JUNE 2, 2010: Opposition Blasts Museveni Over Polls

Opposition Blasts Museveni Over Polls
 
SOURCE: The New Vision
By Joyce Namutebi And Mary Karugaba
 
Opposition leaders have criticised the President's views on the coming elections and his attack on donors. They also complained that he was not emphatic on corruption.

In his State-of-the-Nation Address yesterday, Museveni advised donors, whose representatives listened to his two-and-a-half-hour speech, that he did not want lectures on what he knows and is an expert at.

"If they want to help, let them concentrate on roads, energy and the education and health sectors. We do not need help on elections. We do not need lectures on what we fought for."

Democratic Party chief Norbert Mao said the opposition will take Museveni on at the Inter-Party Forum.

"He considers us weak because he does not want to leave power. He accuses us of being irrational yet our demands are reasonable. The Electoral Commission is not neutral," Mao said.

He was also angered by the attack on donors.

"He is biting the hand that feeds him."

The head of the People's Progressive Party, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, wondered why Museveni did not talk about corruption at the national level, human sacrifice, division and hatred.

He said there was nothing new in the address compared to last year's.

Bidandi accused the Government of not implementing the Inter-Party Forum.

Conservative Party president Ken Lukyamuzi said the right to fair elections was non-negotiable.

"We never said the elections will not be there. However, we are entitled to free and fair elections."

He said the speech was full of figures, but failed to "reflect the situation on the ground".

The women's league spokesperson of the FDC, Sarah Eperu, accused the President of not implementing his promises.

She said for the past 24 years in power, Museveni had failed to uplift the status of ordinary Ugandans.

The People's Development Party president, Dr. Abed Bwanika, said he also saw nothing new in the speech.

"Those are the same pledges he talked about last year, except increasing wages for scientists."

On his part, Inspector General of Government Raphael Baku said the address included corruption, the most important concern of the people.

The opposition MPs described the address as a campaign speech, with unachievable promises.

But the Government Chief Whip, Daudi Migereko, described the speech as "excellent". "It is a positive message for all Ugandans.

The opposition Chief Whip Kassiano Wadri, on the other hand, said the speech had same promises. Livingstone Okello- Okello said most of the promises were targeting the 2011 general elections.

"The speech was just for campaign. The promises are very unrealistic. How can you promise to extend power to over 40 centres in one financial year? Look at the roads he has promised? Where will he get the money?" he asked.

Erias Lukwago said Museveni did not give the way forward on corruption and referred to the rest of the President's promises as "routine."

Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said the Police would implement the President's order to bring to book officials who steal drugs and create ghost health centres.

He ruled out violence during next year's elections.

Donor representatives declined to comment. But Swedish ambassador Anders Johnson said he was waiting to see if the President's promises would be reflected in the Budget.

Comments