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Uganda Election

Uganda: Presidential Campaigns Officially Flagged Off

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The political tempo is high as rival political party groups officially enter an aggressive campaign season as candidates seek votes for the Presidential slot in the East African Country of 40million people.

Justice Simon Byabakama the chairman for Ugandan Electoral Commission (EC) said Monday was the official commencement date for the presidential campaigns for the 2021 General Election which will end on January 12, 2021.

“Following the conclusion of nominations, the commission has appointed November 9 until January 12, 2021, for conducting campaign meetings across the country,” Justice Byabakama said.

11 Ugandans are the officially nominated Presidential candidates that were found with satisfactory requirements during a two-day exercise that was concluded last week.

Byabakama said this time-round, campaigns shall be village-based as opposed to holding rallies due to the coronavirus pandemic regulations set by the Ministry of Health.

Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni who waged a military campaign for five years and later toppling his former boss Milton Obote in 1986 is Uganda’s longest serving leader and is also seeking re-election as a flag bearer of his party National Resistance Movement (NRM).

According to NRM Party Secretary-General,Mrs. Justine Kasule Lumumba, Museveni will officially kick off campaigns by meeting his supporters  in the area where he launched a guerilla war that ousted Obote from Greater Luweero districts that include; Luweero Nakaseke and Nakasongola at Kawumu in Luweero.

“We get onto the campaign trail today. I will meet our NRM leaders from the Greater Luweero area and thereafter speak to our people through radio and TV,” Museveni said via twitter.

Museveni is facing stiff competition from musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi under his People power movement that embedded into the National Unity Platform party.

Kyagulanyi has produced an articulate manifesto saying, “We seek a transition from the 35-year long dictatorial regime to a people’s choice government through free and fair elections.”

The youthful politician is campaigning on an anti corruption ticket under which he claims the seating government has stolen too much and therefore, seeks to “Recover stolen resources from convicted corrupt individuals.”

Kyagulanyi has promised to increase the salaries of security personnel. Economists believe presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s UGX 1 million salary pay for the lowest military officer is achievable. “Our soldiers, police officers and prisons officers live like beggers even when they do a lot of work,” Kyagulanyi noted.

His NUP party has summarized its objectives as seeking to have; People-Centred Governance II. Equal Access to Quality Education and Health Services III. Inclusive Economic Development IV.Land, Natural Resources & Environmental Protection V.National Security and International Relations.

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East-Africa

Ugandan Court Lifts Opposition Leader Bobi Wine’s House Arrest

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A Ugandan court has ordered security forces to cease surrounding the home of opposition leader Bobi Wine, whose house arrest since a mid-month presidential election has drawn international pressure, his lawyer said on Monday.

Troops have blocked the 38-year-old pop star-turned-politician from leaving his house in a suburb of the capital Kampala since he voted in the Jan. 14 election where he ran against long-serving incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.

“The judge ordered that the state and its agencies should immediately vacate his property and his right to personal liberty should immediately be reinstated,” lawyer George Musisi told Reuters.

Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986, was declared winner of the poll with 59% of votes versus 35% for Wine, who had for years denounced corruption and nepotism in his songs.

He rejected the result, alleging fraud which the government denies.

Musisi said the judge also ruled that if there were any serious allegations against Wine, he should be brought before a court or police.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said he had no immediate comment as the ruling had not been received.

There was no immediate reaction from the government or confirmation from the court.

U.S. ambassador Natalie E. Brown had tried to visit Wine at his home, drawing an accusation of meddling and subversion from the Ugandan government.

Reuters

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Uganda Election

Uganda To Restore Social-media Sites On ‘Case-by-Case Basis’

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The Uganda government insisted, it will maintain a tight grip on social-media sites as it attempts to deal with the post election security situation.

Kampala authorities said they were still analyzing the situation and sites will be restored on “a case-by-case basis,” according to Information, Communication and Technology and National Guidance Minister of State Peter Ogwang.

The Internet cables in Uganda were plugged out just hours before the election day. Uganda closed social-media sites and blocked access to the internet on the eve of presidential elections on January 14.

Access to the internet was restored on January 18.

The government said it will maintain its shutdown of Facebook, Twitter and other social-media platforms until the government deems they’re safe from being used to inflame tensions, reported state owned New Vision newspaper.

Meanwhile, the opposition which lost to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, have also swept the parliamentary seats for constituencies within the central region including the Mayor of the Capital Kampala.

However, for former presidential candidate in the just concluded presidential elections, Gen Henry Tumukunde, says the option of going to court to challenge the victory of NRM presidential candidate Museveni is still on the table.

Across opposition strongholds in Kampala, the reaction to President Museveni’s contested re-election has been muted, with his rival’s supporters too fearful — or dispirited — to take to the streets.

Analysts say, this could be the reason why government will maintain a grip on the internet until the anger in the opposition camp is over. The military is largely present and in-charge of security within the capital city which is also the main opposition stronghold.

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Uganda Election

Singer Jose Chameleon Competing For Kampala Mayor Seat

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Uganda’s dancehall artiste Jose Chameleon aka Mayanja Joseph has this morning cast his vote in a tight race for the Kampala city Mayor seat. He is running as an Independent candidate without any affiliation to a political party.

“I have a big chance of winning this. At first, they disrespected artistes who joined politics but our music has done a good job. Get my songs and remove the beats and read the message you will realise we write with a purpose. We see different things happening to people. Unless they rig these elections, but people are ready and willing to vote for Mayanja because they have studied me and found out that I’m the right person. I can’t sing all these songs and still have a coconut head,” said Chameleone.

At around 9AM, the singer finished casting his vote at Mutungo Biina, Kaduuka polling station. He said he was confident that he will emerge successful at the end of the day.

Uganda is currently holding elections for the Lord Mayor, directly elected councillors and women councillors for Kampala Capital City Authority and the ten cities across the country.

Reports indicate that at all the polling stations, the turn out is still so low and some people place the blame on the dissatisfaction that came from the Presidential and parliamentary elections.

Incumbent Kampala city Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has attributed the low voter turnout in the district elections to what he believes were irregularities in the Presidential election that led to NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi being locked up in his own home.

Another artist Daniel Kazibwe populary known by his stage name Ragga Dee is contending for the Mayoral seat on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket. He cast his vote at Kizungu meeting point polling station in Makindye 1.

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