Protests erupted around the world today condemning the results of Uganda’s Presidential election earlier this month.
National Unity Platform (NUP) Presidential candidate, Parliamentarian Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine remains under inexplicable house arrest, surrounded by Ugandan military troops under the orders of dictator Yoweri Museveni, who has declared victory in the Ugandan Presidential election, and hence about to commence his 35th year in office. NUP claims to have ‘evidence of election malpractice’ in its bid to refute the continued regime of the six times re-elected president. The months leading up to the election have been fraught with persecution of opponents through social media bans, intimidation of press, unlawful detentions, arrests on trumped up charges, disappearances, torture and assault of candidates and supporters alike, including scores of deaths from resulting protests leading up to the election.
Last Saturday the electoral commission announced Mr Museveni had won the vote, with 59 per cent of the vote compared to Mr Wine’s 35 per cent. The re-elected leader has ruled Uganda in back-to-back five-year terms since seizing control in 1986. Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Mathias Mpuuga, of Mr Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP), announced the planned challenge of the results:
“We have evidence of ballot stuffing and other forms of election malpractice and after putting it together we are going to take all measures that the law permits to challenge this fraud.”
Both the US and UK issued statements on Saturday calling for investigations into fraud allegations and other concerns over the electoral process, particularly those that the African Union has failed to properly observe polling. The African Union sent an observer team but admitted it did not arrive in Uganda until the day before the vote due to coronavirus-related issues, and observed polling only in the capital and its immediate areas, it said in a statement. The Union described its work as “more of a solidarity mission” than a “classical election observer mission”. Meanwhile, an African election monitoring group that deployed 2,000 Ugandan observers reported multiple “irregularities”, noting video evidence.
The NUP told its followers to use every “constitutionally available avenue” to pursue political change, saying it was up to them to ensure “our president [Mr Wine]” was released from “illegal detention at his home”.
Today multiple protests broke out around the world, including New York City, where a robust group of Ugandan expats, political asylums, other exiles, and supporters called upon the World to take action, and to pursue sanctions against Museveni’s regime. One anonymous protestor told me: ” We do not want to cause any more pain to our people at home, but we know they will support whatever measures are necessary to bring the rule of Museveni to an end and instate the proper president who we believe won the election. We are for the people and we want change.”
Shortly before the protests, Bobi Wine spoke from behind his home where he has been surrounded by soldiers and not permitted to leave:
Here is his speech broadcast across social media:
Fellow Ugandans, I greet you all in the name of the almighty God.I am grateful that I finally have an opportunity to speak to you today, even when my home is still surrounded by soldiers and the police.I am under illegal house arrest and continue to live through this humiliation, but my spirit is strong. I am strong because am aware of the trials and tribulations that those who came before us had to endure in their fight for freedom and democracy. I am even consoled by the constant reminder that what I am going through today is nothing compared to what many of our comrades and supporters have had to go through for the past three years since we started the People Power Movement!
As all Ugandans know, many comrades are dead, others are in hospitals nursing wounds of torture and very many others are in prison for standing for the truth.
Fellow Ugandans, today I stand here to make my first address after the election of 14th January, which all of you know that we won, and which Gen.Museveni aided by Mr Byabakama and the militarily rigged with impunity and which is the reason why am now under house arrest.
I must state right from the beginning that we went into this election knowing the nature of the regime we are up against but trusting the people of Uganda to assert their voices. Like many other ruthless dictators, Museveni organizes elections in order to pay lip-service to democracy and to try to buy legitimacy from the world. He was therefore determined to take the nation through the same old ritual this year. Unfortunately for him, he miscalculated this time round.
The question we’ve been getting from some people has always been, why participate in an election that you know was already rigged? As I have said time and again, we participated in this election because we have confidence in the power of the PEOPLE of Uganda. We participated in this election because we believe that the voice of the people can speak loud and clear, and they spoke and everyone felt that.
Today I stand here to thank you, fellow Ugandans, for turning up in unprecedented numbers to vote. Mr. Byabakama and his Electral Commission are trying to downplay the numbers of the people who voted, but even the blind could see the overwhelming turn up of Ugandans on the 14th. So on behalf of the National Unity Platform and on my own behalf, I want to thank you for turning up and for voting for change. My message to you today is that your effort was not in vain.
