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NRM Explains Security Officers' Role at Museveni's Vote Protection Meet

In a press statement sent to Uganda Radio Network, the NRM says that security was invited because the heightened political season has put security on high alert following the detection of large numbers of coordinated groups operating in the field
Part of the team that will protect Museveni's votes
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has explained circumstances under which members of the security forces attended the launch of the President Museveni Vote Protection team.

This follows Wednesday’s event held at the NRM National Chairpersons office in which some security officials openly declared support for the vote protection team.   Among the vote protection team unveiled on Wednesday were Regional Security Officers, Crime Intelligence Officers, District Internal Security Officers and Resident District Commissioners. Members of the Uganda Police Force, Uganda Peoples Defense Forces, and the Internal Security Organization also attended the event.

Although the UPDF officers did not speak at the event but attended, others like the Deputy Director Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Emmy Katabazi and the Director Criminal Intelligence at Uganda Police Chris Damulira Serunjogi openly expressed their support.

At the event, Saleh Kamba the head of political intelligence and operations at the office of the National chairperson of NRM also told the meeting that President Museveni was the boss to Security and Civil servants, and therefore many of them should not be saying they are civil servants who cannot support the interest of the Principle.

Now in a press statement sent to Uganda Radio Network, the NRM says that security was invited because the heightened political season has put security on high alert following the detection of large numbers of coordinated groups operating in the field, and as a result, security agencies are taking steps to closely monitor the many existing groups to prevent them from being infiltrated by hostile elements. 

    

NRM says that one of such groups is the coordinators and Presidential Vote Protectors (PVPs) under President Yoweri Museveni’s NRM office based at Kyambogo.

Faruk Kirunda, the administrator at the NRM Chairman's office says that on Wednesday, during the flagging off of the coordinators and 'PVPs' at Kyambogo, officers from police and ISO only attended to witness the occasion. Kirunda says security has cleared this group.

 “Security has been concerned about the recruitment of these teams,"  Kirunda said.   "You can imagine when you are recruiting hundreds of thousands of people, security has to know. So we invited them to come and see that the group is genuine and composed of people known to us. We explained to them the roles of the coordinators and 'PVPs'. The officers in turn provided guidance on how the teams can operate without causing security problems.”

He says that although the presence of security officers at Kyambogo had raised concern since they are supposed to remain impartial, they did not actually join the coordinators but their involvement was and will be at security strategic level to prevent impersonation and infiltration by criminal elements who may want to use the campaign season to cause insecurity in the country. 

 

“I commend security for being vigilant," Kirunda added. "It shows that they are working and will protect Ugandans as they go for elections. I urge all groups to notify security of their activities so as to be guided properly and to prevent being disrupted by enforcers who may not be aware of their activities. This will help us have peaceful elections.”

Security organs will work under the inter agency arrangement for the elections.  The NRM's vote protectors in total are about 150, 000 drawn from all sub-regions of the country.    They will serve as polling agents and election observers for Museveni who is the Presidential Flagbearer for NRM. 

"In the past, Museveni did not have such an organised group and it cost him many votes which were allegedly lost in the process of tallying and transmitting especially in areas where opposition is most active,“ Kirunda says. 

 

He says the Office of the National Chairpersons plan is to follow up every vote starting from door-to-door and person-to-person. 

“Also present at Kyambogo were officers from UPDF who emphasized their role of securing Uganda as Ugandans go to the polls from January 14 onwards”, Kirunda added.