Election day in Uganda passed peacefully for the most part, with only a few scattered incidents of reported violence. This does not come as a surprise, however. The announcement of the presidential winner, due no later than Sunday evening, is what will draw the most reaction from the streets. Peaceful does not mean that the vote was without irregularities, however. As opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye stated in a press conference today, “it is already very clear that there have been widespread malpractices in the electoral process.” I witnessed not only voters providing names that clearly did not match the picture provided on the voting register, but also the coaching of voters in the polling queue by party officials or their hired hands. Below, poll workers and local officials in the town of Mbale argue over apparent typographical errors on the register. One colleague of mine reported and photographed the[…]Read More
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At a massive campaign rally that seemed at times more like a victory celebration, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni touted the achievements made under his National Resistance Movement’s leadership during the last decade. After detailing agricultural, educational, economic, and infrastructure improvements, he painted his various rivals as untested and risky choices. Throughout a slew of performances by Ugandan pop stars, “No change” became the slogan of the day. Mr. Museveni has been in power for over 25 years. However, if this crowd has anything to say about it, the recent trend of deposing long-term heads of state won’t carry over to the streets of Kampala. Ugandans go to the polls to elect their President for the next five years on Friday. Behold at last, the True Chapeau…Read More
Uganda’s opposition parties are rallying the faithful ahead of Friday’s presidential and parliamentary voting. Today, presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye campaigned in downtown Kampala to enthusiastic support. Dr. Besigye is the front runner of all the Presidential challengers to Uganda’s incumbent President Yoweri Museveni. Along with supporters of his IPC party (Interparty Cooperation), he took to the streets of Kampala today for a last-minute push of campaigning ahead of Friday’s presidential vote. The crowd was raucous, taking on almost a militant tone. One vehicle in his caravan was decorated to resemble an army tank. Many voters are frustrated that President Museveni has yet to stand down from office after more than 25 years. Dr. Besigye, speaking from the roof of an SUV, had a message for those politicians clinging to power: look to the streets of Egypt and Tunisia. There was indeed a lot of energy on the streets today.[…]Read More