The Independent Coalition flag bearer, Elton Joseph Mabirizi, has congratulated the people of Uganda for turning up in large numbers to vote on February 18, 2016.
In a statement issued Monday, Mabirizi also saluted the 23 former presidential aspirants “who put Uganda first” and backed his candidature.
“Through their individual and collective effort, we were able to present our campaign messages and to receive votes from every single district of Uganda. We ran a very challenging campaign that lacked equipment and money. But we were efficient. We completed the race with honour.”
Mabirizi says although they didn’t win the election, his group instead proved itslef as frontline stakeholders in Uganda’s democratic struggle.
“It is in this capacity that I issue this statement. We are not spectators. TIC and I are actors, and will continue to be, in the struggle for true democracy, justice and the rule of law to be established in Uganda.”
On February 20, 2016, the Chairman of the Electoral commission declared Mr. Yoweri Museveni winner of the 2016 presidential elections, Mabirizi points, noting that “this is a shame”.
“Mr. Museveni did not win this election. Besides, Dr. Badru Kiggundu, as all reports from local and international observers have indicated, presided over an election that was neither free, fair not credible.”
Mabirizi says his records obtained from agents countrywide and from colleagues with whom he cooperated in vote protection attest to the sad fact that the results announced by Dr. Kiggundu were and are a deplorable forgery.
“The Independent Coalition and I reject these results. We consequently demand the immediate resignation of Chairman Kiggundu and his commissioners.”
“Working with our colleagues and partners, we shall challenge this result using all constitutional means available to us, until the stolen victory is reversed and handed back to the true winner of this election. In doing so, we shall not allow ourselves to be intimidated, coerced or blackmailed.”
Mabirizi agrees the nation is at cross roads and that something must be done quickly.
He proposes an annulment of the declaration of Mr. Museveni as winner and for the avoidance of doubt, a vote recount be conducted, as national demand, as there was no tallying worth its name at the national tally center at Nambole, but periodic announcements of forged results.
Results from at least 1700 polling stations were selectively not tallied, he points out.
To save the country and petitioners from the huge expenses of a court petition whose outcome is not likely to be different from that of 2001 and 2006, Mabirizi proposes an out of court settlement that involves a public hearing on the conduct of the 2016 Presidential election, during which all evidence of electoral irregularities will be presented and analysed.
“To halt preparations for the swearing in of the winner that never was; To seek interpretation and guidance from the constitutional court on the matter of the likely event that the public hearing may not have been complete by May 2016 and Return of the Army to barracks and to substantially reduce the presence of other armed personnel from the streets and some villages, which has created an atmosphere of intimidation, fear and siege.”
He also proposes the release all persons arrested on election related offences. Many of these have not been produced in court.
Those that are already remanded through the court system should be produced in court as soon as possible and granted court bond.
He also proposes the immediate removal of the siege on Dr. Kizza Besigye residence and to guarantee his right of free movement within Uganda and abroad.
“Establish a Contact Group on the Post-Election Situation comprising at least two representatives from each presidential candidate’s camp, Uganda Police Force, other security agencies, civil society, faith communities and other stakeholders to take care of emerging conflicts and security issues on a daily basis, during this period of uncertainty.”
He also suggests that the Elders Forum, Inter Religious Council of Uganda, National Consultative Forum, and Interparty Organization for Dialogue jointly convene an urgent meeting of stakeholders to agree a minimum agenda for diffusion of tension.
“All stakeholders meeting should sign a declaration pledging peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict and desist from inciting the public into actions that could lead to break down of law and order, as an amicable solution is being sought.”