Ugandan opposition accuses government of fraud in election

Kizza Besigye detained after challenging Uganda’s electoral commission over victory of incumbent President Museveni

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Uganda's President and ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni speaks during a campaign rally in Uganda's capital Kampala, February 11, 2016.

Updated Feb 23, 2016

Kizza Besigye, unsuccessful contestant in Uganda’s past three presidential elections, was put under house arrest on Monday, after he failed to overthrow long-serving President Yoweri Museveni in an election accusation.

An official from Besigye’s FDC party, Ingrid Turinawe claimed Besigye was being prevented from running a rummage into the election results.

"They should leave him to be free because he has only 14 days to petition the court. He has to collect evidence," she said.

Museveni won the February 18 election with a 60.8 percent majority vote against the opposition while Besigye had a 35.4 percent loss.

Uganda’s Electoral Commission declared Museveni the winner.

The EU observation mission, initially invited by the Museveni government, is reported to have said the vote lacked transparency while Museveni denied all claims.

Police said on Monday Besigye was preparing an attack to storm the electoral commission.

"Today, (Besigye) had mobilised a group of youth to storm the electoral commission. We had information that they had planned to cause violence in the city," said police spokesman Patrick Onyango.

Museveni, after his success in Uganda’s 2011 election, asked for supporters to celebrate responsibly and for the opposition to accept defeat honorably and “remain within legal provisions.”

Social media was blocked on the day of the election as a security measure to avert lies and various forms of disorder that could alter the national will.

Museveni, a social media user himself, tweeted the following two days before the election.

Museveni, 71, had denied any claim that the commission could have favoured him and had criticised the west for having disproportionate interest in Uganda.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had called Museveni on Friday.

"I told Kerry not to worry a lot about the internal affairs of Uganda because we know how to handle the issues," the Daily Monitor newspaper on Saturday quoted the president as saying.

Museveni has brought strong economic growth and relative stability to the country that has endured a civil war for decades, while also holding a strong stance in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.

TRTWorld and agencies