Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Uganda opposition leader held after election loss

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye was detained for the fourth time in eight days on Monday, after he failed to unseat long-serving President Yoweri Museveni in an election observers say was marked by intimidation and lacked transparency.

Ingrid Turinawe, a senior official with Besigye’s FDC party said Besigye was being prevented from gathering evidence as part of his challenge of the election result.

“They should leave him to be free because he has only 14 days to petition the court. He has to collect evidence,” she said.

Uganda’s Electoral Commission declared Museveni, in power since 1986, the winner of the February 18 vote, with 60.8% against Besigye’s 35.4%.

Besigye and other domestic critics dismissed the result as rigged and the EU observer mission said the vote lacked transparency and had been conducted in an “intimidating” atmosphere.

Police said on Monday they believed Besigye was preparing to lead supporters to the Commission to collect the official results and had not obtained proper consent.

“Today, [Besigye] had mobilised a group of youth to storm the electoral commission. We had information that they had planned to cause violence in the city,” said police spokesperson Patrick Onyango.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has also voiced concern over the harassment of opposition figures and the shutdown of social media in Uganda, where Facebook, Twitter and the WhatsApp messaging service have faced outages on election day.

Museveni (71) has dismissed the idea that the commission had favoured him and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) and has told foreign observers not to lecture him.

“I told those Europeans … I don’t need lectures from anybody,” Museveni told reporters in his country home in Kiruhura, southwestern Uganda.

He has presided over strong economic growth but is accused at home and abroad of repression of dissent and failing to tackle rampant corruption. Critics also say he wants to rule the nation of 37 million people for life, emulating other African leaders who refuse to give up power.

Museveni last clashed with Western donors in 2014, when Uganda passed a law that imposes harsh penalties on homosexuality.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Deputy president Mabuza begs Tshwane voters: ‘Don’t abandon the ANC’

Angry Atteridgeville residents hurl insults at ‘dysfunctional’ ANC full of ‘corrupt individuals’ as Mabuza fails to placate them with party T-shirts and doeks

Taxi operators clash with cops over disputed Route B97 in...

Three suspects remain in custody following their arrest on charges of attempted murder and assault after eight taxis were impounded

SA teens, you’re next in the queue for a vaccine...

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register to receive their Covid-19 jab from 20 October. This group will be given only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for now

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×