Let me also appreciate my fellow presidential candidates for putting their foot forward, but most importantly for rejecting Museveni’s fraud. Therefore fellow citizens, as I speak to you today, my heart is full of gratitude and confidence because eight days ago you went to the polls and overwhelmingly chose the National Unity Platform and myself to lead you in repairing our broken Nation, which has endured the pain of dictatorship under Gen.Yoweri Museveni for 35years.Unfortunately, Museveni yet again committed a coup against the Constitution and the people of Uganda.
By 6:00pm on the day of voting, it was clear from across the country that despite all the rigging he had done, Museveni was defeated resoundingly. From the East to the West; from the North to the South and Central region, it was clear that Ugandans in their masses had rejected the Museveni dictatorship and chosen a New Uganda!
Unfortunately, Museveni is such a poor student of history; including his own history. In a book titled Mission to Freedom written by himself, he justified his decision to go to the bush and start after a rigged election as follows: He said, and I quote; “In December 1980, Ugandans went to the polls. By late afternoon on December 11th, it was clear that UPC and Obote were headed for a resounding defeat inspite of all the rigging they had done at the earlier stages of registration of voters, nomination of candidates, and demarcation of electoral boundaries. The UPC was seized with Panic. Paul Muwanga…..took over the powers of the Electoral Commission. ….. The following day 12th December 1980, using their control of the national radio, the army, the police and other state machinery and backed by the Tanzanian government, Obote and Muwanga announced their coup. ….Once again, a minority, unpopular clique was imposed on the people of Uganda, leaving them with no option but to take up arms in defence of their democratic rights.”
This was Museveni speaking! And here we are yet again. Just replace the actors in that article with Museveni, Byabakama and the like, and it will become alive again. Throughout the campaign period the People of Uganda generally, and more particularly my supporters and myself endured untold suffering, torture, degrading and inhuman treatment on the orders of Gen Museveni. This included but not limited to the dark days of 18th and 19th November 2020 which saw over one hundred innocent, unarmed citizens murdered in cold blood by the police and military.Gen Museveni later bragged about these cold murders and his executioner Gen. Tumwine promised to murder some more, if they dared question how they are being governed. He said “comply, comply, comply…cooperate, cooperate, cooperate”
Fellow citizens, when I was nominated to run for President, I informed the nation that this was not just a mere election but a REVOLUTION. And I want to tell you today that the revolution is going on and nothing will stop it. The regime is desperate to close this chapter and pretend that everything has returned to normal, but I will tell them today, this is only the beginning. The people of Ugandan had every reason to fight for freedom, and now they have an even bigger reason, Their victory was stolen in broad daylight and they are going to defend it.
Like most National and International bodies have noted, this election was marred with massive irregularities including state inspired violence, intimidation and harassment of my supporters, myself and other opposition candidates, ballot stuffing with pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Museveni, alteration of Declaration of Results Forms, Confiscation of Declaration Forms from our agents by Security Personnel, flawed tallying processes, etc. In many districts across the country our agents were picked from polling stations and detained. To date, many of them are still missing.
