How free and fair was the 1996 election?

President Museveni (R), accompanied by his wife Janet, swears in as President of Uganda for the first time as an elected president in 1996. File photo

What you need to know:

Elections. Uganda has had six elections in its 53 years of independence. The forthcoming February 18, general election will, therefore, be the seventh. Save for the 1962 independence election organised by the departing colonial government, the running thread in all the country’s elections has been one malpractice or the other. There have been gains and there have been losses at every electoral turn. In the fifth part of our series, Saturday Monitor’s Faustin Mugabe looks at the events of the 1996 election that saw Yoweri Museveni get his first term as an elected president of Uganda.

Electing new leaders in many African countries is still a do or die business, but more so the president. The incumbents tend to glue to the chair as their opponents push the hardest for their exit.
On May 9, 1996, Uganda hosted the first direct presidential elections in the history of the country. Incumbent President Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party won the three- man race. And three days after, on May 12, he was sworn in as president at Kololo airstrip in Kampala.

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