The President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has condemned the chaos by the State Minister for Labour and Industrial Development Mwesigwa Rukutana and other party Officials exhibited during the just concluded NRM elections to pick the party flagbearers in the forthcoming parliamentary election.
In several parts of the country, there were clashes between supporters of the various candidates and in some incidents; a number of them were injured.
“The Minister Rukutana is in jail and will be prosecuted, We should not allow crooks to pollute our massive force that you saw yesterday. I am not Tanga Odoi but my entering from the criminal side, which is my constitutional duty as President, will help Tanga Odoi. Help us with the facts,” Museveni said.
In Rushenyi county, the State Minister for Labour and Industrial Development Mwesigwa Rukutana shot and injured some people, as well as damaging a vehicle of his opponent.
Hon. Rukutana turned chaotic after losing to Naome Kabasharira and in the scuffle, he allegedly grabbed a gun from one of his bodyguards, shot and injured one person who was rushed to hospital in critical condition whereas one vehicle was also destroyed.
The minister has since been arrested together with his three bodyguards and are currently detained at Mbarara Central Police Station and according to police, the quartet faces charges related to inciting violence, attempted murder and malicious damage.
However, in his latest missive, Museveni, who is also the NRM national chairman has said that the former deputy Attorney General must answer charges related to the violence he orchestrated after losing the election.
Speaking in general about all forms of chaos exhibited during the party’s election to pick flagbearers in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Museveni said those who orchestrated the same will face the wrath of the law.
“Those who beat people, like in Bukono, are all in jail or on the run. They will be fully accountable with robust charges; assault, attempted murder, murder etc. Those who altered results, will go to jail on forgery, fraud, subversion etc. and their forgeries will not stand,” he said.
The ruling NRM party used lining up behind candidates for the first time since being adopted by the party’s top organs early this year.
Whereas many including candidates who lost and election observers argued that lining up during the just concluded NRM primaries compromised the vote and ignored principles of a free and fair election, Museveni said the system was a success.
“This crime is easy to prove because in the example of the village X we used, there are 300 witnesses – the 200 that voted for A and 100 that voted for B. Therefore, the aggrieved candidates, get facts from a sample of villages from your village agents, who must speak truthfully otherwise they will also be charged with aiding and abetting a fraud as well as making false declarations, the Police will cross-check and criminal proceedings will be initiated,” the NRM national chairman said
The NRM national party chairman explained that problems of voter bribery started with the Electoral College system of voting prompting them to go for universal suffrage but with the secret ballot which he said neither helped the situation.
“Still, the problems of cheating persisted because whatever precautions we took, they depended on human vigilance, which was not always assured. That is why, recently, at the Chobe CEC Conference, we decided to go for lining up. You have seen how it has succeeded,”Museveni said.