Tanzania gov’t wins key seats in vote marred by fraud claims

Tanzania’s polls commission began releasing parliamentary election results today Thursday October 29, 2020 with the the ruling party wining key seats in a vote they said to be full of irregularities.

Counting was taking place across country wide and its semi-autonomous archipelago Zanzibar which also elects its own president and lawmakers after the opposition reported ballot box stuffing and their party agents thrown out of polling stations.

As results trickled out on state TV, opposition Chadema lawmaker and chairman Freeman Mbowe lost his long-held seat at Hai in the Kilimanjaro region, one of several lost by the opposition.

“We can’t talk about elections. It is violence. There were several deplorable incidents across the country,” Mbowe told media on Wednesday.

Mbowe, who was brutally assaulted in what he said was a politically-motivated attack in June, tweeted that his life was “in danger” on the eve of the election, accusing police of raiding his hotel.

There are 264 parliamentary seats up for grabs in the election.

Election commission chairman Wilson Charles Mahera said they would shortly begin releasing results from a presidential race in which John Magufuli is seeking a second term in office.

“The commission is starting to receive results from the presidential election… after verification we will at any moment start publishing preliminary results,” he told reporters.

Long deemed a haven of stability in East Africa, observers say Tanzania is sliding into autocracy under Magufuli and his Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which has been in power since independence 1961. 

Magufuli, who turns 61 on Thursday, was elected in 2015 as a corruption-busting man of the people, but has drawn criticism over a slide into autocracy, crackdown on the opposition and freedom of speech.

His main challenger in a field of 15 presidential candidates is 52-year-old Tundu Lissu, who returned to Tanzania in July after three years abroad recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in what he believes was a politically-motivated assassination attempt.

Lissu’s return reinvigorated an opposition demoralised by arrests, attacks and a ban on rallies outside of election time.

However the opposition had already voiced concern about the fairness of the election ahead of polling, and on Wednesday both parties on mainland Tanzania and semi-autonomous Zanzibar cried foul.

“Voting reports indicate widespread irregularities in the form of preventing our polling agents from accessing polling stations,” Lissu, from the Chadema party, said on Twitter. 

“If this continues, mass democratic action will be the only option to protect the integrity of the election.”

Chadema secretary general John Mnyika told media their lawmaker in the Kawe district of Dar es Salaam, Halima Mdee, was briefly arrested after protesting the discovery of ballot boxes stuffed with “pre-marked votes” in favour of the ruling CCM.

In volatile Zanzibar, where the opposition ACT-Wazalendo said 10 people were killed in the run-up to the vote, party official Muhene Said Rashid showed journalists piles of stamped ballots with tick marks next to Magufuli’s name which he said had been seized from CCM “zealots”.

He said party agents had been kicked out of some polling stations.

The president of Tanzania’s electoral commission, Semistocles Kaijage, said Wednesday night they had not yet received complaints on the incidents of ballot stuffing.

Zanzibar, which has a history of contested, violent elections, voted under heavy security, and police and soldiers, some on armoured personnel carriers, continued to patrol throughout Wednesday evening.

An AFP reporter saw security forces beating several civilians.

Assistant police chief Awadhi Juma Haji said they were “just ensuring our people of security. We were alert, no need to panic”.

Zanzibar’s election body director Thabit Idarous Faina said: “We are finalising tallying, Zanzibar presidential results will be announced within 24 hours.”

Opposition leader Seif Sharif Hamad has accused the ruling party of trying to steal every vote since multi-party democracy was introduced in 1995. Foreign observers have often agreed.

Tanzania’s election, for which around 29 million people were registered to vote on the mainland and 560,000 in Zanzibar, took place largely without external monitors.

Most international media were unable to gain accreditation to cover voting on the mainland, and major social media networks were blocked, accessible only through virtual private networks (VPN).

