“The electrol commission declares Yoweri Museveni as the elected president of the republic of Uganda…” it was indeed a moment for Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to savour before even chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama could finish his statement. Museveni has predictably beat his closest competitor, Bobi Wine by a landslide victory of 5.85 million votes equivalent to 58.64% of the 18.1 million registered voters. Bobi Wine took the second place although not satisfied with the 3.48 million votes which is equal to 34.83% with claims that the votes were rigged.
Speaking for Bobi Wine and the National Unity Platform at large, Benjamin Katana, Bobi Wine’s representative had these to say : “what has been announced here is an attempt to undermine the will of people of Uganda.”
Although the government says it was merely providing him with security, Bobi Wine’s party states that Wine was under an “effective house arrest” and that’s why he was absent during the results release.
Byabakama says under Ugandan law, the burden of proof on rigging rested with the complainant, Bobi Wine. Katana’s answer to this was that the electrol commission promised that each candidate or their agents will receive copies of the results from the districts before they are transmitted to the National tally center. Furthermore police recorded a total of 42 election – related offense nationwide during voting and tallying and these are ; assaults, voter bribery and theft and damage of electrol materials.
Monitoring of the votes also proved to be a challenge and was complicated by a series of arrests of independent monitors, limitations of African Union observers team.
“we cannot speak about things we did not observe,” says Samuel Azuu Fonkam, head of the AU team when asked about Bobi Wine’s claims of rigging.
The East Africa Community’s observers team released their observations statement as follows : 1. Disproportionate use of force by security forces at some instances
2. Internet shutdown
3. Late opening of some polling stations
4. Isolated cases of biometric kits failure to verify voters.
To sum it all up, EAC’s team did not miss a complement for Uganda as it congratulated the country for demonstrating the level of maturity expected of a democracy.
Are you on the same page with the EAC observers team on this complement?