Museveni warns on poll violence

President Museveni addresses supporters at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA

What you need to know:

Justification. The NRM presidential candidate says those planning to disrupt the election must play somewhere else not Uganda.

Kampala. As the country prepares to go to polls tomorrow, NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni, 71, yesterday made a final push on the last day of campaigns, warning those who plan to disrupt the peace “to play somewhere else”.

“Whoever will try to bring violence, you will see what we shall do to him. Those who want violence should play somewhere else not Uganda,” Mr Museveni told thousands of his supporters at Kololo Independence Grounds as they witnessed his 304th and closing campaign before tomorrow’s general election.

“There are people spreading fear but let them know that nobody should intimidate Ugandans and nobody is going to disrupt the peace in Uganda.” Mr Museveni also said “those beating people will regret,” adding that “a stupid dog hunts an elephant”. However, it’s not clear to whom the reference of a “stupid dog” was aimed at.

Responding to complaints raised by NRM leaders in Kampala about certain groups of people who were spreading fear that the Thursday polls might end in conflict, Mr Museveni, accompanied by his wife Janet, said those harbouring sinister motives will regret.

Mr Museveni’s warning against election-related violence came a day after the four-time presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye (FDC), was blocked from campaigning in the city centre and detained on two occasions in a standoff that left several people injured. However, Mr Museveni did not directly mention Dr Besigye.
The NRM candidate also warned his supporters against political instability, arguing that by ensuring that NRM upholds majority in Parliament, there will be political stability in the country.

Mr Museveni asked his supporters to “vote for the old man with a hat” and NRM flag bearers. Just like the Opposition leaders have been telling their supporters, Mr Museveni asked his supporters to camp at the polling centres after casting their votes to witness the counting and the declaration of the results.

The Electoral Commission chairman, Eng Badru Kiggundu, had asked voters to return to their work after voting.
For Mr Museveni’s campaigns, the last day looked more like his normal rallies — from his “steady progress” message to the presence of high-profile musicians playing the praise song “Tubonga Nawe” (We’re With You) for his electoral campaign to the distribution of free party T-shirts and the race for water and soda.