Ugandan scientific election: Bobi Wine warns of mass uprising

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Ugandan pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, greets his followers as he arrives home after being released from prison on bail in Kampala, Uganda Thursday, May 2, 2019. Wine was freed on bail Thursday after spending three nights in a maximum-security prison after being charged with disobeying statutory authority and facing trial over staging a street protest in July against a tax on social media. (AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi)

Ugandan main opposition leader and singer, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine has warned the Electoral Commission and President Yoweri Museveni to abandon plans of organising ‘scientific’ elections under the pretext of protecting masses from Covid-19.

The EC, last week, announced a ban on mass campaign rallies for next year’s general election.

The electoral body insisted that those vying for the various political seats, reach out to their electorate through digital, electronic and print media, to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

However, Kyagulanyi, leader of the People Power Movement said the virus is no excuse for Uganda to hold ‘scientific elections’ because countries with worse Covid-19 statistics had successfully held normal conventional election processes.

“You either organize a free and fair election or step down peacefully, but if you continue provoking Ugandans, Ugandans will rise up against you and you will end up in the dustbin of history,” Kyagulanyi said.

Museveni’s tactic
Kyagulanyi described the ‘scientific election’ as another tactic by Museveni to extend beyond 35 years his tenure as president, adding that “no Ugandan should be fooled into believing that Museveni is doing this for their safety.”

“He doesn’t want us to reach the people. There is nothing like a scientific election for us, what we are going for is a real election. As we speak now, most urban places are filled with people; no social distancing, no nothing,” he said.

Observers’ views

Meanwhile, many observers have argued that digital and electronic campaigns favour the incumbents who have privileged access to mass media.

They said the digital campaigns will also likely isolate majority of the population without access to social media, radio and television or even electricity.

Some also argued that the state-owned media was declared biased against opposition candidates in previous elections by Ugandan courts.

President’s address

Nonetheless, in the President’s address to the nation yesterday, he advised Ugandans to embrace the scientific elections for their own safety.

“For now, health takes priority over wealth, convenience, jobs and businesses,” Museveni said.

Uganda currently has 774 confirmed coronavirus cases with over 631 recoveries and no deaths

 

Olajumoke Adeleke

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