliament, was dashed too by the voters in Oyam North. What occured in Oyam North is evidently and clearly a far cry from what has been happening previously seeing that almost all relatives of the dead or retiring lawmakers have been the ones replacing those deceased or retiring lawmakers.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
- FeaturedFebruary 27, 2024Confusing Stuff: Pragmatic Donald Trump Embarrasses America Instead as He Fights to Defeat Sleepy Joe Biden to Make America `Great Again`
- FeaturedFebruary 27, 2024The Cabinet Reshuffle Leaks: Making Sense of How Big Political, Security Actors Emerge as Suspected Leakers of Cabinet Supposed Nominees and Why
- Crime newsFebruary 27, 2024Sad Tale of Slain Kaweesa: How Uganda Police and Judiciary Have Tormented the Dead Man to The Last Bone, Leaving His Family Absolutely Homeless
- BusinessFebruary 15, 2024A Shaky Comeback: Out-of-Favor Singer Ronald Mayinja Tests Fans’ Moods with a Concert Poised to End His Musical Sabbatical Come Women`s Day at Serena