UPDF: We’ll Never Have Polling Stations Inside Barracks

The Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto has praised President Yoweri Museveni on the success made by the Ugandan government in disarming the Karamojong cattle rustlers in the north eastern region.

On Wednesday, drugs President Museveni and his guest Ruto jointly addressed a press briefing at a State Lodge in Kapchorwa district.

Mr. Ruto recognized that unlike Kenya, thumb Ethiopia and South Sudan, Uganda has successfully managed to remove guns from her pastoral community, noting the neighbors are struggling to do the same.

“I appreciate the move by Uganda to fully disarm the Karamoja region. Lack of peace in the area had hampered the course of development but now every good thing that was impossible is,” Mr. Ruto said.

The four East African countries with a common semi-arid bordering point have nomadic communities that move from place to with their animals in search of pastures and water.

The armed communities are Pokot and Turkana in Western Kenya, Topotha and Diding in the south east of South Sudan, the Duende in south western Ethiopia and the now disarmed Karamojongs in the north eastern Uganda.

In 2002 government using the national army UPDF started the disarmament program in Karamoja region and by 2007 about 40,000 guns had been removed from the ethnic warriors.

A full ministry for the sub-region was created under the Office of the Prime Minister to ignite development in the area which was almost forgotten by country.


The state minister for the region, Barbra Nekesa Oundo recently told ChimpReports at her residence in Moroto town that the disarmament exercise had made the pacification of Karamoja easier.

While campaigning in Moroto municipality recently, Museveni told the Karamojongs not to worry about attacks from the neighboring communities who are still armed.

The UPDF has been deployed across the border to contain the rustlers from neighboring countries.

“I have heard your (Karamojongs) concerns about possible attacks. No one should worry because we have the solution. The UPDF is everywhere along their paths to our country,” Museveni said.

The president added that some people wanted him to cross over and do the [disarmament] job himself in the neighboring countries.

“I have been asked by many people why I have not entered Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia to disarm the rustlers who attack our people here (Karamojong) but I told them that’s not my job. My job is to protect my people,” He added.

The Kenyan vice president said his country wants to emulate Uganda by getting rid of guns in the hands of Pokot and Turkana to start serious pacification of the region.

“The issue of insecurity has totally been solved in Karamoja region and success is setting in. We are also struggling on our side to achieve the same. Our government is looking for a permanent solution.”

Mr. Ruto said. The two leaders expounded on bilateral matters between the two countries and the region.
Rwandans across the world have Thursday cast their votes in the much anticipated referendum on amending the Constitution that provides for among other things the extension of President Paul Kagame’s stay in power.

More than 40, abortion 000 Rwandans in the Diaspora are expected to cast their ballot, find according to officials.

According to Charles Munyaneza, buy information pills the executive secretary of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), all the necessary logistics have been provided to facilitate a successful electoral exercise.

He further pointed out the polls will be overseen by Ambassadors or High Commissioners with support of embassy employees.

The October Plenary Sitting of the Chamber of Deputies in Rwanda adopted the relevance of the draft review of the Constitution, removing a caveat on the number of times a President can be elected into office.

Article 101 of the Rwandan Constitution stipulates that, “The President of the Republic is elected for a term of seven years renewable only once. Shall under no circumstances a person hold the office of President of Republic for more than two terms.”

However, following petitions to Parliament and a Constitution review process, legislators agreed to change the wording of Article 101 to read: “The President of the Republic shall be elected for a term of 7years. He/She may be re-elected for more terms.”

For voters residing in Rwanda, the polls will take place on Friday, December 18 and 6.4 million voters are expected to participate in the exercise.

3rd Term

A debate has been raging on whether President Kagame intends to stand for President after the expiry of his second term in 2017.

His admirers say the president should retain office to consolidate achievements made under the RPF government especially in developing the healthcare, infrastructure, economy and security.

But critics say amending the Constitution will entrench President Kagame’s rule.

Kagame, who led guerrillas to seize power from the genocidal regime in 1994, is accused of human rights violations and crushing political dissent, charges Kigali vehemently denies.

The 2015 Constitution Review was prompted by 3,784,586 Rwandans who filed petitions to Rwanda Parliament seeking amendment of Article 101.

About 10 Rwandans objected the amendment of Article 101 of the Constitution.

After examination of the petitions, the Plenary Assembly of each Chamber resolved that the Constitution of Rwanda of June 04, 2003 be revised.

Parliament also decided the establishment of a technical Commission to support it in the Constitution Review.

The Support Commission to Parliament for the Constitution Review was established by Law ? 43/2015 of 29/08/2015.

The findings from reports on public consultations held by Legislators showed there were other provisions of the Constitution that needed to be amended due to various reasons.

It was observed that the Constitution contains some awkward phrasing and inappropriate terminology that complicate its interpretation.

The Constitution Review required improving the language and translation using appropriate legislative drafting techniques.

On the format, MPs said the Constitution needed to be restructured as a number of Articles were placed in Chapters where they have no relevance.

The Constitution of Rwanda has no Table of Contents which legislators said makes it not a user-friendly legal text.
Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has rebutted recent media reports that some of its soldiers are currently being registered under the National Identify Card Project.

The army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda this afternoon dismissed as false, patient a couple of media stories which indicated that the registration exercise was underway in some barracks in the country.

The stories also quoted concerns by residents in the Karamoja region about polling stations purportedly established inside army barracks ahead of next year’s general elections.

Democratic President Norbert Mao earlier today made similar claims in a televised interview that UPDF troops were being registered for National IDs in Gulu.

“We would like to clarify that there are no and there shall never be any polling stations in any barracks as has been reported in the newspaper, ” said Ankunda.

“The UPDF would also wish to affirm that no (Soldiers) are being registered for National IDs as claimed. The Force followed the National program on registration where the troops registered for the National Identity Cards only until May 11, 2015 when the exercise was closed to all citizens.”

Those who missed out, Ankunda said would do so when the registration exercise reopens after the general elections.

Meanwhile he revealed that the army leadership in currently in contact with Ministry of Internal Affairs to sort out the National Identity Cards of individual troops who have since been transferred from where they registered from so that it is availed to them at ID card collection centers nearest to their current location.

“The UPDF remains a committed to defending the constitution of Uganda and ensuring sustainable peace and stability to enable social economic transformation for the country.”

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