September 10, 2012
September 10, 2012
KAMPALA, UGANDA – Badru Kiggundu, Uganda’s chairman of the electoral commission, announced Sunday that incumbent President Yoweri Museveni was the winner of the presidential contest that took place on Friday, Feb. 18.
Museveni received 68.38 percent of the vote, Kiggundu said. The victory gives Museveni another five years as president, a job he has held since 1986.
Kizza Besigye, the Inter-party Cooperation, IPC, candidate, came in second with just 26 percent of the vote. Upon news of Museveni’s victory, Besigye called the electoral process a sham during a press conference in Kampala, Uganda's capital. The IPC party released a statement that said the election was characterized by “an obscene and open use of money to corrupt the whole process. The unprecedented bribery no doubt subverted the will of people.” Besigye says that 76 of Uganda’s 80 districts reported electoral bribery. Besigye, who used to be a close political ally of Museveni's, says he “rejects the leadership of Museveni and any person or persons he may puport to appoint.”
In the streets, many people shared his sentiment.
“We always knew that Museveni would win because he has Kiggundu on his palm,” John Mukasa, a resident of Ntinda, says.
Museveni has denied any allegations of fraud.
Others say accepting Museveni’s win is the best way to keep the peace.
“To avoid violence, Museveni is a better alternative,” Chris Latim, a Kampala resident, says.
The Uganda People's Congress presidential candidate, Olara Otunnu, who received just 1.58 percent of the vote, also said yesterday that the electoral process was fraudulent. Otunnu said fraud was so rampant, he did not even vote in Friday’s election.
But in Kampala, an increased police presence kept the peace, while many assumed that the political chaos in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya would incite violence here. A heightened police presence is expected throughout the country for the rest of the week.
Last week, as the election approached, people in Kampala stocked up on food and water in case violence erupted. Still, the threat of violence remains.
“Besigye has promised to declare war so it is better to prepare, just in case,” says one shopper in the ShopRite Supermarket, who gave her name only as Lugogo.