Bobi Wine says he won the Ugandan presidential vote by 54%. Photo: Facebook.
The presumptive winner of Uganda’s Jan. 14 presidential election Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu, a.k.a. Bobi Wine, today displayed what he said is part of the evidence that shows he won the election with 54% of the vote.
The election was undermined by a Nov. 18 massacre of over 100 people by regime forces–the state admitted to 54 deaths–under the country’s dictator of 35 years Gen. Yoweri Museveni. Both the U.S. and the EU, who provide more than $2 billion in annual assistance to the regime denounced the violence and election irregularities. The U.S. called the vote “fundamentally flawed.” Additionally both the EU and U.S. have announced measures that could lead to some forms of sanctions. The violence continues with abductions of National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters, torture, and killings. Bobi Wine has announced that as many as 3,000 of his NUP associates and supporters were disappeared.
“From the declaration of results forms in our possession, it is clear that we won the election with 54.19% of the total valid votes cast,” Bobi Wine said. “The court denied me, as a petitioner, an opportunity to be heard. In one instance, the Court’s registrar went as far as swearing an affidavit opposing the evidence we intended to file yet the respondents were busy filling in fresh evidence,” he said.
The declaration of results form, or DOR, refers to the tallying sheet at each of the 34,714 polling stations for the election. Each form is signed off by agents of the candidates. Recently the Election Commission (EC), whose members are hand-picked by Gen. Museveni published a DOR that was later confirmed to have been fraudulent.
Bobi Wine had initially filed a petition with the Supreme Court, seeking to nullify the results as announced by the Museveni appointed EC awarding him victory by 59% to 35% to the challenger. He withdrew the petition when the court refused to accept new evidence showing Gen. Museveni’s election fraud. Bobi Wine said rather than acting as arbiters of justice the court relied on mere technicalities to reject the new overwhelming evidence of the election theft.
In his statement Bobi Wine said: “Fellow Ugandans, as we promised when we withdrew the Election Petition from the Supreme Court, we are bringing this matter to the People of Uganda. As always, the regime is desperately trying to claim that we are planning violent protests. No. We are calling upon all of you citizens of good will to demonstrate peacefully and unarmed, a right guaranteed by Article 29 of the Constitution. We are demonstrating with four demands. 1. We won the January 14th election. Our computation from the DR forms shows that we won with 54.19%, despite the massive ballot stuffing which Gen. Museveni engaged in. This morning we have given details of our election results, and thereafter we’ll release the DR forms on our website. We demand that Gen. Museveni return the victory of the people of Uganda. If he claims, even remotely that he won this election, we demand that there is an independent audit of the election. 2. We are demanding that Gen. Museveni and his regime of shame immediately stop abducting the people of Uganda, which they continue to do on a daily basis. 3. We are demanding that Gen. Museveni and his security operatives #BringBackOurPeople who were abducted. We are demanding that Gen. Museveni immediately releases all political prisoners dead or alive; including those who are in prisons and those who are in torture chambers across the country. 4. We are demanding that Gen. Museveni immediately stops the trial of civilians in the General Court Martial and other military courts.”
During the press conference a military helicopter hovered over the offices of NUP in the Kamwokya ghetto where the event was held. Police claim that had intelligence that Bobi Wine was planning to incite people to riot. Roads leading to the offices were all sealed off with gun-wielding commandos, with roadblocks mounted everywhere.
Minister of internal affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo also claimed the government had evidence of external factors and agencies attempting to fuel instability in the country. Yesterday, dictator Museveni himself said the continuing disappearances of thousands of Ugandans was justifiable and that the army is on the alert to arrest criminals who are planning to make the country ungovernable.
Bobi Wine said that the next step is for Ugandans to reclaim their victory. The call echoes what was called a “Plan B” by Dr. Kizza Besigye, who was robbed of election victory by Gen. Museveni on at least four occasions when he ran. Besigye didn’t run in the Jan. 14 vote, calling it a sham exercise.
The columnist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a novelist and human rights sctivist can be reached via [email protected]