Latest Campaign News: Uganda 2011 Elections

Thursday, November 18, 2010
By ugandansabroad


By Rebecca Harshbarger–

Living, working, and studying abroad can make it difficult to follow the elections back home.  But here are some of the latest updates to keep you informed.

-Latest news on Besigye’s campaign: Campaigning in Hoima, IPC candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye promised a monthly welfare allowance for the elderly in Uganda.  ”Our elderly citizens are living in terrible conditions,” he said, according to reporting by New Vision.  ”You would expect their children to look after them, but they also abandon them for personal families.  As a result, you find an elder living a solitary life without even a piece of soap to wash their linen.  If you clock 65 years, you will be supported by our government.”   In September, the government minister for the elderly and disabled also promised a monthly welfare package for destitute elderly individuals, the disabled, and orphans of sh22,000 a month, in 14 districts.

Not just for the World Cup-- vuvuzuelas are part of campaign rallies in Uganda! Edward Echwalu.

-In Kibaale, Besigye promised tractors for every subcounty to promote commercial farming, as well as irrigation dams to support farmers during droughts, as well as reserve stores of food to prevent hunger and starvation.  He also promised to create a National Bank of Agriculture that would provide soft loans to farmers.  Besigye said that Museveni “deliberately impoverished” the Banyoro by denying them vital public services, and called the region the vice-headquarters of poverty in Uganda.  The actual headquarters of poverty, he named, were Basoga, which he said is infested with jiggers, the Daily Monitor reported.

-Is President Museveni winning over the youth with his newfound interest in rapping? Besigye discussed this on a recent NTV program.  “The youths in this country don’t need a song from the president, but economic policies that can lead to creation of jobs,” he told Patrick Kamara, the Observer reported.

-Corruption is also a major focus of Besigye’s campaign, with the IPC promising to weed out corruption in the government if elected, New Vision reported.  Besigye said that some of money from the billings of shillings stolen during CHOGM were being used by the NRM to campaign for the 2011 elections.  Despite the current corruption, Besigye was confident that the IPC could still win the presidential elections.  ”We are aware that there will be rigging,” he said.  ”But this time we must be ready to make sure we are not rigged out of victory.”

-Latest news from Norbert Mao’s campaign: Three armed individuals attempted to attack Mao’s convoy in Moroto district, around 8 p.m. yesterday.  One attacker wore an army uniform, and two wore President Museveni t-shirts.  One of the men wearing t-shirts ordered another man with a gun to shoot Mao’s campaign team, who were putting up Mao posters in Moroto, the Daily Monitor reported.  Mao’s security team called the police, and the attackers were arrested.  The UPDF identified the man in the army uniform as Pte. Emmanuel Opio, a soldier and escort of the Regional Internal Security Officer, Emmy Twagira.  The other two have not been identified yet to the Media.

Hip-hop images of President Museveni have angered the president's team, according to press secretary Tamale Mirundi.

-Latest news from President Museveni’s campaign: President Museveni headed to northern Uganda to fulfill a 2006 campaign promise of building 54 government houses for Acholi clan chiefs.  In Nwoya district, he commissioned 49 houses for Acholi traditional leaders, which ranged in price from sh62 million to sh90 million.  In the West Nile region, President Museveni put sh1.2 million on the bank accounts of former soldiers in Nebbi, Arua, Koboko and others, and promised to work to ultimately deposit sh10 million on their accounts.

When speaking to West Nile residents, President Museveni spoke about Besigye.  “Besigye said he will bring the hammer and remove me, he failed and ran to South Africa,” he said, according to the Observer.  ”Then he said that a tsunami will remove me, but I am still here the president of Uganda and commander in chief.”

-Digitial images portraying President Museveni as a half-naked rapper covered in bling have angered the president’s team, according to his spokesperson, Tamale Mirundi.  Meanwhile, his song “You Want Another Rap” has now become a ringtone and a radio hit.

In Zimbabwe, 86-year-old president Robert Mugabe also made a foray into hip-hop, appearing in a music video called “Diaspora” where he hangs out with a teenage rapper, uses slang, and makes fun of the Zimbabwean diaspora for cleaning elderly white people’s behinds, according to reporting by the Guardian.  ”You run off to England, you get there and you get a job cleaning old white folks’ behinds. Who are you running to?” Mugabe says in Shona to a pulsating dance beat.

Latest news from Betti Kamya’s campaign: Uganda’s only female presidential candidate has been campaigning with a heavy focus on federo, campaigning first in Buganda, then heading up to northern Uganda where she toured the Acholi and West Nile regions.  She urged voters to not just focus on the presidency, but to vote in pro-federo MPs.  “What brings wars, poverty and misery is the unequal distribution of the national cake,” said Kamya, according to reporting by the Observer.  ”We have a lot of resources but they are taken to State House. These people [in State House] are ripping us off.”  She called for Uganda’s different regions to each control their own resources through regional authorities.  Uganda currently has a unitary system.

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