Museveni aided by frangmented opposition

Museveni aided by a fragmented opposition


How Museveni rode to his 6th term on wings of fragmented opposition

Uganda’s Electoral Commission has declared the long-time President, Yoweri Museveni, re-elected, for his 6th terms in office, signalling more fives of Museveni. Museveni will be 81 years old by 2026 when his 6th term expires.

Arrowhead opposition and former pop star, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly called Bobi Wine, has laid accusations of vote rigging agaist Museveni; but that it not stopping anything.

10 opposition candidates, including 38-year-old Bobi Wine and a female candidate, Nancy Kelembe, ran against President Museveni, a political factor that aided Museveni’s hold-on to power.

Museveni won almost 59% of the vote, with Bobi Wine trailing with about 35%, and other candidates sharing 6% the Electoral Commission said.

Opposition would have been stronger if they joined forces with Bobi Wine, to defeat Museveni. Poll monitors have criticised the government closure of internet access. The say this undermined confidence. Bobi Wine said he would provide evidence of fraud once the internet was restored.

Dozens of people were killed during violence in the run-up to the election. Opposition politicians have also accused the government of harassment. The result gives President Museveni a sixth term in office. The 76 year old, in power since 1986, says he represents stability in the country.

Meanwhile, Bobi Wine – the stage name for 38-year-old Robert Kyagulanyi – says he has the backing of the youth in one of the world’s youngest nations, where the median age is 16.

On Friday, as the results came in, Bobi Wine said that Ugandan soldiers had surrounded and breached his home.

But a government spokesman accused him of “dramatising” the incident “to seek sympathy”.

What’s the latest on the election results?

“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” election commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said on Saturday.

He said turnout was 57% of the almost 18 million registered voters.

Earlier, Mr Byabakama said the vote had been peaceful, and called on Bobi Wine, who said some of his polling agents were arrested on Thursday, to make public the evidence for his fraud allegations.

Uganda’s general election

14 January 2021

18.1mpeople have registered to vote

11candidates are running for president

1of the candidates is a woman, Nancy Kalembe

5elected terms so far for Yoweri Museveni

50% plus 1votes needed for a candidate to avoid a run-off election

529MPs will also be elected

Source: Uganda electoral commission

The opposition candidate believes the internet shutdown is being used to block communication and as a way of compromising the vote.

“I will be happy to share the videos of all the fraud and irregularities as soon as the internet is restored,” Bobi Wine said.

Meanwhile, Mr Wanyama, who is a spokesperson for President Museveni, hit back at Bobi Wine’s claims of vote rigging.

“He came short of the expectation of Ugandans,” he said in an earlier interview with the BBC. “He had no message and Ugandans have told him he has to wait a little longer.”

Mr Wanyama added: “We have challenged him to provide proof for his claims, he has not a single iota of evidence.”

The EU, United Nations and several rights groups have previously raised concerns about the integrity of Uganda’s election.

But, aside from an African Union mission, there is currently no major international group monitoring the vote. Earlier this week the US – a major aid donor to Uganda – cancelled its diplomatic observer mission to the country, saying that the majority of its staff had been denied permission to monitor polling sites.

How bad was the violence during the campaign?

Violence reached an unprecedented level in the build-up to the race, and dozens have died during crackdowns by security forces.

It has been quiet in Kampala on Friday morning, the day after the vote

Bobi Wine and other opposition candidates have been arrested on several occasions, and during protests that followed one arrest in November, more than 50 people were killed.

Who is Yoweri Museveni?

Mr Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, stood as leader of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

He has long been depicted to Ugandans as a liberator and peace bringer.

But he has managed to maintain his grip on power through a mixture of encouraging a personality cult, employing patronage, compromising independent institutions and sidelining opponents, says the BBC’s Patience Atuhaire.

Why 35 years in power isn’t enough for this man

Who is Bobi Wine?

The reggae star is known by his supporters as the ghetto president.

His party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), campaigns for basic needs like improving access to healthcare, education, clean water and justice.

The ‘ghetto president’ aiming for the real thing

Over the last two decades Bobi Wine’s musical output has been filled with songs about these issues and they have inspired a fervent following.

He grew up in Kampala’s Kamwokya slum where he went on to build his now world-famous recording studio. (DAN with BBC report)


Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles