Report

After the January 14, 2021 elections in Uganda

Museveni will he go to the presidency chair again or to the cage of the International Criminal Court?  
   The tough rivalry between veteran Museveni and young Bobby knocks on the doors of the International Criminal Court, after the latter’s accusations of the current Ugandan president, who is looking forward to a new presidential term of forty years in the seat of government.
01.Electoral systemThe President of Uganda is elected using the two-round system, with candidates needing to receive at least 50% of the vote to be elected in the first round. Chapter 142 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2000 stipulates that presidential candidates must be a citizen of Uganda by birth and be qualified to be an MP. Candidates are also required to be of sound mind and have no formal connection with the Electoral Commission of Uganda. Term limits were abolished in 2005. The elections are supervised by the Electoral Commission of Uganda.
1.Factbox: The main candidates in Uganda’s presidential electionBy Reuters Staff
(Reuters) – Ugandans vote on Jan. 14 in a presidential election that pits Yoweri Museveni, Africa’s fourth-longest ruling head of state, against 10 other candidates, including reggae-star-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine.
Here are details about the main candidates:
YOWERI MUSEVENI, NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT:The 76-year-old seized power in January 1986 after a five-year guerrilla struggle to oust Milton Obote. Ugandans initially cheered him for ending cycles of bloodletting under both Obote and Idi Amin.
Museveni started to revive the economy with statist policies but he adopted a more liberal approach in the early 1990s, signing up to the International Monetary Fund’s structural adjustment programmes and securing foreign investment.
In 1998, Museveni was embraced by U.S. President Bill Clinton as one of a “new generation” of African leaders committed to democracy and economic reforms.
Museveni presided over economic growth of about 7 percent in the late 1990s and 2000s as foreign investment flowed into sectors from telecoms to banking to infrastructure.
He has won every vote since the first election under his presidency in 1996, a decade after he took power.
Parliament changed the constitution in 2005 to allow multi-party democracy, ending the monopoly of his National Resistance Movement (NRM). It also removed the two-term presidential limit.
In 2017, parliament changed the constitution again to remove the age limit of 75 for presidential candidates, allowing Museveni to run in 2021.
He has faced growing criticism over corruption, nepotism, a sluggish economy and the longevity of his rule. Museveni’s wife Janet is education minister and his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba commands the military’s special forces.

