In just under an hour from now, the EC Chairman Dr Kiggundu will announce incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the winner of the Friday’s elections having polled an overwhelming majority of 68.28% of the total vote with just over 10% of results yet to roll in; in second place is Kizza Besigye with just over 26.12% of the votes.
Mr Museveni has been Uganda’s president since 1986 when he, like the then government, disregarded the then constitution and illegally captured power after a 5 year protracted and bloody war.
Kiggundu will say that this has been by far the most peaceful, free and fair election since multi-party ‘democracy’ was reinstated just over half a decade ago. He is not expected to publicly apologise to the tens of thousands who were denied their right to vote due to his EC’s shambolic organisation of the process neither will he concede that rigging was widespread as most reports have indicated, neither will he comment on the allegations of widespread vote-buying by the ruling NRM party prior and on to polling day.
Meanwhile, the FDC leader and Museveni’s closest challenger in Friday’s polls, Dr Kizza Besigye has announce that he will not concede defeat, describing the elections as a “sham”.
Addressing the nation yesterday, Besigye – who was flanked by wife Winnie Byanyima – said that the elections were not free or fair. He caused it known to Ugandan that:
“the will of the people can’t be freely expressed in this corrupt environment”
He said that for as long as Museveni remains in power they (Ugandans) can as well forget a free and fair election.
The retired soldier was at pains to inform Ugandans that the opposition have explored all avenues through which they could be able to provide an alternative government but unfortunately these avenues were all found systemically flawed.
Below are the things, in summary, that we now know – or do not know – following his press conference:
- Besigye has at least 10 grounds to reject the vote. That Ugandans have the final word: not sham elections or partial courts.
- He waved what he claims are pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Museveni.
- Some IPC/FDC agents were denied copies of declaration forms, others arrested when they asked for clarification before they could sign declaration forms; election officials were heavily bribed.
- IPC electronic tally centre failed so they [EC] are now doing it manually while surrounded by army and police trying to intimidate the electorate.
- IPC/FDC results aggregation system blocked.
- Mr Museveni would be declared winner with 67.2 per cent, Besigye alleges.
Dr Besigye wondered why voting in Kampala started very late while in NRM strongholds of Nakaseke, Nakasongora, Kyankwanzi and other remote districts, voting started on time at 7a.m.
“We should all ask why voting started badly, with late opening of polling stations in opposition strong holds, due to late delivery of materials. This even happened in Kampala where the EC sits.
Besigye said that they [opposition] have participated in all elections organised by the Museveni government but these elections have been far from free and fair; they have twice been to court that found election rigging had taken place but the same courts could not declare elections as null and void due to government peddling.
He urged the people of Uganda themselves that they must take action to end the dictatorship in my country for as long as they leave.
Dr Kizza Besigye also appealed to the international community not to turn there back on this beautiful country.
“So, I ask how the outcome of such an election can be a credible reflection of the will of the people of Uganda. The Intimidation and malpractices are similar to those we saw in 2006 but in many ways on a much greater scale than before,” said Besigye.
Moments after Besigye’s press conference, the Commonwealth election observers also held their press conference at which they gave a preamble of a report to be submitted to stakeholders.
Pointing out that it was too early to conclude that the election was free and fair, the observers raised deep concerns about Friday’s election process.
Concerns include: widespread delivery of materials at polling stations, vast distribution of money to buy votes/commercialization of elections, a blemish voters register that needs serious cleaning, the neglect of voter cards and most importantly the heavy deployment of security forces that may have intimidated some sections of the electorate and indeed influenced voter decision.