Museveni defends NRM victory, dismisses rigging allegations

President Museveni yesterday dismissed Opposition claims of massive rigging and poll fraud in the run up to Saturday’s declaration by the Electoral Commission that he had won the 2016 polls with 60.8 per cent of the total votes cast

Monday February 22 2016

President Museveni waves the Sunday Monitor

President Museveni waves the Sunday Monitor newspaper while addressing journalists in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District, yesterday. Photo by Colleb Mugume. 

By ALFRED TUMUSHABE & PEREZ RUMANZI

Rwakitura.

President Museveni yesterday dismissed Opposition claims of massive rigging and poll fraud in the run up to Saturday’s declaration by the Electoral Commission that he had won the 2016 polls with 60.8 per cent of the total votes cast.

Addressing his maiden press conference at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District a day after he was declared winner, Mr Museveni said: “Anyone trying to challenge the results of the elections must not be serious...that’s rubbish”.

Mr Museveni, 71, reasoned that if there was rigging, he wouldn’t have lost in Kampala and Wakiso districts, which overwhelmingly voted opposition party Forum for Democratic Change candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, whose party has since rejected the outcome of the February 18, poll outcomes.

FDC insists they will not recognise Mr Museveni’s victory, and is calling for an international audit of the results (see related story on P.6).

Mr Museveni, who was still revering in his victory yesterday, said he lost votes in Kampala, the capital, because of the work of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director Jennifer Musisi.

Mr Museveni said whereas re-organising the city was good for order, the problem was that there was no adequate sensitisation and provision of alternatives for the affected people.

Mr Museveni also promised that Uganda will become a middle income country under his stewardship in the next five years.
He said he had found that some Chinese nationals who were running an industry in Mukono had run out of the country thinking that there would be chaos. However, he assured the country there would be no chaos under his regime.

Mr Museveni, who has been credited for stabilising Uganda, has had relative challenges in terms of economic growth due to the weakening Shilling, which in his briefing, said was a result of Ugandans wiring money to outside countries.

“I said no one will destabilise Uganda during and after elections…In the next five years Opposition will be wiped out. They are taking advantage of internal weaknesses. I know they are liars,” he said.

He hailed the Electoral Commission for doing a good job saying: “I want to thank the EC for struggling with this big job which was not easy. I insisted on using electronic finger print readers. And I am glad it worked. I was being intimidated that this will not work, I insisted,” which he said had eliminated multiple voting and that he would in the next five years, if resources allow, work on the full computerisation of voting.

“What I would want to work towards is full computerisation of the voting, where by one would only need a finger print to vote. That will totally eliminate any games,” said Mr Museveni.

On voting
I want to thank the people of Uganda who turned up in big numbers and decided their future for the next five years. I think 10 million people turned up to vote. Some had to wait for many hours.
I have not found out from the Electoral Commission why there were delays in the areas near Kampala but I know they normally start with distant areas and end with the ones nearer. I don’t know why they never timed it well this time.

I want to thank the EC for struggling with this big job which was not easy. I insisted on using electronic fingerprint readers. And I am glad it worked. I was being intimidated that it will not work but I insisted.

This is what I have been fighting for the last 53 years. The elections we had in 1962, which were full of mistakes, especially rigging, were around the problem of either someone voting more than once, or people who were not supposed to vote like the underage voting.

Therefore, all these years I have been struggling to get rid of that. We didn’t vote from 1962 we only voted again in 1980, and I brought it up at that time they did not accept it. When we started voting in 1993 for the CA, we didn’t have the money (to do…) we made other reforms……like counting immediately after polling and announcing the results.

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