As veteran leader Yoweri Museveni pursues a sixth term against a former pop star half his
age, Ugandans began voting in a tense election Thursday under tight security and an internet blackout.
The internet went down on the eve of the vote, after one of the most
violent campaigns in years, with some parts of the world reporting total disruptions or major slowdowns.
Museveni is seeking a sixth term in office, having ruled for almost four decades, against singer-turned-MP Bobi Wine, 38, shaken by the former rebel leader’s popularity among a youthful population.
Voters flooded to a polling station in the Kamwokya slum, where Wine grew up and is extremely common,as police tried to impose social distancing in the East African nation after weeks of surging coronavirus cases.
With a strong military and police presence in other areas of the city, a squad of around two dozen riot officers marched past.
I am here to change this nation’s government, because they have
been telling me for years that they cannot protect my future.They didn’t do this,’ said driver Joseph Nsuduga,30, one of the first to vote in line.
“For my kids,I need to see improvement.People yearn for improvement,
but we don’t see it.
Voting in many locations in the capital Kampala was postponed, starting approximately half an hour after the official start time of 7 a.m. (0400 GMT). Closing polling at 4pm (1200 GMT).
For the presidential and parliamentary votes, some 18 million
voters are registered, and results are expected by Saturday.
Since taking power in 1986, when he helped to end years
of dictatorship under Idi Amin, Museveni has controlled Uganda without delay.
The former rebel leader, once praised for his devotion to good governance, has crushed
every resistance and tweaked the constitution to allow himself to run again and again.