Opponents have complained about vote rigging and intimidation of opposition candidates during the last four presidential elections, charges Museveni denies.
His main challenger in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 was Kizza Besigye, Museveni’s physician during the guerrilla war. He has been arrested on several occasions since deciding to run against Museveni. Besigye is not standing this time.
BOBI WINE, NATIONAL UNITY PLATFORMRobert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known by his stage name Bobi Wine, was born in a slum in Kampala. Wine, who was three years old when Museveni come to power, studied music, dance and drama at Uganda’s oldest and most prestigious university, Makerere.
His singing career, a genre he describes as “edutainment”, took off in the early 2000s. His lyrics decry urban poverty and political oppression, backed by catchy, feel-good beats.
“What was the purpose of the liberation when we can’t have a peaceful transition? … Freedom fighters become dictators,” he sings in the 2018 song “Freedom”.
He was elected member of parliament in 2017 after running as an independent in a by-election. Last year, he joined the National Unity Platform, founded in 2004, and became its leader.
His star power quickly got him widespread attention among opposition supporters and he helped at least three opposition contestants win parliamentary by-elections.
Wine has been arrested repeatedly and his rallies have been broken up by security forces using tear gas. Police have said his rallies contravened a ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
PATRICK AMURIAT, FORUM FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGEPatrick Oboi Amuriat, 57, is running for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the party formerly headed by Besigye which has the largest number of lawmakers after the NRM.
A former government engineer, Amuriat served as a member of parliament for 15 years from 2001. He was a key mobiliser in Besigye’s 2016 campaign and became FDC president a year later.
Amuriat has been arrested on multiple occasions, blocked from campaigning in some areas and roughed up by the security services. He was detained briefly on the day he was nominated.
2.
Ugandan presidential election pits Museveni against popular singer
Ugandans vote on Thursday in a presidential election pitting long-time leader Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker whose star power has rattled the ruling party.
Scores of opposition protesters have been killed during a campaign scarred by crackdowns on Wine’s rallies which the authorities say contravene curbs on gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Military personnel have been deployed across the capital Kampala to reinforce the police with columns of soldiers patrolling suburbs amid fears the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 14 could descend into violence.
At 38, Wine is half Museveni’s age and the singer known for catchy protest songs has attracted a large following among younger people in the East African country, where 80% of the population are under 30 and two-thirds unemployed.
In Kampala, trucks plastered with yellow Museveni posters blaring music wind through bustling streets while Wine’s red-and-blue posters adorn busy intersections, with young men on hand to wipe off any dust gathering on them.
When Museveni seized power in 1986 after a five-year guerrilla war, he was welcomed by Ugandans worn down by the murderous regimes of Milton Obote and Idi Amin.
But accusations of corruption, official extravagance, rights abuses and nepotism have gradually eroded support for Museveni, who is 76, especially among younger voters who are looking to Wine for change.
“Hospitals in Uganda died. Schools are dead. Electricity is so expensive,” said David Kafero, a 35-year-old father of four who dropped out of school because he couldn’t pay the fees and calls himself a “ghetto boy” who gets by doing odd jobs.
‘SECURITY AND PEACE’
Museveni has won every election since the first under his presidency in 1996, though they have been tarnished by the intimidation of opposition candidates as well as accusations of vote rigging.
Uganda is a Western ally, a prospective oil producer and is considered a stabilising force in a region where war has plagued neighbours such as Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. It also contributes the biggest contingent of an African Union force fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia.
Older voters such as Benon Kamoga, a 50-year-old father of nine, credit Museveni, the fourth-longest ruler in Africa, with maintaining stability and plan to reward him on Thursday.
“We have security and peace. I can wake up in the middle of the night and go and do whatever business I want without any worry,” Kamoga said.
In campaigns Museveni, trumpets his achievements in energy and transport, such as building hydropower dams, roads and driving industrial expansion. At one rally he also did press-ups to demonstrate he was still energetic despite his age.
“Museveni has been around for 34 years but … he has not imposed himself on people. He has always subjected himself to fresh elections every after five years and Ugandans say it’s you we want,” said Rogers Mulindwa, spokesman for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Uganda’s parliament, which is dominated by the NRM, has twice changed the constitution to allow Museveni to run, first removing a two-term limit in 2005 and then abolishing the age limit of 75 in 2017.
HELMET AND FLAK JACKETWhile opinion polls are few and far between, analysts say rampant unemployment, slowing economic growth and surging public debt have fuelled youth disaffection with Museveni’s government.
“A whole generation has come to grow under this regime and has come of age,” said David Ngendo Tshimba, an academic at the Uganda Martyrs University. “‘Something new is better’ looms large for this generation.”
In his songs, Wine, who grew up in a Kampala slum and whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, decries freedom fighters who have become dictators and the lack of a peaceful transition.
He has pledged to create 5 million jobs and rein in graft he says has drained resources that could be invested in public services and revive growth in a country of 46 million people.
Since campaigning began in November, security forces have repeatedly broken up Wine’s rallies with tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings and detentions. Wine has been arrested multiple times and now campaigns in a helmet and flak jacket.
In one incident in November, 54 people were killed as soldiers and police quelled protests after Wine was detained.
Museveni has appointed an army general as deputy police chief last month and another general who headed a contingent in Somalia is overseeing security operations for the Kampala area.
“There is a lot of fatigue with Museveni. If the population was not afraid of the military, they would rise up,” said Godber Tumushabe, associate director of the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank in Kampala.
“The Museveni regime is in control of the institutions of the state and will use them to ensure the regime stays in power.”
3.
Uganda’s Bobi Wine asks ICC to investigate rights abuses
Uganda’s main opposition leader asked the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate President Yoweri Museveni and senior officials for sanctioning human rights abuses in the run-up to next week’s presidential election.

