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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

When grey hair does not mean wisdom! Museveni’s minister and Sociology Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere says stealing votes is part of life…although it is painful to be cheated in an election, the aggrieved persons should learn to “live with it.”

Poll rigging is part of life - Kabwegyere


Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office, Tarsis Kabwegyere addressing the press in Kampala recently. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA 
By PAUL TAJUBA

Posted  Sunday, March 13   2016 at  12:54
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KAMPALA. Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office Tarsis Kabwegyere has said election losers should learn to accept results no matter the malpractices because stealing votes is part of life.
Prof Kabwegyere was on Friday speaking at a public dialogue on the election process in Uganda organised by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE). He said although it is painful to be cheated in an election, the aggrieved persons should learn to “live with it.”
“If you are cheated as many times as some people have been, please accept that being cheated is a possibility and please live with it,” Prof Kabwegyere said.
In 2001 and 2006, the Supreme Court agreed with Dr Kizza Besigye of the opposition Forum For Democratic Change (FDC) that there were gross electoral malpractices in both presidential elections but ruled that despite all those anomalies, they would not annul President Museveni’s election.
Prof Kabwegyere also disputed the strength of the Opposition in the country, saying there is no way they can govern without majority members in parliament.
“If you can’t field candidates in constituencies to give you a majority in parliament, how do you expect to run a democracy which is dependent on numeracy? Mr Kabweyere asked.
At the same dialogue, retired Justice James Ogoola preached peace and reconciliation as the ideal way forward for the country.
Weakness in justice system
However, Ms Sheila Kawamara-Mishambi, a member of Uganda Women’s Network, challenged Mr Ogoola saying the justice system, like many other institutions, cannot guarantee redress to the aggrieved parties.
“If we are talking about stability, do not expect me to preach revolution. Revolution cannot bring stability. We are talking about wise choices,” Justice Ogoola shot back.
Former Kenyan ambassador to France, Bethuel Kiplagat, who gave a keynote address, said instability in Uganda directly affects Kenyans and that Africans should learn to solve domestic problems peacefully.
“No single soul should die because of election, before, during or after,” ambassador Kiplagat said.
Kenya at risk
“Our economy in Kenya depends on you and I think, two or three per cent of the [Gross Domestic Product] depends on you [Uganda]. It is you who have made it for us. So, we have deep interest here, we cannot leave you…we are tied together,” he added.
Mr Richard Todwong, the deputy secretary general of the ruling NRM, said the party is experiencing transition from the old guard to new crop. He said that transition will soon include the party chairman Yoweri Museveni.

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