UGANDA: Bobi Wine confident, urges Justice Byabakama of the Electoral Commission to ‘declare the will of the people.’

Parallel reports, but still unofficially confirmed results, from the NUP tallying stations, on various social media channels, appeared to suggest a result in favour of the NUP president Bobi Wine.

Bobi Wine on his way to vote on the 14th January 2021

This led to even louder calls for the international community to stand with the 45 million Ugandans.

There were also growing serious concerns that the Ugandan Election has not been conducted freely and fairly. Circumstances that could eventually favour the almost octogenarian incumbent, in power, since 1986.

The Incumbent in power since 1986 on an a day before the 14 January 2021 election interview with Amanpour of CNN
Left to right: Justice Byamukama of Uganda electoral commission and in a meeting with Bobi Wine in December 2020

An online popular handle @ekyootoNews , stated, ‘reaching indicate pre- ticked boxes are been delivered in kasali masaka. News reaching our desk indicate that the @UgandaEC has not yet delivered polling material in kampala’.

Tensions and intimidation remained high as the voting continued throughout the day. But there also seems to be resolve, fortitude and hope to stand up to the killings, oppression and abductions by the regime.

Background

Among the statements attributed to the incumbent, an almost octogenarian, but then young rebel leader now turned ruler, in power since 1986, is one that appears to have come full circle to haunt him.

After ousting the then military government of Tito Okello, the current ruler of Uganda, almost in power for forty years, is said to have stated that, “The problem of Africa in general, and Uganda in particular, is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power.” The same analogy can be extended to say that its leaders like him in particular and ‘Musevenism’ in general, that are Africa’s problem in general and Uganda’s main democratic stumbling block, in particular.

Since November 2020, the world has witnessed one of the most violent electoral campaigns in the world and certainly in the small country’s history. The leading opposition campaign entire campaign team and supporters have either been either abducted, killed or jailed. Supporters from the diaspora have either been intimidated and arrested.

On the 18/19th, November 2020 scores of unarmed civilians were killed while others remain incarcerated despite court orders for their release while others remain unaccounted for in so-called safe houses.

Journalists have been attacked with bullets, assaulted or threatened while others remain in fear of their lives. Throughout the campaign, Bobi Wine and the NUP party have seen their offices raided, blocked from using main roads, campaigning in key populated areas of his supporters, shooting of at his car with live bullets, killing of his body guard and other assistants.

The credibility and integrity of the entire electoral process is in serious doubt after many journalists have been denied accreditation or deported.

The United States Embassy issued a statement regarding the refusal of international observers while Facebook, twitter and Instagram blocked the regime propagandists.

The regime has also switched off social media at a critical time when absolute transparency in monitoring the elections and the results is absolutely critical. There are also reports that the regime could imminently impose a total internet blackout.

Perhaps more concerning is the excessive and unnecessary deployment of the military and other various paramilitary outfits with military grade weapons and hardware.

Some of the key leading clergy appear to be either silenced, compromised or have openly made statements that call for the cancellation of the elections to allow another three years for the incumbent to organize another election.

Cumulatively therefore, there seems to be deliberate sustained intimidation, oppression and violence against the population and in particular the supporters of Bobi Wine and his NUP party. Added to that is the grim haunting fact that the country has never had a peaceful democratic transfer of power since it gained independence in 1962.

Brief History about Uganda

A few years after independence, Uganda was plunged into violent internal conflict in 1966 that saw the dethronement of the King also the President , who died a few years later in exile in his flat in Bermondsey, located in the London borough of Southwark. The country further witnessed the much publicised years of Idi Amin, which saw the raid on Entebbe.

It was during his regime that Ugandan Asians were expelled from Uganda. Idi Amin, himself having come to power by staging a military coup d’état, was also ousted violently. The country was again shortly plunged into incessant internal violent conflict in the 80s and in the 90s in the Northern region.

Conflicts that estimated to have cumulatively cost hundreds of thousands of lives of ordinary Ugandans, women and children.

Today

With the country due to hold elections tomorrow on the 14th January 2021, already tensions are amounting after the country’s electoral commission announced what was dubbed as ‘scientific elections’. Apart from official reports from organisations like HRW, as the current country twitter trends shows, there are increasingly strong concerns of gross human rights violations.

Potential regional Impact

Critically for the regional and international partners, Uganda lies in a delicate Great Lakes/East African region bordered by countries emerging from decades of brutal civil wars. Such as South Sudan to the north, DRC to the west, Rwanda and Burundi to the South, not far from Somalia. While Tanzania lies to the south and Kenya is to the East of Uganda.

Therefore, as we approach a fork in the road, given the country’s troubled political history, global friends of Uganda desperately want the country to succeed, through harnessing its natural and human resources to its maximum potential.

All parties need to ensure that this cycle of a violent political history and alleged human rights violations is significantly diminished to avoid history repeating itself.

Certainly, it is clear that the words of the incumbent rebel turned ruler, that “The problem of Africa in general, and Uganda in particular, is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power,” have turned around to haunt him and are more acute now than ever. The world, Africa, East Africa and critically Uganda, holds its breath and waits the outcome of a transformational 14th January 2021 election pitting a 38 yr old popstar turned politician, against rebel leader turned ruler.

📷

--

--

--

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

My Afghanistan Fears — Market Mad House

THE SILENT ASPECTS OF EPSRA

Bloody Times In Nigeria

Watch out for current events being spun into anti-China sentime

Sumitomo Mitsui to buy 74.9% stake in FICC for $2 billion

Rak Cooperative Society

Rak Cooperative Society

Eranda Ginige Wants to Evolve Sri Lanka's Democracy

Highlights from the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) 2019 Annual Forum

Owner: Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sally Peters

Sally Peters

More from Medium

‘S’ingleton, ‘s’ingleton vs Shared global state:

Why Development Cooperation Needs to Tackle Underlying Issues of Inequality First

Interview with Composer Jace Vek

5 Nonprofit Organizations That Serve Our Navy Veterans: