UGANDA ELECTION FEVER IS OVER: IS IT BUSINESS AS USUAL AND IS FDC TURNING TO GOD?

FDC leaders praying

Forum for Democratic Change leaders in prayer for God’s intervention in Uganda as published in Daily Monitor on Monday issue. The prayers were held at the party headquarter on Sunday, April 17, 2016.

“Let those who are evil fight the people who are praying. With God, we will not fail. But that is not to say we should sit and do nothing because God helps those who help themselves. Our country is in captivity by those who are wielding the power of the gun”-Besigye

GULU-UGANDA: It is exactly two months today April 18, 2016 that Ugandans went to the polls to elect a new President and Members of Parliament to lead them for the next five years.

Whereas, the race for the presidency attracted eight candidates, including one female candidate, the contest turned out to be a two man race, pitting the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his arch rival, Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Museveni, of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party got 5,971,872 votes, representing 60.62% of the total votes cast while Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) got 3,508,687 votes, representing 35.61% of the total vote cast.

The third runner up, former Museveni’s ally and former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi got less than 2%, but challenged the election results in the Supreme Court. The petition has since been dismissed without costs.

European Union, Commonwealth and the United States of America described the February 18, 2016 election as not being “free and fair” and that it did not meet “international standards”. African Union observers however gave it a clean bill.

Museveni’s main challenger, Dr. Kizza Besigye, has been on the news-hitting headlines in the major national dailies for the past two months for the wrong reason. Uganda Police Force (UPF) arrested and detained him in his own house under what they termed “preventive arrest” for forty-seven days since the Election Day.

The media in Uganda, including social media platforms, have been awash with news about him since then. However, two months down the line, headlines are changing and shifting away from Besigye stories to other things. In today’s papers, both State-owned New Vision and independent Daily Monitor carried stories about tax evasion by Members of Parliament as their lead. However, the Red Pepper Tabloid reported about Museveni’s swearing-in ceremony that it “hangs in balance” as a continuation of election stories.

Is it business as usual?

Museveni, who will have ruled Uganda for thirty-five uninterrupted years since 1986, has been “winning” every election conducted in Uganda since 1996. In 2001, 2006 and 2016 elections, his victories have been challenged in the Supreme Court. Although in all these petitions, judges would admit there were election mal-practices, but agree that the mal-practices were not sufficient to affect the overall results.

In this year’s election however, it cannot be business as usual for Museveni as this is his last term in office because Uganda constitution bars anyone above 75 to be president. He is now 71 years old. Unless he uses numerical strength in parliament to amend the constitution in order to allow him rule like Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, Museveni will retire in 2021 when his term expires. NRM has 302 members in the tenth parliament out of 442 parliamentarians, while FDC has only 35 members. He can easily bulldog NRM Members of Parliament to change the law on retirement age.

Right now, he has immunity from prosecution, but not after retirement. Other Ugandans like former Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC), Dr. John Olara Otunnu, claims to have been collecting evidences with a view of prosecuting him in either national or international courts for leading a bloody and corrupt regime in Uganda as soon as he leaves power.

There are reports that President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has dragged Museveni to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for plundering DRC wealth and other crimes when Uganda and its ally, Rwanda, invaded Congo.

Museveni has also been in the news for another reason; he lives a fearful life in public. Recently, he was photographed addressing his supporters from Kololo Ceremonial Ground, from a two layer bullet-proof glass following his recent comments about Western Powers who criticized the last election results. Red Pepper today went further to say that his swearing-in ceremony hangs in balance. Has he fallen out with his former backer-USA?

“The fact that he is photographed addressing his supporters from bullet-proof glasses means he lives in total fear. He is not sure of his security”, says political commentator, Moses Odokonyero.

Why is it difficult to organize the Arab spring like uprising in Uganda? Is FDC turning to God for divine intervention in Uganda?

Dr. Besigye has been campaigning on Defiance message as a way of inciting his supporters into street protests like he did in 2011 elections when he organized “walk to work” protest. This time however, the police did not give him the time to come out on the streets of Kampala to cause mayhem as he was blocked from leaving his home for forty-seven days.

So, yesterday, when he had the opportunity to come out of confinement to attend the weekly prayer fellowship at his party office, Dr. Besigye sounded a defeated man when he seems to be turning to God for divine intervention in Ugandan politics

“If it was not for God, all of us, including Mr. Museveni would not have come out from the bush. It was not because of Museveni that we won the war, it was because of God. Some people were rather spiteful of this idea of prayer but the first I am going to give is that God is God of defiance. He defies injustice and he stands with all those who seek justice”, Daily Monitor quotes Besigye.

“Let those who are evil fight the people who are praying. With God, we will not fail. But that is not to say we should sit and do nothing because God helps those who help themselves. Our country is in captivity by those who are wielding the power of the gun”, prays Dr. Besigye.

Indeed, Uganda needs prayers and God’s intervention so as to protect it from total collapse after Museveni like Libya after Gaddafi, Iraq after Saddam Hussein or Somali after Siad Barre.

 

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