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23-29 November 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Uganda
Posted on December 11, 2015

Contents

  1. Controversial NGO bills passed
  2. The Pope's visit to Uganda
  3. Elections: Allegations of rigging

1. Controversial NGO bill passed
Privately-Owned Media

Daily Monitor, November 27th 2015 - Parliament passes controversial NGO bill on eve of pope's arrival

  • Ugandan lawmakers have passed a bill that would give authorities sweeping powers to regulate civil society, which rights groups say will "strangle" criticism of the government just hours before the arrival of Pope Francis.
  • Civil society groups say the legislation gives the government unprecedented powers, including the ability to shut down non-governmental organisations and jail their members.
  • Gay rights groups are particularly worried that if the bill is passed they might be targeted in a country that has previously passed tough anti-homosexuality legislation, which was later overturned on a technicality.
  • Under the bill, Uganda's internal affairs minister and national board for NGOs would have powers to supervise, approve, inspect and dissolve an organisation if "it is in the public interest to do so."

2. The Pope’s Visit to Uganda
Privately-Owned Media

Daily Monitor, November 25th, 2015 – Gay Ugandans seek private Pope Session

  • Leading gay rights activist Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) said a group of gay Catholics "had written to the public offices of the Vatican" asking for a private meeting with Francis during his stay in the country from November 27-29.
  • A harsh new anti-homosexuality law was struck down last year by the constitutional court in Uganda -- the second of three African countries the pope will visit on his Africa tour -- but under a colonial-era penal code homosexual acts remain illegal.
  • Pressure group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also written to the pope ahead of his Uganda visit urging him to "raise a number of human rights issues", among them gay rights.

3. Elections – Allegations of vote-rigging in NRM primaries
State-Owned Media

New Vision – November 23rd, 2015 – MP aspirant’s office torched, property worth sh160m gone

  • Police in Sheema District are hunting for unknown people who set ablaze the office of district woman MP aspirant, Jacklet Atuhaire Rwabukurukuru destroying property worth sh160m.
  • Speaking to journalists on Saturday, shocked Atuhaire said in the office were computers, and documents including declaration forms of the recent NRM party primary elections which were won by Rosemary Nyakikongoro.
  • Atuhaire was among the women aspirants for Sheema district in the recent concluded NRM party elections. She petitioned the results claiming the exercise was marred by mass rigging and irregularities. She said in the office were documents of evidence to support her petition.

New Vision – November 26th, 2015 – Mukula urges NRM unity in Eastern Uganda

  • Mukula apologized on behalf of the party for the shortcomings in the election process, which he said was characterized by malpractices.
  • He said the party was still considering reviewing the process to abolish ballot voting and return to lining behind candidates, which he said was more transparent.
  • He however said the mess in the elections was caused by individuals within themselves and not the party chairman or the party leadership. 
  • "The NRM primaries were meant to be coordinated in a clear framework and set guidelines that were supposed to be followed but unfortunately some of you marred the process and spoilt the rather good process," he said.

 

Privately-Owned Media

Daily Monitor, November 23rd, 2015 - Lwemiyaga voters destroy NRM cards

  • Some NRM voters in Lwemiyaga County last week demonstrated against what they described as vote-rigging in the NRM primaries.
  • Angry NRM supporters vowed that they will not participate in the 2016 general elections if the NRM electoral commission doesn’t organise fresh party elections in Lwemiyaga County.
  • They blamed President Museveni over his failure to take action against those whom they said were rigging votes in favour of a few NRM leaders against the majority.

The Observer, November 26th, 2015 - NRM losers form alliance to fight Museveni, party candidates

  • At least 100 losers in the National Resistance Movement primaries in Masaka sub-region have formed an alliance to fight all NRM candidates including the party's presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni.
  • The losers have given party chairman Museveni an ultimatum of seven days to address their grievances or else their turn their guns against him and all NRM candidates.
  • The Aggrieved Robbed NRM Aspirants claim they were saddened when the NRM Electoral Commission chairman Dr Tanga Odoi ignored their election petitions despite the glaring irregularities in the primaries. He cites the example of Kacheera sub county where the primaries didn't take place, but the party EC went ahead and declared a winner.

 


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