Thursday, June 13, 2024

#UgandaDecides: Bobi Wine upbeat as he gallops towards victory

The electoral process has been marred by fraud and violence.

• January 15, 2021
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine [Photo credit: Amnesty International]

Popular presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine is reportedly dominating the Ugandan presidential polls as at Thursday night, Peoples Gazette can report.

Results of several polling units observed by sources in contact with the Gazette shows that the 38-year-old musician turned politician is leading in the hotly contested election. 

Bobi Wine himself appears confident of the outcome of an election that has now gone into ballot collation stage.

In a tweet Thursday night via his handle @HEBobiWine, the top challenger announced that in spite of the irregularities that marred the election, the results are still looking good for his candidacy. 

He tweeted: “Hello Uganda! Despite the widespread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good.”

Bobi Wine in the same tweet thanked the people who turned up in large numbers to vote for him while calling on the Ugandan Electoral Commision and its chairman to declare what he referred to as ‘the will of the people.’

“Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for Mr. Byabakama and the EC to declare the will of the people,” Bobi Wine said.

With the polls closed across Uganda and ballot counting under-way, Bobi Wine and his hordes of supporters are shifting their attention towards protecting their ballots.

The electoral process has been marred by fraud and violence.
The ruling party, National Resistance Movement, NRM and its candidate, President Yoweri Museveni are determined to hold on to power by any means possible.

Shut-outs and shut-downs

Many election observers and journalists across the world have been denied visas and access to monitor the electoral process in Uganda.

Mr. Museveni has also ordered shut down of the internet 48 hours before the election to prevent online-realtime relay of election day reports. 

Bobi Wine said his phone and that of his wife are unable to access normal telecommunication services. 

Bobi Wine surrounded by crowd of supporters [Photo credit: Sky News]

“Like my wife’s, my phone has been blocked and I am unable to receive or make regular calls. I know this is to stop me from communicating to our agents and coordinators. I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you.

#WeAreRemovingADictator,” he wrote in a tweet. 

This action is feared by many to be one of president Museveni’s many attempts to undermine Uganda’s democracy and electoral process. 

Several leaders of thought across the globe, including social networking sites have condemned the actions of Mr. Museveni with many describing his actions as undemocratic, dictatorial and unfair. 

In a thread of tweets, Twitter, through its public policy handle, wrote: “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet Service Providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps,” the social media giant posted in a statement on Tuesday.

“We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet,” the statement continued.

The rough walk to removing a dictator

A composite photo of President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu
A composite photo of President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Photo credit: PML Daily)

The build-up to the Uganda 2021 elections was characterised by unprecedented violence and state repression. Opposition leader Bobi Wine who has run his campaign on the mantra of ‘Removing a Dictator’ was severely harassed, attacked and arrested by state forces. 

On several occasions, Bobi Wine’s life was at many times under threats with the military attacking his campaigns and rallies, shooting live bullets. Preferring his signature red beret, with his party’s-National Unity Platform (NUP) logo conspicuously displayed on it, Mr. Bobi Wine has been forced to sometimes shield himself with Kevlar vest and protective helmet in fear of state-sponsored attacks.

Mr. Museveni who is contesting the election for the sixth term on the platform of the NRM has ruled Uganda for more than 34 years. 

He has come under fierce criticisms for his tyrannical attitudes in undermining democratic processes and using state apparatuses to intimidate, harass and sideline opponents during elections. 

He has also constantly changed the constitution of Uganda, first to remove the two term limit and then to remove the age limit of holding electoral offices to pave way for his serial run.

There have also been reports that the residence of Bobi Wine has been surrounded by Ugandan military. This is considered an intimidatory moves ahead of the announcement of results.

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