NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – Africa Elections Watch, a non-governmental organization has called on regional and international organisations to commence an independent electoral audit on the just concluded Presidential Election in Uganda won by incumbent Yoweri Museveni.
The Group which comprises Human Rights Activists led by John Githongo said the election that saw Museveni win a sixth term in office was not fair and credible.
“The Africa Elections is calling on Africa and indeed the world to speak out on the situation in Uganda. The announcement of Yoweri Museveni as the winner of the presidential election comes in the wake of widespread human rights violations already documented,” Githongo said, “The overall conduct of the electoral process was marred with flaws and calls for accountability.”
Diana Gichengo from Kenya Human Rights Commission said it was unconstitutional for Ugandan authorities to illegally detain those in opposition including President Museveni’s closes rival Bobi Wine and called on world leaders to speak up until they are released.
“We have received information of the arbitrary arrest and illegal detention of 223 people including Bobi Wine in the post –election period in Uganda. This is in addition to reports of continued abductions and intimidation of opposition. It is time we call spoke up to help our brothers and sisters in Uganda,” Gichengo said.
The election in Uganda took place after one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media and the deaths of at least 54 people.
Social Media platforms were shut down two days before the poll with Museveni accusing Facebook and unnamed outside groups of “arrogance” after the social media giant last week removed Ugandan accounts linked to his re-election campaign.
“That social channel you are talking about, if it is going to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everybody who wants to use it,” Museveni said of Facebook in a national address on Tuesday. “If you want to take sides against the (ruling party) then that group will not operate in Uganda.”
On Saturday, President Museveni was announced as the winner of the presidential election conducted on Thursday, with 58.6 percent of the vote, in an election disputed by his main rival Bobi Wine who trailed with 34.8 percent.
“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni elected President of the republic of Uganda,” said election commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.
He said turnout was 57.22 percent of the almost 18 million registered voters.
Byabakama urged the population to “remain calm and accept the outcome of these elections”
Bobi Wine, , a 38-year-old former pop star whose campaign galvanized a youthful population seeking change, dismissed the election as a “complete sham”.