Uganda election: Vote tallying begins amidst internet shutdown, claims of 'violence, fraud'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Global rights and democracy groups have raised concerns about the integrity and transparency of the election.
  • Results from the polls are expected by Saturday afternoon.
  • Provisional results from 24% of polling stations give President Yoweri Museveni an early lead of 65% while opposition leader Bobi Wine trailed with 27%.


Uganda's opposition leader Bobi Wine said the country's election had seen "widespread fraud and violence", as votes trickled in Friday under an internet blackout.

The 38-year-old former popstar-turned-MP did not give details about his accusations, which contradicted the government's account that Thursday's vote had been largely peaceful.

The internet remained down for a third day as vote counting continued, with provisional results from 24% of polling stations giving President Yoweri Museveni an early lead of 65% while Wine trailed with 27%.

The capital Kampala was quiet and some businesses remained closed, while soldiers and police patrolled on foot the day after the election.

OPINION | The African Union's silence on electoral rigging is deafening

Full results are expected by Saturday afternoon.

Museveni is seeking a sixth term in office, having ruled for almost four decades, and his main rival among 10 opposition candidates is Wine, whose popularity among a youthful population has rattled the former rebel leader.

Voting in Kampala took place under the oppressive security presence of soldiers and riot police in the streets and at polling stations.

The election followed of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media and scores of deaths.

READ HERE | Ugandans vote in charged election under internet blackout

However election commission chief Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said the vote had gone off in a "peaceful and tranquil manner".

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said there had been "no major cases of violence reported."

But a senior foreign diplomat told AFP there had been sporadic incidents of violence and many irregularities but no sign of mass manipulation.

Observers denied

The US, EU, UN and global rights and democracy groups have raised concerns about the integrity and transparency of the election.

Only one foreign organisation, the African Union (AU), has sent monitors, along with an AU women's group.

On Wednesday, the United States, a major aid donor to Uganda, announced it was cancelling a diplomatic observer mission after too many of its staff were denied permission to monitor the election.

READ | Refusing to retire, Uganda's Museveni doubles down on power

Wine has vowed non-violent street protests should Ugandans feel the election was stolen.

Museveni has warned that using violence to protest the result would amount to "treason".

He has ruled Uganda without pause since seizing control in 1986, when he helped to end years of tyranny under Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Once hailed for his commitment to good governance, the former rebel leader has crushed any opposition and tweaked the constitution to allow himself to run again and again.

READ | Uganda election: Will Bobi Wine derail Museveni’s sixth term bid?

And for many in the country, where the median age is 16, Museveni's glory days are no longer relevant or sufficient.

But the 76-year-old - one of Africa's longest serving leaders - has never lost an election and observers expect this time around will be no different.

His opponents - most visibly Wine, who spent much of the campaign in a bulletproof vest and combat helmet - were arrested, blocked from rallying and dispersed with tear gas throughout the campaign.

Two days of protests in November led to the deaths of 54 people.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3936 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2685 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3786 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.36
(-0.55)
ZAR/GBP
21.18
(+0.24)
ZAR/EUR
18.28
(+0.04)
ZAR/AUD
11.72
(+0.62)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.02)
Gold
1691.40
(-0.15)
Silver
25.20
(-0.36)
Platinum
1128.30
(+0.92)
Brent Crude
67.21
(+4.17)
Palladium
2336.01
(+0.87)
All Share
68026.90
(+0.42)
Top 40
62556.55
(+0.49)
Financial 15
12737.51
(+0.50)
Industrial 25
87545.19
(-0.40)
Resource 10
70236.48
(+1.55)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo