Official of the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) Charity Ahimbisibwe has doubted the credibility of the country’s January 2021 general election.
The electoral umpire in Uganda, Electoral Commission, declared President Yoweri Museveni winner of the presidential election.
The candidate of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) got 58.64 percent of the votes, while opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, finished second with 34.83 percent.
But Wine, who ran on the platform of National Unity Platform (NUP), has rejected the result of the election characterised by violence and internet shutdown.
‘You see, if you are going to talk about a free and fair election, you have to talk about the quality of the campaign, you have to talk about the nomination, you have to talk about both the “pre” and the “during” process’, DW quoted her as saying.
Before the 14 January election, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights asked the government of Uganda to protect citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The commission made the call against the backdrop of reports of rights violations in the East African country ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The government of Uganda, in November 2020, deported two heads of the United States and European Union-funded NGOs in the country over allegations they support regime change.
Two other heads of foreign NGOs carrying out civic education and strengthening political parties regarding the elections were barred from returning to Uganda.
Also, two civil society organisations that work on voter education had their accounts frozen over their alleged funding of terrorism.
‘We saw a lot of civil society being locked up during this time of elections, and that all create space for the need for dialogue, for government to understand the work that civil society does to promote democracy are not necessarily agents of foreign forces that want to pull down the government’, she added.
‘I also think that there is a need for dialogue for government to understand development partners and why they come on board.
‘Development partners were not here to support the process of voter education, you have seen so many spoilt ballots, you have seen the lack of information during the election with over seven million people staying away because there is no voter education.
‘When the donors are part of the process and help to have voter education, the turnout is much better’.
Photo source: CCEDU