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Friday, 29 April 2011

Uganda clergy accuse Museveni of rigging the 2011 election

Museveni denies bribing voters

Thursday, 28th April, 2011

By Taddeo Bwambale and Barbara Among

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday denied allegations that his party, the National Resistance Movement, bribed voters during the 2011 elections.

Speaking at the closure of a two-day conference organised by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda on sustainable peace, justice, peace and good governance, Museveni said it was immoral to use money to buy votes.

“I can never give money to voters because it is immoral and unacceptable,” he said.

He explained that the culture of giving money during elections was introduced in 1995 by a group of youth he called ‘careerists’.

“The young men looked at campaigns as a money making venture, while for me in politic it’s a cause,” said Museveni.

The President was reacting to concerns presented by the religious leaders which included bribery of voters with money and other donations at public functions, including the creation of new districts, intimidation of political actors and inadequate voter education.

He denied that the NRM influenced the electoral process, arguing that the elections were managed by civil servants, many of whom are anti-NRM.”

The insinuation by some clergy that the President’s donations to certain sections of the church amounted to bribery angered the President.

“To say that giving such facilitation to religious leaders is bribery is an insult to me. This kind of arrogance should stop,” he said.

“Why should religious leaders get money from homosexuals when they can get it here.

The money that they receive is tax-payers’ money and a contribution to the communities that the religious leaders serve.”

“I expect that when the opposition comes into power in the distant future, they will also make contributions to the church. The President listed the media, civil servants and the Police as anti-NRM institutions.”

“The Police is changing since we started transforming them into a positive force,”

He also denied that the army was used to intimidate the voters during elections.

On the question of the power of incumbency, Museveni denied that he used state resources to campaign.

Instead, he said he was disadvantaged as the incumbent.

“The incumbent has got a lot of disadvantage. You are running the country and campaigning while other candidates have a lot of time,” he said.