Bobi Wine asks ICC to investigate rights abuses
Popstar-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, who goes by the name Bobi Wine, told reporters during a Zoom news conference from his car on the campaign trail that his lawyer had submitted the filing to The Hague court on Thursday.
The ICC has the authority to hear cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the 123 countries, including Uganda, that have signed up to it.
Uganda has in the past sought the ICC’s help in bringing leaders of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army to justice though it has more recently accused The Hague court of targeting Africans, a common sentiment on the continent.
The 41-page brief filed by Wine requests the ICC investigate Museveni, Security Minister Elly Tumwine and eight senior security officials. It asks the ICC to consider incidents dating back to 2018, saying the police and military have deployed, “widespread use of shoot to kill, beatings and other violence”.
“As we do with all such communications, we will analyse the materials submitted, as appropriate, in accordance with the Rome Statute and with full independence and impartiality,” the office of the ICC prosecutor said.
The ICC receives hundreds of briefs a year and a filing does not automatically lead to any investigation.

“That is sheer desperation,” Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, told Reuters.
“(The opposition) have tried everything under the sun, they have failed. Now they are resorting to the ICC. We are a law abiding country, we are a peace loving country,” he said.
MORE ARRESTSDuring the Zoom call, Wine, who was wearing a helmet and flak jacket, could be seen being dragged from his car by men in police uniforms demanding he move his vehicle from the roadside.
The news conference resumed several minutes later.
“I expect a live bullet targeted at me any time. The biggest safety we get is from having cameras around us. If I was not on camera maybe something worse would have happened,” he said.
Wine, 38, has been arrested multiple times while campaigning for breaking laws governing public order and COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.
Security forces routinely disperse his rallies with tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings and detentions. At least 54 people died in protests that erupted when Wine was detained in November.
Previous presidential campaigns have been marked by the intimidation of opposition candidates though rights groups say crackdowns have been more brutal and widespread this time.
Watchdogs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said in recent statements that the authorities have violently repressed the opposition and its supporters during campaigning.
Earlier on Thursday, 23 members of Wine’s campaign staff were arrested, he told reporters on the Zoom call. The police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
4.
Ugandan presidential challenger Bobi Wine campaigns in a flak jacket
Uganda’s main opposition candidate in next week’s presidential election has swapped his trademark red beret for a helmet and starts each day with shadow-boxing and a prayer to survive a campaign trail he describes as a war zone.
Popstar-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who goes by the name Bobi Wine, is the frontrunner among 10 candidates challenging Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 34-year rule in the East African nation at the Jan. 14 vote.
While former guerrilla fighter Museveni, 76, has long been seen as a stabilising force in Uganda after the brutal reigns of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, opponents say his administration has become riddled with corruption and nepotism.
“Museveni is a different generation. He is a representative of history. I am a representative of the future,” Wine, 38, told Reuters at his home, a sprawling compound in Magere, a suburb on the northern outskirts of the capital Kampala.
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Previous presidential election campaigns have been marked by the intimidation of opposition candidates though analysts say crackdowns by the security forces have been more brutal and widespread this time around.
Wine’s energy, music and humble origins have struck a chord with Uganda’s many young people, unnerving the ruling party and leading to repeated arrests of Wine and his loyalists for allegedly threatening public order.
“I am in this struggle to liberate Uganda,” he told Reuters. “Before that is accomplished I don’t care how many times I am arrested, harassed, beaten, tear gassed or pepper sprayed.”
Factbox: The main candidates in Uganda’s presidential electionIf elected, Wine said he would create jobs for the youth and crack down on corruption that he says has left schools and hospitals crumbling in the country of 46 million people.
Uganda has one of Africa’s youngest populations with nearly 80% under 30 years old, government data shows. The government estimates four out of six young Ugandans are unemployed and 80% of those working are in informal jobs with low pay.
Museveni’s office did not respond to a Reuters request for an interview. His spokesman referred requests for comment on allegations of corruption and nepotism to the ruling National Resistance Movement party, which did not respond.

