Women rights activist, Miria Matembe, says the new Biometric Voter Registration System acquired by the electoral commission may pause challenges.
Matembe says the electoral officials haven’t been trained fully and the system hasn’t been tested.
“The EC of Badru Kiggundu and Sam Rwakoojo is the chief agent of President Yoweri Museveni. We all know why they were appointed,” Matembe said Thursday morning while appearing on NBS TV morning breeze programme.
She said if all opposition parties stayed away from elections, to legitimize his rule, Museveni would come up with ‘rival’ parties.
She said, for example, President Museveni’s post-Ntungamo clashes comments indicated that for one to be a Ugandan, they have to be NRM.
“Museveni calls himself a leopard. EC is silent. Besigye speaks of defiance and EC is suddenly vocal.”
Elections already rigged
According to Matembe, elections are a formality in Uganda.
“They have been reduced to that. Over 40% of Ugandans don’t trust EC.”
Matembe says Museveni continues to reduce elections to a formality by saying he will not leave power.
“Why waste resources and time?” she wondered.
She said by saying he will not leave power, Museveni is telling Ugandans, “I’ll resort to rigging or explore military force” which she described as shameful.
“The power belongs to Museveni, the most powerful man in Uganda. He does whatever he wants.”
She added: “Elections already rigged. This was done at registration. Foreigners who are taking our land among registered voters.”
Matembe also commented on the new opinion poll by Research World International (RWI) which gave Museveni 51 percent followed by Forum for Democratic Change party presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye at 32 percent and ex-premier Amama Mbabazi at 12 percent.
She said the RWI poll was professionally done but at time it was conducted, most candidates hadn’t covered a lot of ground.
“If another poll was carried out today, President Museveni would lose more ground.”
“I wouldn’t take New Vision poll that gives President Museveni 71% serious. What do expect from a state-leaning paper?” Matembe pointed out.
According to her, opinion polls influence public opinion and that Besigye gained ground by 17% while Museveni lost by 4% in latest RWI poll.
She said the general mood across the country is a need for change.
“Despite intimidation, people still throng opposition rallies. We have undecided voters because that don’t have faith in the system. Will the process be free and fair?”
Pays tribute to Biraaro
Matembe further expressed her respect for people who gather the courage to contest.
“I applaud them,” she said, adding that very few people knew Benon Biraaro before the presidential debate but when he spoke, people saw a certain desire.
“Me, I am not standing because I haven’t received the calling. One doesn’t have to be a politician to have an impact on society but there is need for a conducive environment.”
Museveni not fit to lead Uganda
“Museveni is not fit to lead this country,” Matembe turned attention to the man she fell out with in 2003.
“As a president, he has to serve both those who support him and those who don’t.”
She said President Museveni’s inability to respect people’s choices and fellow leaders, makes him an amateur.
She said democracy is not perfect but Ugandans need to aspire towards being democratic.
“Museveni doesn’t understand democracy.”
She said there is a difference between a party and a state.
“Museveni is NRM and he is the state plus institutions e.g EC, police.”