Go Forward candidate, Amama Mbabazi, spent Thursday in Kangole, Napak district canvassing for votes.
Speaking at his rallies, the former Prime minister introduced himself as Amama Mbabazi Ariong.
“This name Ariong was given to me yesterday as the Tepeth adopted me into their tribe. It means “son of a chief”.”
He said his supporters had been intimidated not to attend his rallies but thanked them for rejecting intimidation and preferring defiance.
“I come here to ask for your vote. Some of you may be asking why I am standing. Why after thirty years in various government positions. What can I provide that is different.”
First of all, he said, these years in service had given him experience in how the NRM government works.
“If you want to bring change, you must understand the system so that you can spot where the weaknesses are. I have been here since 1986.”
He said the way the constitution is set up, all power is vested in the President.
Not even the Vice President has powers unless they are given by the Head of State and these are to carry out a specific function, he explained.
“Every five years we choose a leader. Part of building an effective government is building trust among the people that government shall continue even after you are gone. This is why a transition is very important.”
He added: “A transition that will allow for new ideas and new ways of doing things. A transition that will allow the new team to look at an old problem with fresh solutions.”
According to Mbabazi, Napak is lagging behind in education and the health sector while electricity tariffs are too high for locals.
He promised to reduce the power tariffs so children can be able read books at night and succeed academically.
“We will have a special program for education including scholarships to reduce on the high rate of school dropouts.”
“My government pledges to build Health Centers and to have them adequately staffed by building staff quarters at subcounty level where the Health Centers shall be.”
He also spoke expensively on the advanced subcounty model saying the unit of development is not the district.
“This increases administrative costs unnecessarily. Rather we want the subcounty to become productive and create all sorts of opportunities for the citizens living in that sub county.”
On the Karamajong cattle that were stolen, Mbabazi pledged to restock these cattle.
“The livelihood of the people of Karamoja is very much tied to livestock rearing.”
Accuses UPDF and crime preventers of marring register
Speaking at rallies in Kotido and Abim yesterday, Mbabazi said his team was doing its part of trying to ensure the election result is safe by sending people to South Africa to monitor ballot paper printing.
“Please do your part by ensuring nobody stays home. Your vote is valuable to the democratic process in Uganda.”
He said, however, the national army [UPDF] and crime preventers were busy altering the national voters’ register.
Mbabazi told press that such were the incidents that sparked the 1981-86 liberation war warning that the use of crime preventers to disorganize the voters’ register was no different from the ugly events of the past.
“They have a register in every village and have been going around trying to ascertain those who are there and who are not,” he stated, wondering why the Electoral Commission had given up its work to the political commissariat of the UPDF.
“They [crime preventers and UPDF soldiers] have been given a register and are going around with it.”
The army and crime preventers have since dismissed the accusation as baseless.
Retired Major General Benon Biraaro, Farmers Party candidate thinks the recruitment of crime preventers ahead of the 2016 polls is a sign lack of a fully trained Military and Police force.
Police has recruited over one million crime preventers across the country to reinforce Police in the 2016 general elections.
There are at least 30 crime preventers in each village.