Jan, 14th 2021 – Polls have opened in Uganda where voters are casting ballots in a high stakes election under high security. President Yoweri Museveni is facing a tough challenge from Bobi Wine, a former pop star. Museveni is seeking a 6th term.
Social media has since been blocked in the country after one of the most violent campaigns in the history of the state. There are fears of chaos as security tries to stop supporters of the Bobi wine from monitoring the polling stations.
Voting at the polling stations began 60 minutes late since election materials arrived late. Some polling stations delayed to open and voters in the queue had grown angry. They started shouting at the polling officials.
More than 18 million people registered to take part in the polls. In the election, a candidate must win more than 50 percent to avoid a second voting. The vote count will begin at 4pm when the polls close and results are expected within 48 hours.
Parliamentary polls are being held.
Security forces including military personnel have been stationed in different parts of the city. Ugandan police had promised to station their officers in the city of Kampala. Earlier this week, Museveni gave a warning to anyone who was planning chaos.
He said, “If you try to disturb the peace, you will have yourself to blame. The security forces, following the law, are ready to deal with any troublemaker.”
Ahead of the elections, internet access had been cut off. Through its communications agency, the Ugandan government ordered service providers to stop internet access just hours before voting began
Bobi Wine statement
Shortly after casting his vote in Kampala, Bobi Wine held a news conference. He called his supporters to come out in numbers to cast their ballots amid heavy security on the streets.
Wine said, “We urge voters to cast their vote. All of you make sure you come from home and cast your vote. We encourage them to stay and guard their vote. Keep your face mask on, mention social distancing but keep there and watch all the proceedings.”
Opposition candidate has suffered a series of attacks on both himself and his campaign staff, including torture.