Hon. Kyagulanyi’s signatures ahead of presidential nominations

The Electoral Commission (EC) has verified the signatures of National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, paving way for his nomination on November 3, 2020.

EC spokesperson Paul Bukenya on Wednesday, 28 October 2020, confirmed the verification of Mr Kyagulanyi.

Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, a NUP candidate, confirmed the verification.

“Our Signatures have been finally verified. You know where to be on 3rd November 2020 ? Kyambogo University grounds,” Zaake said.

This brings to 10 the number of presidential aspirants who have been cleared for nomination. Others are NRM party’s Yoweri Museveni, Henry Tumukunde, Nancy Linda Nakalembe and Fred Mwesigye.

Mugisha Muntu of ANT, Willy Mayambala, Joseph Kabuleta, John Kalumba and FDC’s Patrick Obi Amuriat have also been cleared.

This comes after Kyagulanyi aimed a major dig at the New Vision—slamming the state run paper over consistent negative reporting and said it has been reduced to a propaganda tool by the regime.

This was over the newspaper’s headline for Wednesday, 28 October 2020, which indicated that Bobi Wine’s signatures were being questioned.

“Ever since we declared our intention to challenge [the incumbent president] Gen. Museveni, the New Vision will go to any extent to look for a negative story to write abou

“A few weeks ago, they wrote a bogus story about the bogus court case and showed that we were most likely going to lose the case! Their intention of course was to discourage candidates from running under NUP”

Security forces in Uganda last month raided the offices of Bobi Wine, as tensions rise months ahead of presidential elections in January.

Soldiers and police officers invaded the headquarters of NUP in Kamwokya, a suburb of Kampala and seized cash, posters, banners and quantities of red berets –Bobi Wine’s signature headgear and a “symbol of resistance” which the government says is illegal.

Col Bantariza succumbed to Covid-19, says gov’t

As this website; (MSNEWSUG.COM) told you earlier on Tuesday 27th October 2020 that the retired army officer might have been succumbed to COVID-19, government through Government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, who doubles as the UMC executive director told journalists that the former army spokesperson had died of Covid-19.

“He died at about 2:00am this morning from Mulago hospital where he had been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit since Sunday,” Mr Opondo said.

Bantariza had been complaining of chest pain, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and cough before he was admitted to hospital.

“He was first admitted in Mbuya Military Hospital on Friday from where he was taken to Victoria and then eventually transferred to Mulago after they had suspected he could have contracted Covid-19,” Mr. Opondo added.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has confirmed the death of Col Shaban Bantariza is a big blow to the party, given his loyalty and the fact that he had been appointed by President Museveni to help reconcile party members ahead of 2021.

The deputy executive director of Uganda Media Centre (UMC) died Tuesday morning at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted since Sunday.

Col. Bantariza’s Background

Batanzira was born in Mitooma District in Uganda’s Western Region, circa 1963. He attended St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe, in Fort Portal, Kabarole District for his O-Level studies. He then joined the Catholic brotherhood, where he trained as an elementary school teacher.

While pursuing a course at Makerere University in 1985, he abandoned his studies and joined the National Resistance Army, led by Yoweri Museveni. He attended guerrilla bootcamp in the Kabarore area, in foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.

 He also attended and graduated from the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College, having studied the senior command course offered annually at the college.

Bantariza served as the UPDF spokesperson from 2000 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006.[8] For a period of time, prior to February 2009, Batanzira, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, served as the commander of the Oliver Tambo Leadership School,[9] in Kaweweta, Nakaseke District, in Uganda’s Central Region.[10] On 26 February 2009, he was appointed commandant of the National Leadership Institute (NALI), in Kyankwanzi, Kyankwanzi District.

He served in that capacity until he was relieved of his duties on 7 October 2011.

In June 2013, he was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the National Media Centre. On 2 July 2013, at the rank of colonel, he was arrested, charged with embezzlement and remanded to Makindye Military prison by the General Court Martial on charges of alleged fraud.

