Uganda. According to countryaah, the current population of Uganda is 45,741,018. Presidential elections were held in February, but even though eight candidates ran, few doubted that anyone other than Yoweri Museveni, president since 1986, would win. The strongest opposition candidate, like the three previous elections, was the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Kizza Besigye.
A few days before the election, violent riots broke out between opposition supporters and the police, who used rubber bullets and tear gas against the protesters. At least one person lost their lives and Besigye was arrested by police but later released. On Election Day, social media was blocked and Besigye was placed under house arrest. When the election results were announced, Museveni had received 61% of the vote against 35% for Besigye. The latter accused the regime of gross electoral fraud and when he was released a few days later, he and his supporters marched against the Election Commission premises. Then he was arrested for the fourth time in eight days, accused of disrupting the general order.
In May, according to thereligionfaqs, Besigye was arrested again when he gave a speech in the capital Kampala the day before Museveni was to be installed for a new term. Because he claimed he was the rightful winner of the presidential election and swore the presidency during his own ceremony, which was filmed and circulated on social media, Besigye was charged the same month for high treason, a crime that could result in the death penalty. He was released on bail in July. After spending some time abroad, Besigye returned to Uganda in October and was immediately arrested. The harassment by the authorities against him also continued thereafter.
In September, a member of parliament from the National Party Movement (NRM) filed a motion to remove the upper age limit for the president (75 years). Previously, the rule on a maximum of two terms of office has been abolished, which allowed Museveni, who was born in 1944, to remain as president. However, the motion was halted by President Rebecca Kadaga, who said such a reform would trigger a constitutional crisis.
In November, clashes broke out between government forces and King Charles Wesley Mumber’s guards in Rwenzuru, one of Uganda’s traditional kingships. Nearly 90 people were killed in the clashes, which, according to authorities, began with militiamen attacking police and soldiers from the regular army. The king was arrested and prosecuted, accused of trying to create a new republic in western Uganda, at the border with Congo (Kinshasa).
Court criticizes lousy maternity care
20th of August
In a ruling in the Constitutional Court, two families are awarded damages equivalent to 84,000 dollars for two women who died nine years earlier during their births in state hospitals. According to the court, the hospitals have not met the requirements for basic maternity care and thus subjected the women to inhuman and degrading treatment, something that is contrary to Uganda’s constitution. According to official figures, 16 women die every day as a result of complications related to pregnancies and births.
Kizza Besigye is not running in the presidential election
Opposition politician Kizza Besigye will not run in next year’s presidential election. He announced this in a speech to supporters of his party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). He says he will not leave the political scene completely, but that he will work in the background. His decision means that Robert Kyagulanyi (music star Bobi Wine) will be the main opposition candidate in the election. In the run-up to previous elections, the authorities have intervened against Besigye, who has been arrested a large number of times, in the run-up to the upcoming elections, similar attempts have been made to stop Kyagulanyi. The latter claims that the police opened fire on his followers in the eastern part of the country earlier in August. Several people are said to have been injured.
MPs drop out of the NUP
Two MPs from the governing party NRM and three independent members announce that they intend to join the National Unity Platform (NUP), the new party formed by Robert Kyagulanyi, also the pop star Bobi Wine (see July 2020).