Amidst all this, Museveni switched off the internet and ordered the local media not to cover the incidents of election fraud and human rights violations. To complete their immoral scheme and to cover up all this evil, they immediately placed me under house arrest and up to now, am still held captive surrounded by the military. It will be remembered that two weeks to the election, my entire campaign team was arrested 49 of them were charged before the military court with a fabricated case of illegal possession of firearms! They include:Twaha Ali aka Nubian LiDaniel Oyerwot aka Dan MagicSebuufu Edward Eddy MutweAganba Athony aka Bobi YoungNyege William aka Kyuma Kya YesuMwijukye Lukman aka Kampala LookmanMuddy NtambiNyanzi William aka MbogoSuki wa BobiNajja sherifRacheal AkiikiNansove SafinaMuwaNamwanje JamilaSemakula HassanKyalimpa Kenny aka sky soldier 18yrsMiiro JohnNsubuga MuhammadMatovu AdamTamale IbraKafooko Stanley aka KistanKivumbi AchleoNyanzi Kaddu IsmaelManga MuzafaluKivumbi Rober aka Mighty familyObicho bonnetSekilanda Samson aka GiantDemands Brian aka M7 must goKatumba RobertNamubiru FatumaNamuyimba Joy aka Joy StrongTwashemelirwe MonicaLutaaya OliverMpanga CharlesKyabaggu Gesera aka Pympa productionsMutalya GeofreyMusic BenedictKalyango BakerMukasa Husein aka OsheSanders JohnBoscoMuganga IsmaTamale FahadMurusha BashirOnzima Geofrey aka Tower
Lule David Bwanika aka Selector Davie was abducted by the military from his home on the night of 12th January and has never been seen again. Over 3000 supporters were picked up by security and up to now, the whereabouts for most of them are still unknown.
These and many other irregularities and fraudulent actions for which we have overwhelming evidence prove one thing- this has been the most fraudulent election in the history of our Country. It is certainly ten times more fraudulent than the 1980 elections which Museveni hinged on to go to the bush and start a war which claimed more than half a million of our people.
What happened on 14th of January is an insult the memory of all those who have paid the ultimate price so that democracy reigns in Uganda.
Article 1(4) of the Constitution of Uganda provides that the People shall express their will and consent on who shall govern them and how they should be governed through regular, free and fair elections. But for Museveni and his regime, they have eliminated the words “free and fair”.
We therefore, categorically and unequivocally reject the results manufactured by Gen Museveni’s operatives and read by Mr. Byabakama because they do not in any way represent what the People of Uganda chose on the 14th of January 2021 and we have overwhelming evidence to this effect.
We call upon the People of Uganda to reject this mockery and refuse to acknowledge Museveni as the winner of the January 14th polls because we defeated him. Ugandans must resist his treasonous attempt to forcefully impose himself on us as president. Resisting tyranny is not only a right- it is a DUTY for oppressed people to carry out. We encourage all of you to use all non violent and legal means and ides at your disposal to engage in this fight for complete freedom.
We have always said that People Power is Our power. The stolen votes belong to the People of Uganda. The people of Uganda must rise to the occasion and free themselves and their country from that small group of gunmen who do not care about our future and that of our country Uganda.
Unlike Museveni who unleashed untold violence and suffering on our people in the 1980s, we choose non-violent strategies in the pursuit of freedom and democracy. We are committed to non-violence because we despise violence. That is why we are fighting against a violent tyrant.
Studies have shown that non-violence is even much more effective in breaking violent dictatorships. I therefore encourage all of you citizens to take a firm stand against the M7 regime.
Finally, many Ugandans are eager to hear our position on whether or not we shall go to court to challenge the thuggery and fraud. From the 17th of January when the coup was announced, we have received numerous calls advising us on different strategies and we’re we are grateful.
Those who are against going to court have told us that it is a waste of time. They have argued that the composition of our Supreme Court as it is today would not rule against Gen. Museveni because he is the one who has appointed all of them to the bench. They have made reference to the past cases filed by Dr. Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi in the same court and how the decisions were arrived at. They have argued that to go to court is to give Museveni another stamp of legitimacy.
Then there are those who are advising us to go to court. Even when they are skeptical about the outcome, they think we have an opportunity to file all this overwhelming evidence before a court of law both for the present and future reference. They think we should exhaust all the present legal avenues and if they have any shortfalls, use this opportunity to expose them.
I must add that the regime has been actively trying to frustrate any attempt to go to court. They have intimidated our polling agents, but most crudely confiscated more than 4000 of our Declaration of Results forms, which are of crucial importance in an election petition. We have tasked the authorities to return these forms, but they are yet to respond. The leadership of the National Unity Platform is in the process of consulting stake holders but most importantly the common people and in a few days, we shall communicate our decision to the nation.
As regards my illegal house arrest, the police and military have still failed to explain their presence in my home.
Fellow Ugandans, stay strong and cheer up. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.