Following the dismissal of top Electoral Commission (EC) officials in July, the commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama came out and clarified that the former were not fired but rather they tendered in their resignations for early retirement.
These officials included; Sam Rwakoojo, who was acting as accounting officer and the secretary to the Commission, Joseph Lwanga who was the director of finance and administrator, Godfrey Wanyoto who was the head of procurement and Jotham Taremwa who was the head of public relations and communications department.
However, on Tuesday, President Museveni revealed the officials were sacked because of the corruption. Museveni said that the officials in question procured biometric machines which couldn’t recognise voters during the last general election.
“Some EC officials have become corrupt. They want money. Party members are not vigilant. For general elections, we must get a method which doesn’t allow cheating whether people are vigilant or not. We must have digital recognition of voters using biometric. This was supposed to be done in the previous elections. But some corrupt electoral officials who were in the electoral commission, were sacked recently. They bought machines which didn’t do this. They are now looking for machines which will do this,” he said.
Following the contradiction in the statements of President Museveni and Justice Byabakama, the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi has expressed his disappointment in the EC boss for lying to Ugandans regarding the sacking of his colleagues.
The Kyadondo East Member of Parliament through his social media platform wondered if Byabakama could organise free and fair elections after failing to tell the country the truth in such a simple matter.
“Mr Simon Mugyenyi Byabakama, if you can lie about such a matter, how do we trust you to organise a free, fair and credible election? In June, you all recall that the same day we launched the National Unity Platform, General Museveni immediately sacked the Secretary to the Commission (Sam Rwakoojo), Jotham Taremwa (Spokesman) and others,” he said.
Bobi Wine also refuted the corruption allegations as they were stated by President Museveni and said that, the basis of their sacking was that they failed to stop him from acquiring a political party.
“We told the nation that we had gotten information that they were sacked precisely for sleeping on the job. “How did Bobi Wine get a political party under your watch?” Their boss wondered. After all, they had used all efforts to block us from ever registering People Power. They did not stop there. The desperate regime lined up, one James Byamukama to try and challenge our leadership of NUP which effort is still ongoing and which effort will fail, just like the rest. Of course, in order to clean up, they claimed that the officials were dismissed for corruption. When did Gen. Museveni start sacking corrupt officials?” he asked.
“But away from that, Byabakama quickly organised a press conference and claimed that the officials were not sacked but in fact, had applied for early retirement! Now Gen. Museveni comes up again to say that he sacked them. What a circus! What a bunch of liars! You cannot be in charge of a country’s Electoral Commission when you have no iota of integrity!”
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