Museveni has previously said there was a corruption problem but he was fighting it. He has denied accusations of nepotism.
‘WAR ZONE’
Under Museveni, Uganda has been a staunch Western ally and it provides the biggest contingent of the African Union force fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Uganda found major oil reserves over a decade ago but has yet to produce any crude and it relies on foreign aid for a quarter of its budget.
Last month, the government banned election rallies saying they could spread COVID-19 but Wine and other candidates argue that has prevented a free and fair election because government allies control most of the media outlets.
Electoral Commission spokesman Paul Bukenya told Reuters rallies could become coronavirus superspreader events and candidates had many ways to disseminate their messages including flyers, banners, billboards, brochures and social media.
Wine, a slim but sturdy figure, grew up in a Kampala slum, the 20th child in a polygamous family of 33 children.
He said his music – and his politics – was inspired by the struggles his mother faced as she hawked street food to educate and feed her children.
Wine’s musical career took off in the early 2000s with songs decrying urban poverty and political oppression, backed by catchy, feel-good beats. In 2017, he won a parliamentary by-election as an independent by a landslide and then last year he became leader of the opposition National Unity Platform party.
He has been detained multiple times since entering politics, including on the day he filed his nomination papers, and has taken to wearing a bullet-proof vest, as well as his helmet.

“If I didn’t have it I don’t know what would have happened to me. Every one, six people whom I move with in the car, have all been hit,” Wine said. “(It’s) more or less a war zone.”
Wine says he has been targeted with tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and pepper spray. Police say his campaign is breaking laws governing public order and COVID-19 restrictions.
At least 54 people died in protests that erupted when Wine was detained in one incident in November. In another, an injured protester died in his campaign ambulance after police blocked its path, Wine said.
“Some days you start eating tear gas as early as seven in the morning. Others you start much later. You start a day with 20 people and by the end of the day half of them are in prison.”
5.
Ugandan presidential challenger Bobi Wine campaigns in a flak jacketBy Reuters Staff
Uganda’s main opposition candidate in next week’s presidential election has swapped his trademark red beret for a helmet and starts each day with shadow-boxing and a prayer to survive a campaign trail he describes as a war zone.

Popstar-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who goes by the name Bobi Wine, is the frontrunner among 10 candidates challenging Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 34-year rule in the East African nation at the Jan. 14 vote.
While former guerrilla fighter Museveni, 76, has long been seen as a stabilising force in Uganda after the brutal reigns of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, opponents say his administration has become riddled with corruption and nepotism.
“Museveni is a different generation. He is a representative of history. I am a representative of the future,” Wine, 38, told Reuters at his home, a sprawling compound in Magere, a suburb on the northern outskirts of the capital Kampala.
Previous presidential election campaigns have been marked by the intimidation of opposition candidates though analysts say crackdowns by the security forces have been more brutal and widespread this time around.
Wine’s energy, music and humble origins have struck a chord with Uganda’s many young people, unnerving the ruling party and leading to repeated arrests of Wine and his loyalists for allegedly threatening public order.
“I am in this struggle to liberate Uganda,” he told Reuters. “Before that is accomplished I don’t care how many times I am arrested, harassed, beaten, tear gassed or pepper sprayed.”
.6.
Uganda’s Bobi Wine says bodyguard killed by police who deny charge; three reporters hurt
Ugandan presidential candidate and pop star Bobi Wine said one of his bodyguards was killed on Sunday when military police ran him over while Wine’s convoy was taking a journalist wounded by police to seek medical help.
The military police said the bodyguard had fallen from a speeding car.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has emerged as the strongest challenger to President Yoweri Museveni, 76, in the presidential election due on Jan. 14.
“I regret to announce the murder of my security team member Francis Senteza Kalibala aka Frank. He was deliberately run over by military-police truck, No. H4DF 2382, which blocked us in Busega on our way to Rubaga to get Kasirye Ashraf emergency medical attention.”

