President Museveni has said embattled state Minister for labour, Mwesigwa Rukutuna will be prosecuted for offences he committed in the recently concluded NRM primaries, stressing that cheating in his party is no more.
Police said on Saturday that they had detained the minister and his three escorts as a result of a shooting fracus in Ruhama, Ntungamo district in which one person was seriously injured and a motor vehicle damaged.
“The cheating in the NRM Primaries is over. Those who beat People, like in Bukono, are all in jail or on the run. Minister Rukutana is in jail and will be prosecuted. They will be fully accountable with robust charges: assault, attempted murder, murder etc,” the president said in a statement posted on his social media platforms on Monday morning.
The president who also doubles as the NRM National Chairman, said members of the party whom he described as “shallow crooks” still think they can bribe, intimidate, assault or alter results of the obvious that was witnessed by hundreds by lining up.
“This is an incredible shallowness,” he added.
SEE DETAILED STATEMENT BELOW;
Countrymen and Countrywomen, especially the Bazzukulu.
Greetings again. The other day I sent out a piece about the NRM Primaries where I thanked the NRM members for turning up massively and voting transparently.
Today, I am back to tell you that as usual, the NRM has finally come to grips with one of the major factors of destabilization in the politics of Uganda.
This is the criminal act of vote-rigging that nullifies the sovereignty of the People. We, who are in the NRM, have been fighting this ever-since 1961- that is 59 years of struggle. The mulyabyengeddes need to know that struggles, sometimes, take long.
The riggings of 1961-62, took two forms: intimidation and vandalism in many parts of Uganda, especially in Buganda, including the cutting of coffee of opponents, as well as massive rigging by multiple voting, ballot stuffing, altering results, gerrymandering Constituencies, etc. The last rigged elections were in April 1962. We never had elections again until 1980.
Before those elections, the NRM forerunners (Fronasa, UPM, UNLF) tried unsuccessfully to close all the loopholes of cheating. Other actors refused to accept our views and since we were not in control, we bided our time.
In 1986, we gained control and in 1989, when we expanded the NRC, we started on the long journey of combating rigging by the following actions:
1. Electoral Constituencies had to always coincide with the existing administrative units (Counties, Sub- Counties) and never ad-hoc Constituencies like in the past;
2. Got rid of the enclosed Polling booths and, instead, put the ballot boxes in the open and these days we are using the transparent ones;
3. We removed the multiple ballot boxes and ballot papers and introduced the single ballot box and the single ballot paper; this got rid of the practice of destroying the ballot papers of the opponent by pouring acid in the box of the opponent or switching labels on the boxes (DP’s symbol of hoe and symbol of palm of UPC);
4. Counting had to take place immediately after voting and the results declared unlike in the past when the ballot boxes had to be exported from Bukhungu on the shores of Lake Kyoga to Jinja before opening and counting;
5. The Contestants could have their agents at the Polling stations to see what was going on;
6. Registers had to be displayed on the Polling Station sometime before polling so that the surrounding villagers identify the non- residents, the dead, those who migrated, the underage, etc.