 After proceedings that lasted nearly three years, the Court Martial, chaired by Major General Levi Karuhanga, acquitted Colonel Bantariza due to lack of evidence against him, on 14 April 2015.

On 24 June 2015, following his acquittal by the general court martial, he resumed work at the Uganda Media Centre, the president of Uganda having directed in writing that Bantariza resumes work.

Biden, Obama slam Trump Covid-19 response

An energized Joe Biden and Barack Obama on Saturday accused Donald Trump of a massive screw-up in his handling of the coronavirus, but the US president remained ebullient despite trailing in polls with 10 days to go until the election.

Trump plowed through three campaign rallies in one day, targeting separate battleground states as he sought to close the gap with Biden.

But the president’s efforts have been inescapably overshadowed by a grim reality: the US set a daily record for new Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row on Saturday, at nearly 89,000, with a further surge expected as cold weather arrives.

The virus has claimed more than 224,000 American lives, with no end in sight, and a majority of voters say Trump has handled the crisis poorly.

“That’s Donald Trump’s presidency,” Biden said Saturday during a drive-in rally, one of two events in his native Pennsylvania, a critical swing state. He spoke from a stage decorated with bales of hay and Halloween pumpkins.

“Donald Trump said, and is still saying, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away. We’re learning how to live with it.”ADVERTISEMENT

Biden added: “We’re not learning how to live with it. You’re asking us to learn how to die with it and it’s wrong.”

The Biden campaign also deployed a key surrogate, former president Barack Obama, who slammed the Trump administration’s Covid-19 response.

“The idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this thing up is nonsense,” Obama told supporters at a drive-in rally in Miami, Florida.

“Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us. He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself,” Obama added, referring to Trump’s hospitalization for Covid-19 three weeks ago.

Also slamming the president’s failure to denounce white supremacy, and the many times he has lied in public, among other issues, Obama called on supporters to vote for his former vice president.

“We can make things better… That’s what voting is about, not making things perfect, but making things better,” he said.

“If we vote up and down the ticket like never before, we will elect Joe Biden.”

 ‘I get it’ 

Trump shrugged off Obama’s criticism, saying on Twitter that the former president had only “47 people” at his event.

“No energy, but still better than Joe!” he quipped.

And he shrugged off polls which continue to show his Democratic rival Biden leading the race.

“They want to depress you,” he said of the political and media outlets reporting the numbers. “These polls are much better than four years ago.”

“This election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression,” he told supporters under a hot sun in North Carolina, highlighting promises of a cure to Covid-19 and a rapid economic recovery.

Biden has a firm lead in national polls, and narrower leads in many battleground states like Florida that typically decide the winner of US presidential elections.

But Democrats are not about to forget the stunning upset Trump pulled off in 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton, and Biden worked to chip away at Trump supporters Saturday.

“I understand why some people voted for Donald Trump, they believe they weren’t seen, or being respected or heard… I get it. But then he got elected, he immediately forgot the Forgotten Man,” he said at a second rally in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

“You know, you’ll be seen and you’re heard and respected by me… if elected president, there’ll be no red states or blue states, only the United States,” he said.

Trump’s current grueling travels aim to repeat his 2016 feat.

Earlier Saturday, Trump cast his own vote at a public library in Florida, telling reporters with a smile: “I voted for a guy named Trump.”

He thus became one of nearly 55 million Americans to cast early ballots in a year when the coronavirus has made in-person voting problematic.

Campaigning at a frenetic pace, Trump then hop-scotched from North Carolina to Ohio, and later to Wisconsin, where he doubled down on his optimism, repeating claims that the country is “rounding the turn” of the pandemic.

Referring to earlier comments by Biden warning of a “dark winter” with Covid-19, Trump said he thought his rival was “very dark.”

“They say you sound too optimistic,” he added of himself. “That’s right, because I love this country. We’re optimists… Our country next year will be greater than ever before.