The Ugandan military’s spokeswoman wrote on Twitter late on Sunday that the bodyguard had not been hit by a military police vehicle.
“UPDF (Ugandan People’s Defence Force) would like to clarify that the late Senteza…was not knocked by a Military Police Vehicle as purported, but rather fell off a speeding car…he tried to jump to (sic) but fell off.”
Police spokesman Fred Enanga did not respond to a request for comment on the bodyguard. He had earlier told Reuters that supporters of Wine had gathered on Sunday in Masaka, 125 km southwest of the capital Kampala. Wine had attended a church service in the town, he tweeted.
Enanga said the supporters were “a violent group” but gave no further details on what they were doing.
“Teargas was used to quell the violence. The journalists were regrettably caught up during the process of dispersing the violent group,” he said.
He said one of the journalists, from television station Ghetto TV, sustained a serious injury above his left eye “allegedly from a (teargas) canister”.
Ashraf Kasirye was hospitalised at Masaka Referral Hospital then transferred to Kampala, he said.
“He is in a critical condition,” Wine later wrote on Twitter of Kasirye’s injury. “We are hoping against hope that he will live.”
All three journalists who were injured were wearing bulletproof vests and helmets marked “PRESS”, local reporter Culton Scovia Nakamya of BBS TV told Reuters.
Masaka is one of 11 areas where campaigning has been suspended because of coronavirus risks – although government critics say the real reason is the opposition’s popularity in these areas.
Another presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat, was arrested in the town of Jinja on Sunday, his Forum for Democratic Change party tweeted. Jinja, which is east of the capital, is one of the districts where the electoral board suspended campaigning.
Amuriat’s party tweeted photos of him campaigning on Sunday, the day after the suspension of campaigning was announced.
The police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Amuriat’s arrest.
7.Uganda opposition candidate Bobi Wine arrested, police fire tear gas at protesters
Uganda opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, and his campaign team were arrested on Wednesday and he said on Twitter that authorities returned him to his Kampala home in a military helicopter.

Uganda candidate Bobi Wine arrested, again
Wine and others were arrested on Kalangala Island in Lake Victoria, sparking protests at the site about 80 km (50 miles) southeast of Kampala. Police had earlier dismissed reports of the arrests, and said they had CCTV footage of Wine’s supporters deflating tyres of police motor vehicles, inciting violence and obstructing officers on duty.
Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of protesters, a witness, who did not want to give his name for security reasons, told Reuters.
Wine said on Twitter late on Wednesday he had been flown to Kampala in a military helicopter and dropped at his home, which was surrounded by security personnel.
Wine has emerged as the strongest challenger to President Yoweri Museveni, 76, in the presidential election on Jan. 14.
“I was airlifted in a military chopper & dropped at my gate. My home is surrounded. Gen. Museveni violently restricting us while he campaigns daily! Cowardly!,” Wine said on Twitter.
The police Facebook page said earlier that Wine and his team had been restrained for holding rallies that violated guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Reuters photographs from the scene showed Wine being escorted by at least 10 police officers, some armed with rifles.
Wine was wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest, which he has said he uses to prevent injuries whenever police disperse his meetings.
In November, at least 54 people died after protests erupted following Wine’s brief detention over alleged violation of social-distancing measures.
Police at the time said they had arrested nearly 600 people and accused protesters of rioting and looting.
United Nations human rights experts urged Uganda on Tuesday to curb violent security forces and drop charges against political opponents and activists arrested in what they called an election clampdown.
On Wednesday, a court released on bail the human rights lawyer and government critic Nicholas Opiyo, who has been charged with money laundering, in a case his organisation said was part of a crackdown on dissent ahead of elections.
9.

During the last election five years ago when he addressed the issue of him stepping down, he asked: “How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?”
When it comes to challenging election results, the outcome of every presidential race, except the 2011 one, has been contested in court. But who will be this time, no one knows. We have to wait after January 16, the day expected to announce the results of the presidential elections in Uganda.

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