In an election that was marred by arrests of the main opposition and alleged rigging, Mr Yoweri Kaguta Museveni emerged the winner.
The 71-year-old leader who has ruled Uganda for 30 years was declared winner following a 60% lead on the general polls. His major opposition, Kizza Besigye garnered only about 35% of the votes.
Besigye who was Museveni’s field doctor during the war that saw him come into power, was arrested at various times during the election. His last arrest happened while the results of the presidential results were being published by the electoral commission. He had planned to address the media at his party, Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) headquarters.
On Saturday, the party president released a statement about Besigye’s arrest saying;
“We intended to show the gross discrepancy between the presidential election results that the Electoral Commission was releasing and those that we had in our possession and knew to be correct. Before the press conference, heavily armed police, operating on wrong and illegal orders from President Yoweri Museveni’s regime, invaded and disrupted our meeting and arrested Dr. Kizza Besigye, our party presidential candidate, Ms. Ingrid Turinawe, our Secretary for Mobilization, and me.”
The Ugandan police placed him on house arrest. His house was also heavily guarded by security forces to keep him from leaving.
Upon hearing the outcome of the presidential result, he had called for an independent audit of the results. He was expected to be released from house arrest today, Monday. His party and supporters had planned to stage a peaceful protest today. In fact, as his supporters were staging the protest, he was being arrested, bundled into a police van and taken to a police station.
The letter he wrote to challenge the outcome of the election reads:
— Adeola Fayehun (@AdeolaFayehun) February 20, 2016
The United States and European Union and other international bodies paying attention to Uganda’s elections condemned the elections and the circumstances surrounding the numerous arrests made against the opposition ahead of the polls. However President Museveni has claimed that “they are wrong, they are not serious,” he told reporters in his country home in Kiruhura, southwestern Uganda. “I told those Europeans … I don’t need lectures from anybody.”