Uganda Elections 2006: Opposition Complaining of Unleveled Political Field
Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye's lawyer, Yusuf Nsibambi.

Uganda Elections 2006: Opposition Complaining of Unleveled Political Field


Opposition is not happy.

By Gerald Rulekere
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First published: December 13, 2005


The Uganda Electoral Commission has announced December 14 and 15 2005 as the nomination date for presidential aspirants for the 2006 elections. This is the first multi-party election Uganda will hold in more than 25 years.


Some members of the opposition political parties are complaining that the electoral commission delayed to announce the dates in order to play the process in favour of the ruling NRM-O.

The Chairman of the Forum for Integrity in Leadership, Emmanuel Tumusiime claims that the date announced only three weeks to the nomination is aimed at favouring the incumbent and NRM-O candidate, Yoweri Museveni.

The Forum for Democratic Change has been complaining that its leader and presidential candidate, Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye was arrested and continues to be detained to deny him an opportunity to be nominated, at least normally. Dr. Besigye whether in or out of prison is expected to give Museveni a stiff challenge.

There are also claims that as of this year, the NRM-O, which was created from the Movement before the ongoing transition to multiparty elections, continues to enjoy government funding through the Movement Secretariat, which has not yet been disbanded.

The government has also put in place a number of para-military groups to help in campaigns, including the Kalangala Action Plan of Maj. Kakooza Mutaale who has publicly been vowing to give President Museveni’s opponents a good physical beating this time round.

Other than that, there are complaints that Museveni has already compromised civil forces like the police who are supposed to man elections, by recently appointing Maj. Gen. Kale Kaihura to head the Police Force.

The government on the other hand accuses the opposition of fearing competition and being picky on small issues because they (the opposition) fear the public support of the NRM-O and President Yoweri Museveni in particular. Museveni recently said that the opposition has failed to give Ugandans their programmes if they are elected into power, have no manifesto, have not gone on grassroots mobilization, remain popular in cities and towns while most votes are in villages.

“The situation is very appalling. President Museveni has no willingness to open up the political space. He was just forced to adopt multiparty politics by the donors. He will say all the bad things about the opposition and even go ahead to arrest opponents like Dr. Besigye on trumped charges. Museveni has not helped to create confidence in the population,” say Kasiano Wadri, Terego county MP a member of the FDC.

Wadri says that he is convinced that the 2006 elections will not be free and fair unless the government stops the intimidation of its opponents by security operatives, desists from gagging the media and civil society, there is independence of the judiciary and police acts professionally in ensuring law and order. He says all these are already threatened.

By Gerald Rulekere
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First published: December 13, 2005
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Gerald Rulekere is a Journalist and member of Ultimate Media Consult. He has written and published extensively on business and gender issues and been writing for Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd for the last two years. A professional and graduate journalist, Rulekere is always looking for an opportunity to better his writing especially for international media.