NUP collects a huge number signatures in two days after police raid

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine Sunday said he had collected 33,000 signatures from 109 districts of Uganda in two days, endorsing his presidential bid ahead of nomination.

Mr Kyagulanyi on Wednesday accused security operatives of seizing his nomination forms with seven million signatures endorsing him for presidency during the raid in which police said it was meant to recover police and military stores.

“For two months we had been collecting millions of signatures until Wednesday this week when the military and police raided us and stole them!” he said.

The deadline for submission of signatures to the Electoral Commission was Saturday (October 17, 2020) but Bobi says he wrote asking for an extension of time.

“But also worked hard for two days to get fresh signatures. We activated our structures countrywide and collected a fresh batch of signatures. Thankfully, there were a few districts whose signatures were still in the field by the time of the raid. Yesterday (Saturday), a team from our secretariat was able to submit 33,000 signatures from 109 districts of Uganda,” he said in a statement on his social media platforms.

The number of signatures required for presidential nomination is 9,800 (100 signatures from 98 districts).

The electoral commission will begin its nomination of presidential candidates on November 2.

Bobi Wine also accused the police and army of stealing some Shs23 million donated by citizens for the nomination of his National Unity Platform (NUP) parliamentary candidates.

However, police spokesman, mR Fred Enanga denied this, saying “no money was taken from the offices.”

Army spokeswoman, Brig. Gen Flavia Byekwaso said Wednesday that the purpose of the raid was to seize outfits and berets worn by Bobi Wine’s supporters, that they argue are military wear.

Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on September last year designated the red beret and tunic which have become Bobi Wine’s signature as official military clothing, imposing a punishment of up to five years in prison for any civilian found wearing it. 

Bobi Wine has defied the directive and urged his supporters to keep wearing the party colours.

Security forces also raided shops manufacturing and selling clothing similar to that worn by Bobi Wine’s supporters and arrested several people.

On Friday, 41 Bobi Wine supporters were charged at City Hall Court in Kampala and remanded for allegedly wearing the red berets and holding unlawful gatherings.

Bobi Wine has become a popular figure among the youth in a country where the median age is less than 16. 

Since becoming an MP in 2017, he has been routinely arrested and put under house arrest, his concerts banned and public rallies dispersed with teargas.

After more than 30 years in power, the 76-year-old Museveni is the only president most have known.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, had the constitution amended for a second time to allow him to run a sixth time in 2021.

Nameere trounced in NRM Central Youth MP primaries

Vote counting in ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries to choose the party’s flag bearer for the Central Region Youth Member of Parliament indicate that Ms Agnes Kirabo was enjoying an early lead on Saturday.

According to results from various districts in the central region, Ms Kirabo was ahead of 12 contenders including Ms Justine Nameere, the daughter of Agriculture Minister, Mr Vincent Ssempijja.

Ms Nameere performed dismally in several districts including Kalungu, her home district. 

Others in the race were; Ms Joan Nanseko, Mr Hakim Mabingo, Mr Abdul Kiberu, Mr Fred Mujjuzi  Mr Felix Kayihura, Ms Mastullah Nakibuule, Ms Rachael Namono, Mr Victor Sserunkuma, Mr Alvin Semambya and Ms John Bagenda.

According to provisional results, Ms Kirabo was ahead of other candidates in the region with 198 votes followed by Mr Kayihura who got 87 votes.

Ms Nakibuule was in third position with 61 votes, Ms Nameere  was  in fourth  position with 24 votes while Ms Nanseko  had 16 votes .

In Masaka District, Ms Kirabo collected five votes, Mr Kayihura got two votes while the rest got zero.

In Mityana District, Ms Kirabo polled 13 votes, Mr Kayihura received four votes, Mr Kiberu got three votes, Mr Sembambya got two votes while the other candidates walked away with no vote.

