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Why Uganda’s ban on open-air campaigns could tilt the 2021 poll in Museveni’s favour

Why Uganda’s ban on open-air campaigns could tilt the 2021 poll in Museveni’s favour

UGANDA is going to conduct its first digital and mass media campaigns ahead of its 2021 general elections. This comes as the country contemplates holding a “scientific election” wherein social distancing guidelines will be observed. GEOFFREY SSENOGA, Lecturer of Mass Communications, Uganda Christian University On 16 June 2020, the Uganda Electoral Commission issued a press release banning public rallies for the 2021 political campaigns as part of the country’s COVID-19 containment measures. Campaigns will now be conducted on radio and television, in newspapers and on the internet. This caused an immediate protest especially among opposition-leaning political groups and civil society…
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Uganda bans social media ahead of election

Uganda bans social media ahead of election

UGANDA has banned social media, two days ahead of a presidential election pitting Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, against opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a popular singer. In a letter seen by Reuters to internet service providers dated January 12, Uganda's communications regulator ordered them to block all social media platforms and messaging apps until further notice. Internet monitor NetBlocks said its data showed that Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, Viber and Google Play Store were among a lengthy list of sites unavailable via Uganda's main cell network operators. Campaigning ahead of the vote has been marred by…
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Uganda’s Bobi Wine challenges election result in court

Uganda’s Bobi Wine challenges election result in court

ELIAS BIRYABAREMA UGANDAN opposition leader Bobi Wine has filed a supreme court challenge seeking cancellation of the results of a presidential election that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, his party's lawyer said. Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has led the East African country since 1986, was declared winner of the Jan. 14 election with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%. "We want the poll cancelled and repeated," said George Musisi, lawyer for Wine's National Unity Platform (NUP). Wine, 38, a pop star and lawmaker, rejected the results and said he believed his victory was stolen.…
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100 hours in the dark in Uganda

100 hours in the dark in Uganda

NITA BHALLA and ALICE McCOOL WHEN Uganda ordered an internet shutdown on the eve of the presidential election, groundnut seller Susan Tafumba's trade collapsed. The 34-year-old sells groundnuts at Kampala's Nakawa market, but much of her business now comes through a mobile phone app that customers use to order goods to be delivered to them by motorcycle taxis. "Usually the app gets us more profit than those people who come on a daily basis to the market, but we lost customers," said Tafumba, one of countless small traders whose increasingly tech-dependent livelihoods were hit by the shutdown. "Now, we are…
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U.S. cancels its observation of Uganda’s presidential election

U.S. cancels its observation of Uganda’s presidential election

THE United States has cancelled its observation of Uganda's presidential election because most of its accreditation requests were denied and said today's vote would lack accountability and transparency. The announcement adds to a growing chorus of concern over the credibility of the election pitting Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, against 10 candidates including opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a popular singer. While previous elections have been marred by crackdowns on the opposition, campaigning this time has been particularly violent. Scores of people have been killed and opposition candidates, supporters and campaign staff have been repeatedly arrested and intimidated. The…
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The main candidates in Uganda’s election

The main candidates in Uganda’s election

UGANDANS vote on January 14 in a presidential election that pits Yoweri Museveni, Africa's fourth-longest ruling head of state, against 10 other candidates, including reggae-star-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine. Here are details about the main candidates: YOWERI MUSEVENI, NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT: The 76-year-old seized power in January 1986 after a five-year guerrilla struggle to oust Milton Obote. Ugandans initially cheered him for ending cycles of bloodletting under both Obote and Idi Amin. Museveni started to revive the economy with statist policies but he adopted a more liberal approach in the early 1990s, signing up to the International Monetary Fund's structural adjustment programmes…
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