Activist Erik Van der Zanden.
If you analyze the social-political situation of Uganda it is ironic. Dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni is still in power because of multiple stolen “elections.”
He is still there because he understands the power of greed very well. By giving Uganda’s 45 million citizens the opportunity to fight over 532 positions as Members of Parliament, MPs —who live the lifestyle of the rich and famous compared to millions of ordinary Ugandans— and hundreds of other low-paying Local Council (LC) positions, dictator Museveni gives them the illusion of “freedom” and “democracy.”
So every five years the brightest, most hard-working, best individuals that Uganda has to offer fight each other for one of those coveted MP positions; for example, Stella Nyanzi competed with Shamim Malende for an MP seat instead of both working together against dictator Museveni. Many of these candidates must borrow anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 to finance their campaigns. It is the only way in Uganda to be able to “eat,” where “eating” means to thrive.
Since 2001 all national elections in Ugandan have been the same. There is a “hopeful” period before the election occurs. Then there is targeted violence by the state against Ugandans before, during, and after the elections to crack down on those that dare to protest. Then there is a campaign of misinformation, bribery, and trickery to rig the election in favor of Gen. Museveni including by his hand-picked so-called “election commission.”
Dictator Museveni has mastered the Dictators Handbook. All of those stolen elections of 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 and most recently 2021, was Museveni’s way to fool Ugandans once again.
What do many Ugandans continue to say over these past 20 years? “Maybe next time, maybe next time we can vote in better leaders,” some say.
In reality Ugandans must boycott all these sham elections, including in 2026.
Ugandans should boycott parliament and focus on peaceful revolution. Why fall for dictator Museveni’s trap of 30% democracy in Uganda? This is a tool of the 70% dictatorship to keep Ugandans fighting for scraps.
So dictator Museveni holds on to power illegitimately as long as Ugandans keep taking the bait. The bait is the election which Gen. Museveni routinely rigs.
Erik Van der Zanden is an activist and can be reached via [email protected]