In the neighbouring Mubende District, Ms Kirabo got 14 votes, Ms Kayihura got six votes, Ms Nakibuule got five votes and the rest scored zero.

  In Kalangala District, Ms Kirabo received four votes, Ms Nameere got two votes, Ms Nakibuule received four votes, Mr Kayihura and Mr Ssemambya got one vote each, while the other candidates failed to get any vote.

In Mpigi District, other candidates got nothing except Ms Kirabo who got five votes. In the district, Ms Nakibuule got three votes, Ms Nanseko received two votes and Ms Nameere got one vote.

In Rakai District, Ms Nameere trounced other candidates with seven votes.

Here, Ms Nanseko got four votes, Ms Kirabo got three votes, Mr Kayihura received one vote while other candidates didn’t register any vote.

In Kyotera District, Ms Nanseko carried the day with nine votes, while both Ms Nameere and Ms Kirabo each got three votes.

In Bukomansimbi District, Ms Kirabo who got five votes, Mr Ssembatya got  three votes  and Ms Nakibuule garnered two votes. The other candidates got nothing.

NRM party members also elected their parliamentary flag-bearers for Persons With Disabilities, Workers and Older Persons and one female national representative for each of the groups.

In Masaka District, Ms Kirabo collected five votes, Mr Kayihura got two votes while the rest got zero.

In Mityana District, Ms Kirabo polled 13 votes, Mr Kayihura received four votes, Mr Kiberu got three votes, Mr Sembambya got two votes while the other candidates walked away with no vote.

In the neighbouring Mubende District, Ms Kirabo got 14 votes, Ms Kayihura got six votes, Ms Nakibuule got five votes and the rest scored zero.

  In Kalangala District, Ms Kirabo received four votes, Ms Nameere got two votes, Ms Nakibuule received four votes, Mr Kayihura and Mr Ssemambya got one vote each, while the other candidates failed to get any vote.

In Mpigi District, other candidates got nothing except Ms Kirabo who got five votes. In the district, Ms Nakibuule got three votes, Ms Nanseko received two votes and Ms Nameere got one vote.

In Rakai District, Ms Nameere trounced other candidates with seven votes.

Here, Ms Nanseko got four votes, Ms Kirabo got three votes, Mr Kayihura received one vote while other candidates didn’t register any vote.

In Kyotera District, Ms Nanseko carried the day with nine votes, while both Ms Nameere and Ms Kirabo each got three votes.

In Bukomansimbi District, Ms Kirabo who got five votes, Mr Ssembatya got  three votes  and Ms Nakibuule garnered two votes. The other candidates got nothing.

NRM party members also elected their parliamentary flag-bearers for Persons With Disabilities, Workers and Older Persons and one female national representative for each of the groups.

Gen. Muhoozi admits to meeting Kibalama

Gen David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) who was drawn in Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform controversy in an astonishing twist has pushed back Wednesday against allegations he directed Mr. Moses Nkonge Kibalama to turn against his friends and denied he did anything wrong.

Gen. Muhoozi who admitted to meeting Kibalama cited his rights and privileges as a Ugandan to meet anybody but denied the meeting was about NUP.

“Someone got in touch and told me Kibalama had requested to meet me. I was going for a meeting, I asked, can’t it wait? He said Kibalama’s life was in danger. I did not solicit the meeting. I advised Kibalama to contact police. Later, I heard that he had gone to ISO and then court. But why shouldn’t I meet him or any other Ugandan?”

Asked whether he regrets meeting Kibalama following the reaction that ensued regarding NUP, Gen. Muhoozi said:

“I wouldn’t want to be drawn in the dynamics of NUP. But everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have finally been given the opportunity to be heard; I met Kibalama on matters other than NUP.”

The CDF name had previously been caught up in a whirlwind controversy involving the Bobi Wine —Kibalama party woes and an alleged role in active politics while others accused him of commanding a biased force.

