A clear transcript of the letter with Obote’s proposals for rigging the 1980 elections

Dear Ugandans,
Below is a clear transcript of the letter with AM Obote’s proposals for rigging the 1980 elections.  Most of those proposals were implemented to the letter:

Submitted by Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto(UAH forumist)

The above  transcript does not have AM Obote’s signature.  Why?  Because it is a transcript!
So Let me give you below a letter by Paulo Muwanga which in fact was reaffirming AM Obote’s words:  That one is not a transcript.

Submitted by Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto

(UAH forumist)



12 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. 1980 polls:
    People welcomed us everywhere we went during elections. Those who say that UPC rigged the 1980 election do not understand the dynamics in Uganda at the time. UPC had a good record. Our opponents were not credible, and they had no program to talk of. Although Muwanga, the chairman of the military commission was a UPC, Museveni was his number two. How could I who was not number two, number three or number four, not even a number in military commission influence the military commission?

    Good Question

    On the 10th about midday Muwanga issued the proclamation where he stopped everyone from announcing election results except himself. I drove to Nile Mansion, I sat on Muwanga’s bed and I said, “You have got to recede this announcement now. The enemies of UPC will exploit it to claim it is meant to help us rig the election.� �This proclamation is a danger to UPC and an asset to our opponent.� However, I did have power over him as leader of UPC. I think Muwanga was scared by Adoko Nekyon, who was at DP headquarters receiving electoral returns. Nekyon knew DP had lost but just wanted to create confusion.

    You see

    But UPC had 22 unopposed seats. So there was no fear of a DP victory in my mind at all. I had promised that if UPC wins, I would form a government of national unity. After I was sworn in, I invited Ssemogerere to State House and put my proposal to him. He rejected it.

    Escape after 1985 coup:
    I had learnt about the coup over many weeks since there was a political crisis involving the army. The first ominous sign came when I was in Mbale on the Co-operatives Day. There was some movement of the army in Kampala.
    Paul Muwanga issued a statement in which he referred to �uncoordinated troop movement.� After Mbale, I returned to Kampala and appointed Brig. Livingstone Ogwang to investigate the uncoordinated troop movement, but he was frustrated. Then Muwanga came to me and said Tito Okello should go and bring Bazillio Okello to Kampala. I agreed and Tito went but he never came back. And when he did, it was with the invasion army, the coup army.

    SO there

    On Behalf Of Mike Watmon

  2. Mr Watmon,

    Is it AM Obote who made the remark that “People welcomed us everywhere we went during elections.”?

    Is that really true?

    Recall some time in August 1980 when AM Obote went to address a rally in Koboko with one of “his generals”, Tito Okello? Two of the vehicles from his convoy that were checking the onward route to Moyo were ambushed six miles north of Moyo, forcing AM Obote back in Koboko to brave a hasty, brief speech (…no rolcall…Apac, Arua, Bushenyi, eh, eh, ah, ah,…………), and making a hasty departure from West Nile.

    It was after some of those incidents that militias were deployed to West Nile from Acholi and Lango, resulting in the death of up to 30,000 civilians.

    Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto

  3. patrick
    when Amin was ousted from power what happened to his army and where did they go, do you kno? Does it suprise you that a place in west Nile in 1980 would ambush a leader of a political party particularly UPC?
    Put on your thinking cap man just don’t talk fa, you can not change the history of our country what you can achieve is some members of this forumn clapping for you. That will not make you a genuis but actually a fool in my assessment.You ought to educate your self on the effects of conflicts similar to the one we had after removing Amin, and their effects. You can gather some knowledge from the Iraq war, take particular interest in the first election of Iraq.If then you have a critical brain, you will stop your nonsense which i sincerely doubt.

  4. Mr Balamu,

    You are talking complex things for a Corporal. Thinking cap? Noooo!

    When I graduated as a Private, they told the whole bunch of us, “Oli musiru”, we all chorused back: “Kaaale”, hence, “Omusirukale”. So, please, bear with me. I cannot manage all that research!

    All I was simply highlighting was the questionable statement by AM Obote:

    “People welcomed us everywhere we went during elections.”

    Does the evidence below support or contradict AM Obote’s remark? …thinking cap aside……

    Was Moyo part of “everywhere”?

    Iwe nuna iwe! Omukaire agemera kwiwolu!

    Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto

  5. Patrick

    Do you take all of us here for fools; your emails below have attachment of your alleged letter AMO wrote, to whom you don’t state. However, what you forget you are not dealing with school dropout here who cannot apply their reasoning and analytical skills.

    Ok let us examine those two attachments, first of all they are not the same, the way they are formatted is no the same , if we take for example the last paragraph, namely NB, in the unzoomed document you can see it has more lines than the zoomed one. Moreover, to make matters worse, the zoomed one has no signature of Obote. In addition, if I look at that signature, I cannot believe that is even AMO’s signature, he could never sign his name the same way as in that document.

    Now let us take about the date of the letter. The body of the letter does not even convey what was happening then, you claim in August Obote was planning to rig an election and again the body takes of not holding one, so where is your reasoning on this.

    so in August the elections had not already been called, therefore Obote had write this so-called letter?

    It is true Obote was intelligent enough to know he was not popular in Buganda, but that is not to say he thought he had to get the majority in Buganda to lead. Obote insisted on an election to be called before he would return to Uganda. Those are the facts, you can doctor them in any way you want, but they will never go away.

    I will say this to you, for twenty years NRM failed to starved, us with the truth about the true pan africanist Obote but we have done our research. If he was that bad why put a clause in the constitution barring him from standing due to his age?.

