What 5 govt officials said in defence of Museveni victory

Monday February 22 2021
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Uganda's President-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He was declared a winner in the hotly contested 2021 election, extending his rule to 4th decade. Photo | File

By Anthony Wesaka
By Ephraim Kasozi

Five high-ranking government officials have presented written evidence to court defending President Museveni’s victory.
 
Gen David Muhoozi, CDF
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi, in his affidavit evidence defended the mass deployment of the army throughout the country on polling day. This, he said, was after the police sought their intervention to secure a peaceful voting environment.

“I know that the general deployment of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in the towns and villages in the country, was to secure a peaceful environment for the conduct of the presidential and general parliamentary and local government elections,” the CDF said.
Bobi Wine had in his petition claimed that the general deployment of the army created a general atmosphere of fear and terror.

 Justine Kasule Lumumba, NRM Secretary General
Ms Lumumba, in her affidavit, avers that on January 15 and 16 at the National Tally Centre in Kyambogo on the invitation of the Electoral Commission,  Justice Simon Byabakama periodically announced provisional presidential results that had been ascertained.
 “I know that the process was transparent and we were able to follow the tallying of the results throughout the entire process,” she states.
Bobi Wine accuses the EC failing to ascertain, transmit, tabulate and declare the actual results with transparency.
 
Esther Mbayo,  Minister for Presidency  
In her affidavit, Ms Mbayo denies ever having deployed the army in her constituency at Lambala Primary School Polling Station to chase away agents of Bobi Wine as claimed.
She also denies that her polling station is called Rwabara as alleged in the affidavit of Kyagulanyi’s witness, Mr Emmanuel Mbalasa. She says instead, her polling station is known as Lambala.
She denies engaging the army to force the electorate to vote President Museveni.
The minister also denies coordinating the election activities for President Museveni in her constituency,  saying she was instead coordinating her own agents since Mr Museveni had his own.
 
Ms Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, UCC executive director
Ms Kaggwa in her affidavit attributes the shutdown of Internet and social media services to the letter authored by the Security minister, Gen Elly Tumwiine. This follows a decision by the National Security Council on grounds that there was a security threat ahead of the polls if left operational. She states that even before the directive, the commission had on its own monitored the use of social media platforms and noted a lot of incidents of violation of laws.
 She adds that after receiving the order, she directed the telecommunication firms to implement it.
Ms Sewankambo says despite the suspension of the Internet services, Uganda was not in a communication blackout as there were 320 radio stations and 45 television stations that were operational coupled with courier and postal services. Bobi Wine accuses the EC and government of failing to ensure freedom and fairness during the election when UCC switched off Internet services.
 
Edward Ochom, Police’s director of operations
Mr Ochom tells court that they requested for the reinforcement of the army and other sister security agencies to carry out their mandate and ensure peaceful elections.

“I am aware that the security deployment across the country created a secure environment which gave confidence to the public to turn up and vote. The voting day activities went on in a very peaceful environment,” he states.
Mr Ochom also clarifies that the security deployment was under the command of the police.

Bobi Wine alleges that the mass deployment of various security officers with guns and armoured cars instilled fear among voters who refrained from voting. He has up to tomorrow to file any evidence in rebuttal to any new information that Mr Museveni, EC and the AG, could have introduced.

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