Kibalama in August this year told court that he had been under detention for two weeks in Mbale, under military protection after he had been summoned by Gen. Muhoozi, whom he claimed that also quizzed him about changes in party leadership.

But the CDF said the meeting was unsolicited and insisted they didn’t discuss any matters regarding the budding party.

Defense deputy spokesperson Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki had previously slammed Kibalama over twisting facts, explaining that CDF Muhoozi had never summoned him for any meeting.

“No amount of twisting should bring the CDF in disrepute. Let the process of court continue without soiling the mind of the public on the matter,” Akiiki said distancing his boss from matter.

On reports that the military is being used by the ruling party to suppress political opponents, the CDF said UPDF is over the board and still professional to handle its roles without taking sides.

“I want to assure Ugandans that it’s possible for us to participate in elections as voters while being professional at the same time. The mistakes that have happened, we shall correct, it’s a learning process,” he said.

Gen. Muhoozi admitted the military excesses in some instances and said all those involved are facing prosecution but asked not blow the matter out of proportion.

This was after reports emerged early in the enforcement of Uganda’s COVID-19 lockdown that the army and the local defence units forced themselves into people’s homes and beat them up.

Similar excesses have been reported around the country but President Museveni, who is also the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, only directed the head of the anti-corruption unit to deal with errant security personnel after a public outcry against the military and police brutality during the early stages of the lockdown.

He also shared her mobile phone number with the public, calling upon affected citizens to report any violations by the security forces.

Another legacy of military impunity exposed during the COVID-19 lockdown relates to the personalised and irregular deployment of the armed forces to safeguard private interests.

Army officers were being deployed to effect land evictions. Of all these developments, defense analysts say the trend is very dangerous.

Besigye petition on terrorism dismissed

The Constitutional Court yesterday dismissed the nine-year old petition in which Dr Kizza Besigye was challenging the offence of terrorism under the Penal Code Act as being unconstitutional.

When the five justices of the court called the petition for the hearing yesterday, neither Dr Besigye nor his legal team were in court to prosecute it. No reason was given for their absence either.
“When this petition was called for hearing, the petitioner (Dr Besigye) or his legal representation were not in court. Evidence of service on him has been showed. We agree with the request of the counsel for Attorney General and this petition is dismissed for non-appearance with no order to costs,” Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende ruled as he dismissed Besigye’s petition.

The other justices were Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, and Irene Mulyagonja.
Prior to the dismissal of the petition, Ms Charity Nabasa, a State Attorney from the Attorney General’s chambers, asked court to dismiss Besigye’s petition under Rule 23 of the Civil Procedural Act.

Ms Nabasa said the rule demands that court can dismiss a matter where the petitioner does not show up to prosecute his/her matter after being served with a hearing notice.   
Efforts to reach Dr Besigye on why he didn’t show up in court or send his counsel were futile as his known phone number was switched off by press time yesterday.
Besigye’s petition was among 53 constitutional cases that have stayed in the Constitutional Court since 2011. The petitions have been scheduled for hearing within one month effective yesterday.

Dr Besigye, a four-time presidential candidate, was challenging Section 26 of the Penal Code Act, which he said contravenes the Constitution and that it should be struck out.
He had further stated that the terrorism offence in its present form contravenes constitutional right to personal liberty, fair hearing and other human rights and freedoms in the Constitution.

In December last year, the same court dismissed a petition by Dr Besigye in which he had sued government for alleged unlawful arrests and prosecution.
He wanted the Constitutional Court to declare his arrest and prosecution unconstitutional. However, the judges instead advised him to seek justice before a judge who swore him in as the president of Uganda after the disputed 2016 elections. 

In a unanimous decision of five justices of the court led by Kenneth Kakuru, they said Dr Besigye’s self-swearing in as president in 2016 was in contempt of the Supreme Court judgment, which upheld President Museveni’s election in the presidential election petition filed by Amama Mbabazi. 
The judges said since Dr Besigye considered the current government illegitimate, it implied there were no legally constituted courts of law where he can seek justice as a petitioner. They advised him to seek justice before courts in his “own government.”

