Bobi Wine, US demand independent audit into 2021 Ugandan election

Bobi Wine casting his ballot
Bobi Wine cast his ballot at Freedom Square polling station in Wakiso district, Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The January 14 general election must be independently audited, National Unity Platform [NUP] presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and the United States [US] government have demanded.

President Yoweri Museveni was declared winner of the 2021 presidential elections by the Electoral Commission [EC] on Saturday 16, January 2021 afternoon.

Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986, was declared winner by Electoral Commission [EC] chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama after garnering 5.8 million (58.6 per cent) of valid votes cast. Museveni, according to the Byabakama was followed by Kyagulanyi who polled 35 per cent of the total valid votes cast.

Although Mr Museveni described the election as the most cheating free in Uganda’s history, several observers pointed to the violent electoral process, internet shutdown, intimidation as some of the factors that marred the election.

Mr Kyagulanyi who is currently under house arrest has already declared the polls as rigged. Also, wrong and manipulated figures were given to different MPs at parliamentary level including Ibrahim Ssemujju Uganda, Medard Ssegonna among others.

In a statement by the US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the election period was riddled with an environment of fear and intimidation and multiple reports of election irregularities.

Below is the statement

The Ugandan people turned out to vote in multiparty national elections on January 14 despite an environment of intimidation and fear.

We are deeply troubled by the many credible reports of security force violence during the pre-election period and election irregularities during the polls. We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these reports and that those responsible be held accountable.

We condemn the continuing attacks on political candidates and urge the government to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression.

We are gravely concerned by harassment of and continued threats to civil society. Finally, we note the continued nationwide shutdown of the Internet and call for its immediate restoration along with that of social media services.

Read Also: Internet, social media disrupted in Uganda ahead of 2021 polls

We urge all parties to reject violence and to use constitutional and legal means to address complaints. We call upon the Government of Uganda to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, and to hold accountable members of the security forces responsible for violence and abuses.

We reiterate our intention to pursue action against those responsible for the undermining of democracy and human rights in Uganda.