Minister Rukutana remanded to prison on attempted murder charges

Monday September 07 2020
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The State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana pictured being ecsorted by prison warders after he was on September 7, 2020 remanded to Kakiika Prison in Mbarara District on seven counts including attempted murder. Photo by Elly Katahinga

The State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kakiika Prison in Mbarara District on seven counts including attempted murder.
The Rushenyi County MP on Monday appeared before Ntungamo grade one Magistrate, Nazifa Namayanja who remanded him until tomorrow (September 8, 2020) when he will appear the Chief Magistrate for his bail application.

The 61-year-old former deputy attorney general was charged with seven offences including attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threatening violence and malicious damage, among others.

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Police use teargas to disperse Rukutana supporters protesting his detention

Monday September 07 2020

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Police in Ntungamo Municipality in western Uganda were on Monday forced to use tear gas to disperse rowdy supporters of detained State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana.

Police said on Saturday that they had detained the Rushenyi County MP and his three escorts following a shooting incident in Ruhama, Ntungamo district in which one person was seriously injured and a motor vehicle damaged.
His family members and supporters stormed police on Monday demanding for his release and declare him winner of the just concluded NRM primaries in which he lost to Ms Naome Kabasharira, the former Ntungamo Woman MP.

The protesters from all sub counties of Rushenyi County were heard chanting and demanding that charges be dropped and the former deputy attorney general be release.
They vowed to continue the protest against what they described as unlawful and unjust detention and the coercive tactics against the will of majority threatening to defect to the newly formed National Unity Platform (NUP) headed by Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine if President Museveni who is the NRM national chairman does not intervene.

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Museveni: The cheating in the NRM Primaries is over

Monday September 07 2020

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President Museveni has said detained state Minister for labour minister, Mr 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 following a shooting incident 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.

According to the president, the NRM members 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.

Below is the president’s full statement;
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.

This could have eliminated rigging and fraud but for two problems: corruption and lack of vigilance by many of the Citizens. The election officials have taken to corruption.
Secondly, especially for the NRM supporters many of whom are farmers, Business people, etc. They have no time to go and check on those registers. This allows the crooks to manipulate the lists.

Then there is the problem of violence, threats, intimidation, and bribes which the Police and GISOs should stop.
However, it has been part of my mission since 1961 to contribute to the ending of votes rigging in Uganda. I, therefore, determined to close those gaps also.
The only way to close this gap that did not depend on the vigilance of the People was the digital verification of the voters using their biometric-data (fingerprints etc.) so that voter registers only once and if he or she tries to register a second time, the Central memory of the system will detect it and block it.

The corrupt team that was in the Electoral Commission refused to procure this system. It is, however, being procured now. This will end this sad story of the anti-democratic forces at least as far as the problem of multiple voting and multiple registrations is concerned. It will also deal with the problem of ballot stuffing because the fingerprints digitally read must be equal to the votes in the ballot box.
The issue of bribery, threats, attacks, etc. is for the Police and the Public to capture the evidence and we deal with those Criminals. These measures would free the voting process of the Country from the crooks.

However, for political parties like the NRM, we cannot have the resources to build such a digital system. Yet, we were being undermined by the corrupt actors that had infiltrated the NRM when we came from the bush. When we came from the bush, we used the method of lining up behind candidates of our choice and it was very transparent.
However, with the 1995 Constitution, it was decided to go to secret ballot even when we were still using the Electoral College system. Then the problems of bribery started. This provoked the pressure to go for universal suffrage but with the secret ballot. 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. It is transparent for everybody to see during daylight.

However, the shallow crooks still think they can bribe, can intimidate, can assault or can, even, alter results of the obvious that was witnessed by hundreds. This is an incredible shallowness.
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.
Those who altered results will go to jail on forgery, fraud, subversion etc. and their forgeries will not stand. We do not even have to repeat the elections, except where they were not held. We simply need to audit what happened in each village.

The NRM elections are village-based. They should begin in the village and end in the village. Once the counting is done in the village, the elections are over.
The rest is adding. It will, therefore, not help anybody to miss–add because the original village generated numbers are there and the People who are aware of these numbers are many.
Any other shallow schemes like moving voters on Lorries from village to village are easy to unearth. Those are all crimes for which the perpetrators will be answerable criminally.

This, therefore, maybe the tail end of cheating in the NRM. Even the victims of these schemes should be steady. Just get facts from your village agents (truthful facts); the crooks are wasting their time and ours. The NRM will end rigging in Uganda by the digitalized biometric voter registration and by transparency through lining behind candidates or their photographs within the NRM. Another first for the NRM.
Ykm, the Old man with a hat.


They also accused the Ntungamo District NRM party chairperson who is also the First Lady, Janet Kataaha Museveni of manipulating the election process and directing the NRM district registrar, Ms Maria Mirembe to announce the partial results excluding 10 villages which had not yet handed over their results.

“No! No! this is not state house where Janet Kataaha Museveni can direct to announce results in favour of her son Justus Karuhanga and Naome Kabasharira. We implore the public to stand up against the authoritarian government of NRM or we defect to other opposition parties,” one of the protestors shouted.
Armed with banners and placards inscribed with slogans free Mwesigwa Rukutana, our developmental MP, who built churches, mosques, schools, roads and clean water in our area, the protestors appealed to Mr Museveni to ensure a swift investigation and order the release Mr Rukutana.

The Ntungamo DPC, Damian Katwesiime told this reporter that they had to disperse the protestors because they did not seek permission from police to demonstrate.
“We could not allow them to demonstrate because we were not sure of their intentions. Additionally, they did not seek permission for it, so we dispersed them with teargas. Everybody vanished in thin air,” he said.
Ms Mirembe told this publication that the results were declared excluding other villages because they were under pressure from voters.
“And in doing so we thought it could maintain sanity,” she said.
President Museveni on Monday said Rukutana would be prosecuted for the offences he committed.

“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.
Ms Kabasharira was declared winner with 24,006 votes against Rukutana’s 23,966. Bob Karabayi got 2,266 votes, Nicholas Niwahereza 1,202 votes while Norman Kashereka got 346 votes.


Several people including local politicians, Members of Parliament, his supporters and family members attended court with hope that Mr Rukutana would be released on bail.
Some of the notable politicians who attended court include the State Minister for Urban Planning Dr Chris Baryomunis who is also Kinkizi East MP, Former information Minister Jim Muhwezi, Suzan Muhwezi, Igara East MP Michael Mawanda and businessman Bob Kabonero, among others.

The minister and his three escorts were arrested on Saturday following a shooting incident in Ruhama, Ntungamo district in which one person was seriously injured and a motor vehicle damaged.

However, the three escorts did not appear in court and neither did anyone make mention of them.

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