Schools inspection starts today

The Ministry of Education will start inspection of schools across the country today to assess compliance with  the required standard operating procedures (SOPs) ahead of the reopening on October 15.
During his address last month, President Museveni cleared schools and other education institutions  to reopen for candidates and finalists, but with strict adherence to SOPs.

According to the circular from the Commissioner for Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education, Mr Kule Baritazale, which is addressed to all heads of institutions and schools countrywide, those who will not have in place the listed SOPs will not be allowed to reopen.

 “As we plan to reopen schools for candidates, the ministry is mindful of the safety of the learners, staff and visitors to the institutions. The ministry through the Directorate of Education Standards has therefore organised to inspect the institutions before the learners of candidate classes report,” Mr Baritazale said.

“Institutions that will satisfy the basic requirements as indicated in the guidelines will be issued with compliance certificates and allowed to reopen. The details are indicated in the inspection guidelines and the inspection tool. We have decided to send you the guidelines and the tools so that you can make adequate preparations. Please be at your institutions to participate in this assessment,” he added.
 He said the inspection will be carried out by officers from both the Ministry of Education and the Local Governments.

 According to the requirements, before being given compliance certificates each school must have  adequate furniture arranged for social distancing of at least two metres apart per learner and there should be evidence of good ventilation and lighting.
 All schools should have isolation rooms, where learners suspected to have Covid-19 will be kept before being taken to hospital.
 For boarding section, the school should have adequate number of beds for learners with one learner per bed and beds should be arranged two metres apart.

Schools must show evidence of training of staff and learners on Covid-19 and should have in place trained personnel to manage screening of learners and staff.
Schools are also required to have washing facilities at all strategic points with clean water source, soap and proper water disposal.
There should also be restricted access to and from school and schools are expected to have a fence or demarcated boundaries or barriers.

Kabasharira petition challenging Rukutana’s victory dismissed

State Minister of Labor, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana(Photo/Courtesy)

The NRM’s elections dispute tribunal has dismissed a petition challenging the declaration of State Minister of Labor, Mr. Mwesigwa Rukutana, as the Rushenyi County MP. flag bearer.

The petition filed by the former Ntungamo District Woman MP,  Ms Naome Kabasharira, sought cancellation of Rukutana’s victory on allegations of inflation of votes and falsifying voters at Nyakahita village.

However, NRM tribunal chaired by Mr Enoch Barata, has dismissed the petition saying the allegations are not substantiated and that they found out that the people of Nyakahita participated in the voting and it was fair.

The tribunal also ruled that there is no credible evidence of ferrying voters as well as voter bribery.

“Tribunal found out that Mr Rukutana was vividly elected as NRM flag-bearer for the position of Member of Parliament for Rushenyi County,” the statement released by the tribunal, reads in part.

This was after a recount following a petition by Rukutana challenging the outcome that earlier gave victory to his political nemesis Kabasharira.

The NRM Electoral Commissioner Chairman, Dr Tanga Odoi, had earlier said they went through the results from each village as the candidates confirmed that they are the right ones, and the tally gave Rukutana a slim 20-vote-advantage.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kabasharira has resolved to run as an independent candidate for the same seat.

Mr. Rukutana was on September 15 released on bail after spending 10 days in prison, following an incident where he allegedly shot and injured a one Mr Rweiburingi in an election-related brawl.

He’s facing charges ranging from attempted murder, assault, malicious damage to property, and threatening violence.

The NRM tribunal also dismissed the petition against the victory of Mr Timuzigu Michael Kamugisha, as the flag-bearer for Kajara County.

Mr. Twamuhabwa Wilson Kadiidi, had sought cancellation of Timuzigu’s victory on allegations of electoral malpractices, bribery and intimidation.