    Do you think you can succeed, remember you are dealing with intellectuals here, we the sons of Obote have something special, an edge over others, always remember that when you tackle the subject of the great congressman

  6. Corporal my apologies then if I have used a term you are not familiar but I guess you bring this to yourself, you always what to show you know everything and have an explaination plus ink for it all.

    Okay back to the point, the statement is,

    “People welcomed us everywhere we went during elections”

    My brother the key word in that statement is where we went not the word everywhere which means like you say he was stopped from going to West Nile therefore he never went there thus not included in the everyplace they went.

  7. ISAAC, the former Uganda national army which ambushed Obote in Koboko, was led by Bernard Rwehururu, from Kigezi, South Western Uganda.
    Ahmed Kateregga

  8. mike watmont, we were all around. DP ralles were filled by thousands, UPCs by hundreds. Then how were you popular. Probably in Lango Sub region and Bushenyi.
    Ahmed Kateregga

  9. Neither the majority of the population, nor the few international observers that monitored the process accepted the results, how can you make lies that Obote was a legitimate president? For instance, practically the entire West Nile went to the elections without valid registers, would you legitimise an election were president Museveni won under similar circumstances?

    My number one question that has never been answered with out you UPC people looping is, if there was no ludicrous intentions, why did P. Muwanga usurp the powers of the electoral commission to announce the results of a national election, WHY? Returning officers were barred from announcing the results as and when they were counted, but had to first submit them to his office, eeeeeh! WHY?

    Again, would you legitimise an election were president Museveni won under similar circumstances?



  10. Mr Kateregga was right,even if UPC had all the votes from Lango and Bushenyi
    they wouldn’t have won except through rigging.
    edward musis

  11. For starters tnank you all contributors to this topic. Am happy that
    the contributions have been civilized with no abusive or demeaning
    language. Let me respond as best as I can to some of the issues

    Organizational superiority: The congress at the time had
    organizational superiority. This issue of large numbers at rallies is
    not what wins elections. UPC had 22 unopposed seats.

    There were some Democratic Officials who were supposed to represent in
    West Nile but chose to sleep in Gulu well knowing the dynamics of the
    ferry at the point of call. Mark this point very well because you
    will see history repeating itself. In the after math of Amin the West
    Nile province had to harbour some resentment ala Kony style if you get
    my drift.

    Minister and MPS were very powerful and easily recognisable- today we
    can only recognize a few and even if you are honest you will see
    pockets of power more revered than MPs – people like Nambooze who
    evoke fear in an established and educated government that cannot
    muster intellectual fire power to silence her.

    Pockets of hatred: Even in his life Obote evoked powerful emotions
    and you could find easily one man who loved him in excess of himself
    and another who hated him with the same intensity. For the record he
    is the only president who has ever chewed and quickly spat out a

    Issue based campaigns: Mbale, Jinja, Lango, Bushenyi, Tororo,
    Iganga…these people were beneficiaries of the government support
    programmes for reconstruction and rehabilitation and not forgetting
    education – sorry quality education plus financial support (BOOM),
    industry and medical access at the referral hospitals (22 that
    peasants could see without using a microscope)

    Rigged elections: We are very fortunate to have the understudy of
    Muwanga in the elections still alive. He should tell us what was
    rigged and where and how his party that was so popular could muster
    only one seat in parliament.

    Fidele Lodi” <watmon.mike@gmail.com

  12. Mr Lodi:

    You write

    “UPC had 22 unopposed seats”.

    Have you ever wondered how that came about? Where were those seats?
    Do you think UPC had some of those 22 seats because the other party especially DP did not have credible candidates to contest in those areas? For the sake of this argument, let us concede the seats in the greater Lango.

    The key question here is why did UPC have 17 unopposed seats. Recall that in some cases duly nominated DP candidates were disqualified 3 days after the exercise was over to pave way for another 5. And do not argue that UPC it did because it was the most organized. That is not the reason.

    The truth of the matter is that after that ambush L_Cpl Otto talked about, the military commission leadership (read Mr. Paulo Muwanga) and the EC chairman Mr. Kikira decided to ‘teach’ West Nile voters a lesson. So in their wisdom, they simply made sure that all DP candidates who were running would be detained well beyond the time required for nomination. Believe me some of the DP candidates were very strong on the ground and would have won hands down. They included among others the current member of the EC, Mr. Tom Buruku who had just resigned as Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross., retired major Tom Angutuko (sp) =a historical figure and others.

    They simply could not make it past the late Opon Smith Acak roadblock. And make no mistake it was deliberate. Whether that is why he ate the big post in the army, you decide. Now you are saying the DP candidates are to blame because they chose to sleep in Gulu. Oh, yah.

    Then there were the other seats where UPC candidates had had their ashes whipped in Busoga the late Luwuliza Kirunda was defeated by Dr Paulo Wangoola and in Buganda Mr. Sam Mugwisa, yes that elder named by Mr. Otunnu who was easily defeated by Dr Ssebuliba. Both UPC men became powerful ministers. I will cite just these two.

    Mark you the goons then sent the victorious candidates into exile.

    Were the 22 or so seats material to decide an election? You bet. When is rigging an issue?

    I had this debate with Mr. Ochieno who must be wondering when rigging is rigging having been a victim of similar tricks within UPC? Eh! Poor Ochieno was ambushed.

    Anyways, let UPC go win another election without those generals, Muwangas and Kikiras if it is about organization. .

    That West Nile experience is the reason why I have suggested that nominations of candidates should be centralized at the EC Hqs in Kampala . Political parties should simply submit a bundle of the required copies/documents for their candidates without requiring them to be physically present upcountry. It would also be cheaper and safer. Furthermore, there should be a period when parties/candidates can appeal any problems they may encounter during the nomination process. Candidates should not go through unopposed on mere technicalities as was the case of the 17 or 22 in 1980.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: