Tag Archives: Uganda elections

European Taxpayers Paid for Museveni’s Re-election

European taxpayers would be right to grumble a bit about the fact that they spent millions of euros/pounds to help re-elect Uganda’s President Museveni. US taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief that the United States government has changed the … Continue reading

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Uganda After the Elections

This post takes a look at the reactions of bloggers to the peaceful elections in Uganda. Continue reading

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Uganda, Lets Have Elections Every Day

It’s never been so easy to drive across town in Kampala. The combination of some people laying low as a precaution against elections violence, and thousands of people heading back to their villages for the weekend to vote has left … Continue reading

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The Birds Don’t Know It’s Election Day

It’s hard to keep things in perspective when you are human. Everything in our lives feels monumental, and when we have a bad day we are convinced that “the world is going to hell in a handbasket.” Our own, individual experience gets transferred to the whole planet.

There are monumental things happening right now on a human scale. Protesters in Bahrain are being gunned down by their government, Egypt and Sudan will never be the same, and South Africa just parked a gunship off the coast of Cote D’ivoire. It’s even monumental that for the first time in recent history, the world’s eyes seem to all be on Africa.

But I think it is important and humbling to remember that not everything happens at the human scale. This aggrandized sense of our own importance is what makes a dictator willing to kill a hundred more protestors to stay in office long enough to skim a few more billion dollars. It leads people to rig votes to stay in power and can lead to murder when our feeling are hurt or our egos are bruised.

But we are a blip in the history of this planet. There are trees on this planet that are 6,000 years old. Mountains date back millions of years.

Uganda is going to the polls today. It might be peaceful, it might now. But let’s just try to remember, when all is said and done, the sun will still rise in the morning, the tides will still ebb and flow, and what really matters is how we treat each other every day. Continue reading

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Uganda Elections: Bobi Wine “A Serious Matter” Video

A large majority of the Ugandan population is under 30. To reach these voters, the National Democratic Institute partnered with popular local musician Bobi Wine to release a video encouraging youth to avoid election violence, and to encourage them to report any election irregularities to UgandaWatch2011. With the election day upon us tomorrow, I think it is worth returning to this video that was released last July.

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdhJGUx6SuQ&feature=player_detailpage[/embed]

The chorus of the song, in English, is:

So if it is voting, let’s go and vote but votes should not separate us,

Let’s stop feuding ‘cause of those contesting,

Votes should not separate us.

As we’re feuding, they’re in agreement.

Votes should not separate us.

Voting comes to an end but we still stay

Votes should not separate us

Let’s all hope for a peaceful election day tomorrow. For up-to-the-moment Twitter updates, go to #UgandaVotes.

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala Continue reading

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Great Ugandan Blogger

Check out Rosebell’s Blog for insightful and courageous commentary on the 2011 Uganda elections:

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Uganda is Broke

According to a Valentines Day article in The East African, Ugandans won’t be feeling the love for at least three years as the government tries to recover financially from the incumbent party’s looting of the treasury to fund their campaigns. Continue reading

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Uganda (Not) Ripe for Egypt-Style Uprising

A recent article in the Associate Foreign Press states that, according to the opposition here, Uganda is Ripe for an Egypt-Style Uprising.

I’m afraid that this is just a bit of wishful thinking on the part of Kizza Besigye, the main opposition candidate. Maybe I will be totally surprised by a tsunami of discontent that will surge after the election but, at this point, I just don’t buy it.

Here are the 5 reasons why I don’t think Uganda is ripe for any type of popular uprising: Continue reading

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Why Does Uganda Need the World’s Third-Largest Cabinet?

This is a story about political patronage at its best, and a view into what a master President Museveni is at playing the game.

A recent article in The Independent by Andrew Mwenda presents one of the most wide-ranging and well-researched explanations I have come across for why Uganda’s political structure, both local and national, is set up the way it is.

The global average of Cabinet Ministers is 30. Uganda has 71. The only two countries in the world with a larger cabinet are North Korea and Kenya – definitely two models of good governance (ahem).

He explores different possible explanations for why the number is so high (tribal-based politics? Religious divides?), and gives well-reasoned arguments why these don’t serve as good answers.

Then he looks at the timeline of the ballooning of many government and quasi-governmental posts. Not surprisingly, it corresponds with the years when Uganda was switching over from a benevolent-military-dictatorship to a democracy.

“Thus between 1992 and 1995, Uganda’s cabinet fell from 78 to 40; the army from 100,000 to 40,000; the civil service from 278,000 to 146,000 and the public enterprises sector from 150 parastatals to 43. However, beginning with 1996 to the present (i.e. 2011), things began to change in the opposite direction; the civil service, the number of districts, the size of parliament, the number of presidential advisors, the size of cabinet and the number of semi autonomous government bodies begin to grow. It is therefore not only the cabinet that has grown but the size of government.

While the official army did not grow, the number of auxiliary forces grew from zero to 78,000; the number of districts from 33 to 114, the number of semi-autonomous government agencies from 11 to 178, the number of presidential advisors from six to 124, the number of security organisations from 12 to 36 by 2009 and the size of the civil service from 146,000 in 1995 to 320,000 in 2010.”

The article then goes on to explore how these Ministers and other African elites justify their lavish lifestyles in the face of the poverty of their constituencies.

The one shortfall of the article is that it doesn’t articulate the cost of this large cadre of Ministers to the country. My guess is that it is staggering in the context of Uganda’s budget. The article has a place for the “official” political patronage budget, but the numbers have either been stripped from the article or the numbers weren’t confirmed before the article went to press.

Read the rest of this fascinating article: Uganda Has Third Largest Cabinet in the World

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala
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Uganda Election Dates Set

The season for Uganda’s Parliamentary and Presidential elections has been set. Nominations for President will be accepted on October 25 and 26, 2010, and the elections for President and Parliament will all happen between February 12 and March 1, 2011.

Get ready for a wild ride! Continue reading

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