“There are people who do not want to be inconvenienced. If there is an individual who wants to cause problem, then the police is right to apply the law of preventive arrest by stopping him from causing problems to others who are not aggrieved by the election result”.
GULU-UGANDA: A loser in the just concluded Uganda’s Presidential and Parliamentary election has commended the Uganda Police Force (UPF) for arresting and putting main opposition leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, under house arrest because he (Besigye) wants to “inconvenience others” on the streets of Kampala with his defiance campaigns.
Dr. Besigye has been in police custody about nine times since February 18, 2016, when presidential and parliamentary election was held. Currently, he is under house arrest at his home at Kasangati, a suburb of Kampala, for what police say is “preventive arrests” to stop him from causing chaos on the streets of Kampala City. Access to him has been restricted to a few with a number of journalists arrested for reporting on what goes on outside his home.
“There are people who do not want to be “inconvenienced”. If there is an individual who wants to cause problem, then the police is right to apply the law of “preventive arrest” by stopping him from causing problems to others who are not aggrieved by the election results”, says Mr. Timothy Jokkene-Okee, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary flag-bearer for Gulu Municipality seat.
Mr. Okee, who polled 7,281 votes, lost the race to Mr. Lyandro Komakech of the Democratic Party (DP), who got 11,510 votes to claim the seat. Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Mr. Hiram Wilfred Ocholla, came third with 3,839 votes.
He however expressed worry about the current state of affairs in Uganda where security forces have been massively deployed on the streets of Kampala and there is tension between government and the main opposition party (FDC). FDC have since rejected the poll results and is demanding for an international body to audit the Declaration of Results forms, claiming that what was announced by the Electoral Commission does not reflect what it (FDC) has.
It will be the first time in the history of Uganda that incumbent president Mr. Yoweri Museveni will appear in court to answer charges of election malpractices filed by the third runner up of the declared result, Mr. John Patrick Amama-Mbabazi next week, to defend his win.
“It is a political talk to claim that Uganda is in “a police state” now. Yes, I am worried about the state of affairs in the country now, but let us not jump into things that may cause us problems. If it is a national uprising, let everywhere be on fire, but not just to confine your actions of the poor neighborhood of Kampala”, says Okee.
Mr. Okee, who says he is not a career politician, told the media from the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) offices in Gulu town that the election was all about “reality verses imaginations” because politicians are not mindful about the people’s problems and how to solve them but want only to go to parliament.
“We lost although we thought we would win. This is an in-house thing for NRM. We have a disgruntled people in northern Uganda. It is very easy to sell negative news to our people. I think we lost because NRM did not have anything concrete for the youth who form the bulk of our voters (over 60%). NRM thought more about women. It is very easy to sell negative messages to the youths”, he says.
He described the kind of politics of the DP party President Mr. Norbert Mao as “obsolete” which does not sell now, saying Mao should sit and reflect on his life. This comes after two candidates Mao was selling to the people of Gulu to vote failed in their bids. The first loss was suffered by Presidential candidate Amama-Mbabazi of the Independent Go-Forward Mao was selling to the people of Northern Uganda. He was third with less than 2% of overall results. The second loss for Mao was for the Gulu Municipality Mayoral race was when he tried to sell DP candidate Geoffrey Otim who polled 4000 votes against the winner incumbent Mayor George Labeja’s 6,556 votes.
“Mao is a clever and cunning politician. I once tried to call and counsel him. He is leading us to a path not sustainable-just to vote NRM out. Acholi should not spend all their life fighting government. We should find our space. Politicians should mind about the people and the future. People should start to think of how we can bring politics of developments instead of imaginations,” he says.
He also rejected assertion by President Museveni that NRM lost elections in the north because of cattle compensation which has been dragging on for over ten years now. He said majority of voters in the north do not know the value of cattle because they are youth who grew up in concentration (IDP) camps.
“These youth have nothing to do with cows when they don’t know what a cow is. We can pay the cows, but the problem of youths will still remain”, he says.
Mr. Okee, who is a successful businessman, says he has written a shs.13 billion project (about $4 million) to attract youths back to the land so as to utilize the available land which is not being put into use.