Museveni’s win pushes his rule to four decades

Uganda's President-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He was declared a winner in the hotly contested 2021 election, extending his rule to 4th decade. Photo | File

What you need to know:

  • Total number of registered voters 18,103,603. Total number of votes cast 10, 359, 479. Total number of valid votes cast for candidates; 9,978, 093. Total number of invalid votes, 381,386.

The Uganda Electoral Commission on Saturday declared Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni as the new president of the country, for the sixth successive elective term.

Mr Museveni, according to EC chairman Simon Byabakama, has garnered 5,851,037 votes representing 58.64 per cent, while his leading challenger Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, polled 3,475,298 votes representing 34.83 per cent.

“I declare candidate Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa, the next president of the Republic of Uganda having obtained the highest number of votes in the election held on January 14, 2021,” Justice Byabakama said.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Amuriat Oboi has polled 323,536 votes representing 3.24 per cent of the votes, while each of the other candidates attracted less than a percentage point.

The other candidates; Alliance for National Transformation’s Mugisha Muntu, got 65,334 (0.65%) Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao got 55,665 (0.56%) while independent candidates Joseph Kabuleta got 44,300 (0.44%) Nancy Kalembe got 37,469 (0.38%), John Katumba got 35,983 (0.36%) Willy Mayambala got 14,657 (0.15%), Fred Mwesigye got 24,673 (0.25%) and Henry Tumukunde got 50,141 (0.50%).

However, Mr Kyagulanyi in an earlier address to the media disputed the results of the election that the EC had declared, saying there had been rigging.

“This morning as you have all been hearing from the provisional results of the EC, you have seen that Mr Museveni has been given 63.92 per cent and we are being given 28.32 per cent. We reject these results because we have seen the rigging pattern even from the time we were campaigning,” Mr Kyagulanyi said on Friday.

He added: “Many of my agents in most districts in the west and north, especially West Nile, were arrested and the EC has concentrated on reading results from districts that they can easily rig. They are not announcing results from districts of the central region and the eastern where we have overwhelming support. We believe we have a comfortable win over Museveni in this election.”

Responding to the allegation, Electoral Commission chairman Simon Byabakama said: “In law we say the burden is on he who asserts to establish the facts, so the onus is on the Honourable Kyagulanyi to prove (the allegations). First of all, the polling ended yesterday and the results being displayed here were captured at the polling stations where every candidate had agents. The law requires us to give an agent of each candidate a copy of the declaration form. It is not an option by the Electoral Commission but a command by the law. Now, therefore, since the Honourable Kyagulanyi is in possession of declaration forms of the 34,684 polling stations, let him show the country how the results have been rigged. I do not, therefore, appreciate the assertion that these results we are reading out here have been rigged.”

Mr Kyagulanyi said the switching off of Internet and the blocking of election observers from the international community and the deportation of journalists from other countries were big signs that the authorities were keen to do everything in the dark.

Mr Byabakama read out results without indicating where they had been drawn from, prompting questions from journalists as to why the Electoral Commission had made no effort to break down the number.

The issue of results declaration forms has been touchy over many rounds of elections, with President Museveni’s opponents alleging that their candidates are either arrested or denied copies of the forms, making it impossible for the Opposition to ascertain their true results. Each presidential election organised under President Museveni since 1996, like the ones before he took power, has been disputed by the losing candidates.

Even within the Opposition, there was unanimity that there was no chance that Mr Museveni was going to be ousted out of power through the ballot box.

“None of the 10 contestants will be announced president,” retired Col Dr Kizza Besigye, who tried to wrest power from Mr Museveni via the ballot box for a record four times, candidly predicted last year.

“The reality is, Mr Museveni is just a nominated candidate like John Katumba and Nancy Kalembe but he simply cannot humble himself to become a candidate. He is the Electoral Commission and everything,” Dr Besigye told NTV.

Indeed, Dr Besigye’s decision not to stand in this particular election was informed by the fact they had concluded that Mr Museveni couldn’t be uprooted from power through an election organised by the current electoral body that he selects.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the party to which Dr Besigye subscribes, has on its social media platforms ridiculed the entire process, saying: “This year’s ‘selection’ misinterpreted for an election is a continuous demonstration to dictator Museveni that he is only living on borrowed time and will surely be evacuated.”

The feeling within the ruling party (NRM) and in the Opposition is that having secured the victory on January 14, it could turn out to be his last term. Officially, Mr Museveni is 76 years old, meaning if he completes the next term, he will be 81.

Total number of registered voters 18,103,603. Total number of votes cast 10, 359, 479. Total number of valid votes cast for candidates; 9,978, 093. Total number of invalid votes, 381,386.