To all those who will soon be voting in the Uganda elections, best wishes. It seems certain for some there will be jubilation and for almost as many disappointments.
It seems like it will be the usual stuff on the menu: violence, deaths, rigging and the usual winner-Museveni. There are differences on a few issues, but it will be mostly the same. The real powers are invisible and already planning for life after Museveni. Besides, the arrest of Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde shows that the internal fights within the ‘powerful’ have already started.
I believe that voter turn out could be low despite the enthusiasm of the youths to register and be part of the election. Now, I'm not too sure who you might think be blamed for this, but some people like Andrew Mwenda, have always blamed Dr. Kiiza Besigye for low voter turnout.I know some of you are purposely dense, and some are still suffering from attribution problems. So, read this very slowly so you understand it the first time, because I am done with this after this answer:
Some people, for whatever reason, think that elections cannot remove any Ugandan president from power, they just hate politics, and they base this on our political history since independence. For instance, when Yusuf Lule was removed from power, some people went to court, and it ruled that he had been removed illegally, but nothing changed. Besigye has been to court twice but nothing changed. Amama Mbabazi went to court after the 2016 elections, his lawyers’ offices were broken into and computers were destroyed, and nothing changed.Other voters are chronic procrastinators—they don’t make up their mind to vote till the last minute. That does not mean that Besigye is responsible for their decision not to vote or register for elections.
Besigye’s votes have been miraculously increasing since 2006 yet people blame him for low voter turnout. My feeling is that his message of ‘elections cannot remove Museveni from power’, mainly does the opposite effect-- it energises the people and then they vote him in big numbers, only for the Electoral Commission to announce its own results. People see a man during campaigns who deserves to be their president and decide to vote for him to prove him wrong, but he ends up proving them right. For example, in 2011, there was a massive difference of 3,363,406 votes between Museveni and Besigye despite the huge crowds pulled by Besigye. In 2016, that difference was reduced to 2,463,185. Besigye increased his votes by 1,443,724 in 2016, which means Besigye’s message isn’t putting off voters from voting. It also meant that he was building something that is pulling everyone together.
But then again, you can only trust these statistics for arguments case. For example, with all the crowds we saw at Amaama Mbabazi’s rallies, he was only given 136,519 votes, which is less than the male population of Kayunga district. It basically means that over 5 million Bakiigas didn’t even vote for him, since Bakiiga are about 6 million. Common sense would tell you that the Electoral Commission was under instructions to give him that result, and that the elections weren’t free and fair.
Basically, there’s fraud in every election, and, generally enough to make a difference. So, I can’t understand how someone could acknowledge ballot stuffing in the past elections, and then go on to say,’ I do not think Besigye has ever defeated Museveni in an election’. How does one quantify this? The Uganda elections since 1996 have all been about endorsing Museveni for president and pulling as many dirty tricks as he can get away with. Such as: -gerrymandering poll results until they look like a Rorschach inkblot; having votes reaching late in some places, or sometimes stop people from voting; threatening voters who don’t support the incumbent; giving little time for the main opposition leader to campaign, for instance, Besigye spent most of the time in prison during the 2006 elections. Our political system is a mess, and it continually elects incompetent people.
Registration ahead of time is a good thing. It allows the verification of voters to be spread out over time. But there have been problems in voter registration since 1996, and this creates confusion among the voters, such that some decide not to vote altogether. Now, I hear that ‘Ndagamuntu’ wont even be used during voting.
I think anti-Besigye propaganda has already set a new record, with both supporters of Museveni (not all NRMs) and Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, calling him a mole and an ally. Andrew Mwenda has gone to the extent of questioning why Museveni hasn’t jailed Besigye permanently, for using the elections as a mobilisation exercise against the government, since Besigye doesn’t believe that elections can remove Museveni from power. If we walk back to the 1980 elections, Museveni used those elections as an exercise to rejuvenate and open different FRONASA cells around the country. His former driver, Fred Rwigyema, was his bodyguard, and he was responsible for recruiting other Banyarwanda into the struggle Museveni was organising. I don’t think this made Museveni an ally of Obote, did it? During the campaigns, Museveni was also on record threatening to go to the bush, which he did, if Obote rigged the elections, but Obote never charged him with treason. Nobody even charged him with treason after the war, but, instead, Mwenda penned an article dated 15th April 2005—accusing Museveni for most of the killings in Luwero.
As shown above, Besigye was increasingly building something for the opposition till the most selfish man appeared on the scene.In my no humble opinion I think Bobi is probably the worst opposition activist in our history and deserves no support from any dignified political party in Uganda. He should be forced to look at the insults and behaviour of his followers towards other opposition leaders. I predicted that he would have the opposition weak and divided before the 2021 elections. I may have missed it by a few months when I was still cuddling him to work with Besigye, but he still did it. I sincerely hope that he loses by a huge margin. Without Besigye or Tumukunde, we do not have any capable candidates remaining in the race who have a chance of winning and looking presidential. Mugisha Muntu seems like a good guy but I’m inclined to believe that he isn’t meant to be a politician, and I think that’s why he is lurking around someone like Bobi.
I for one will be glad when the elections are over. Most PP propagandists assume I am a small child, due to their nursery reasoning. However, I am not offended nor hurt toward by anybody whom I disagree with politically. We can disagree and still be friends.
*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*
Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.wordpress.com
"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive." - Henry Steele Commager 1902-98