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Matsanga: ‘Museveni’s NRM is going to steal the vote’

By Judah Ben-Hur | January 14th 2021 at 12:41:12 GMT +0300

Activist and Businessman David Matsanga. [File, Standard]

Ugandan activist David Matsanga has painted a gloomy picture for the country as they engage in their most competitive poll in 34 years. 

Speaking to KTN News on Thursday, Matsanga, the Chairman for the Pan African forum, hinted at the possibility of a lower voter turnout than that of 2016 which saw 60 per cent of registered voters cast their vote.

Elections billboards for Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, and opposition leader and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, are seen on a street in Kampala, Uganda January 12, 2021. [Baz Ratner, Reuters]

"Where the government is insecure in vote especially the Buganda area, the central province which is Kyagulangyi (Bobi Wine's) support base, they stopped any campaigns there. They brought an army, a crack unit," said Mr Matsanga.

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The activist alleged that Museveni brought crack units from DRC Congo and Somalia which he says "are no joke".

Matsanga said that military personnel's deployment in the towns and cities had scared the locals and could affect the voter turnout.

Ugandan presidential candidate and singer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known as Bobi Wine, casts his ballot in the presidential elections in Kampala, Uganda, on January 14, 2021. [Courtesy, Reuters]

Opposition presidential Candidate Robert Kyangulanyi (Bobi Wine) asked the citizens to protect their vote.

"Under the law, a candidate is permitted to have two agents at a polling station. Their role is to ensure there's no rigging at the station. With observers thrown out and Museveni doing everything to frustrate, the call is for all citizens to be vigilant and protect their vote," he said.

However, these statements like many made by Bobi Wine clash with those of President Museveni who told the people of Uganda to vote and go home. "They are going to have a problem when their supporters fail to leave the polling stations and use the phone to take photos. Museveni is saying you vote, you leave. That is where the rubber will meet the road," argued Matsanga.

A man holds up a poster on how to mark a ballot paper as people queue at a voting center during the presidential elections in Kampala, Uganda, January 14, 2021. [Baz Ratner, Reuters]

The activist noted that the young people of Uganda are not giving an ear to the ruling regime thus forcing the government to use all means to muzzle the media and limit any form of communication during the election period.

"The media freedom in Uganda does not exist. Kyagulanyi's media has been rounded up, he has remained with nobody. All the young men have been rounded up beaten and tortured in safe houses," said Matsanga.

On Wednesday, the Ugandan government shut down the internet through its Communication Authority hours before the election. On Tuesday evening, President Museveni confirmed the shutdown of all social media platforms ahead of Thursday's election, citing insecurity issues.

Voting in Uganda is currently ongoing.

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