Museveni’s win was not free and fair, Kenyan lobby fearlessly says

Uganda President-elect Yoweri Museveni. [Photo: DW]

The Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG), a Kenyan lobby has termed the just-concluded Ugandan elections as a sham.

CSRG said the Uganda polls were not “free, fair and accountable by any stretch of the imagination”.

Churchill Suba, CSRG convener faulted a statement by President-elect Yoweri Museveni that he was the only candidate who has never cheated in elections since 1962.

Suba stated that elections go beyond voting and take to account how supporters of political parties associate, congregate and air their opinions.

CSRG warned that democracy in Uganda was on trial as leaders who want to remain in power always change the laws to accommodate their selfish interests to remain in power.

Museveni faced off with Robert Kyangulani Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine in the polls.

Museveni was then declared the winner of the polls after garnering 58.64 per cent of the total votes cast while Bobi Wine managed to garner 34.83 per cent of the total votes.

But Wine has rejected the results terming the elections a flaw. Since the results were announced, he has been under house arrest at his home.

Just before the country headed to the ballot, Internet was shut down and was only restored on Monday, more than three days after the polls were concluded.

Pointing to this, the Kenyan lobby said that Museveni’s order for internet shut down was ill-intended and subverts the virtue of transparency and integrity.

“It is improper and unacceptable that a political competitor in the same elections should abrogate himself and unilaterally exercise the power to switch off social media without the concurrence of other candidates, and still brag about his win,” he said.

“Looked at from a regional perspective, the general election in Uganda is the latest confirmation that there is a steady democratic backsliding in the East and Horn of Africa, characterised by erosion of the gains that the peoples of the region painstakingly made against one-party autocracy in the early 1990s, as the continent embraced liberal democracy,” Suba said.

During the campaigns, at least 20 people including his bodyguards were killed by police.

They were campaigning under the National Unity Platform Wine was arrested severally and his vehicle sprayed with bullets while still campaigning.

The US has called for an audit of the elections. The Ugandan government did not clear US observers during the polls.