Kampala: Uganda 2016 Election Day 2

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    Business as usual in the streets of Kampala.
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    The first teargas shot.
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    Teargas shot off through the day.

Kampala: Uganda 2016 Election Day 2.
Feb 19

Uganda Elections 2016
Kampala, Uganda.

Well, today was relatively quiet as provisional results for the polls began coming in for the Ugandan election.  The 30 year dictator, Yoweri Museveni, is in the voting lead, but his position is not with accusations of scandals and corruption.  Opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, the only other real competitor in the election, has been arrested again today by local authorities.  He has now been arrested two times in two days (his third arrest this week).  Something in the air stinks about this and it is clear that there is dirty business going on behind the scenes.

Police announced that the arrest of Besigye, an outspoken candidate and an enemy of Museveni, is to prevent him from announcing his own election results.  Besigye and his supporters have been vocal about the election being rigged by Museveni. Museveni has been in power since taking over with a military coup in January 1986. (Pre-2006 elections, Museveni campaigned to change the limitations on terms for which a president in Uganda could hold office).

 Pure corruption is what is taking place here during this time…

Besigye supporters say that Museveni is running an unfair election and continues to bully the opposition. By arresting Besigye, it makes the opposition appear unstable in an attempt to alter the psyche of Besigye supporters. The word from police is that they have arrested Besigye on accusations that he planned to announce “purportedly final results” which would be “disturbing public order”.  Opposition supporters say this is purely an intimidation tactic which police have termed a “preventative arrest”.

Voting was supposed to conclude yesterday, but it has been extended through today in some of the polling stations where voting materials arrived late yesterday.  There have been issues with voting materials arriving late at the known polling stations of strong opposition support.  Now, with instability considerations do to Besigye’s arrest, polling stations were once again ready for voters to make their choice.

 I heard the shots and then yells, followed by the sound of a running crowd.

Police have fired tear-gas and stun grenades to eradicate Besigye supporters.  Yesterday, when Besigye was arrested, it was because he received word that an illegal tally center manned by the NRM (National Resistance Movement) were pre-ticking ballot boxes.  Pure corruption is what is taking place here during this time.

At 13:38, there was teargas fired off close to my hotel room located across the street from the New Taxi Park.  I heard the shots and then yells, followed by the sound of a running crowd.  I stepped out on my 3rd floor balcony to see the smoke of the teargas about 200 meters down the street.  The taxi stand immediately began to clear out with mini-vans far from full, which if you have ever been to Africa you will know that this is a complete anomaly.

However, after time more tear gas was shot off down the street and people began to get used to the situation.  When more shots of teargas were launched just out of harm’s way of the mass crowd, people just carried about their day in the streets.  At least five teargas explosions went off through the afternoon and the shots started being greeted with sarcastic cheers from the locals at the New Taxi Park.

We are still under a government shutdown of Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp.  Now, word has it that CNN has been turned off as well.  Museveni has been the only candidate who has been allowed on television or radio during this time.

At street level in Kampala, it does not feel dangerous, but there is an uneasy underlying issue that one sure can feel in the air.

At 02:00, I went to bed in a silent city.

Results are to come through tomorrow.

Read Part 1 of the Ugandan Election here

Read Part 3 of the Ugandan Election here

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2 Responses

  1. February 21, 2016

    […] Read Part 2 of the Ugandan Elections here […]

  2. February 22, 2016

    […] Read Part 2 of the Ugandan Elections here […]

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