The United States has said Uganda’s recent general elections held in January 202 were not free and fair.
The election exercise had turned controversial even before it begins, with the US calling off its observation team saying the voting will lack transparency and accountability.
In a media statement released on April 16, Secretary of State nominee for the US government, Antony Blinken said that actions by President Museveni’s administration during the entire polling process destabilized democracy and respect for human rights.
According to official results by the Electoral Commission in Uganda, about 409 polling stations had a 100% voter turnout.
The US has now imposed travel ban against those who it says unduly influenced the outcome of the elections.
“I hereby announce visa restrictions on all those believed to be answerable for undermining the democratic process in Uganda, including during the country’s latest presidential polls and the campaign period that proceeded it,” the statement reads in part.
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Blinken further pointed out that the actions are an indication of a continued downward course for Uganda’s democracy and respect for human rights as recognized and protected by its Constitution.
“Security forces in Uganda should be held responsible for the deaths and injuries of lots of innocent people including bystanders and supporters of the opposition. Security forces meted violence against unarmed journalists. These incidents took place before, during, and after the electoral process,” said Blinken in the statement.
Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC) declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni had won after gathering 68% of the vote to secure a sixth-five-year term in office in the recent polls.
Youthful politician and pop star musician Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine emerged second with 38%, but protested the results and filed a case at the Supreme Court.
However he withdrew the petition before it was heard and determined, citing a lack of transparency and fairness at the court, and intimidation of his supporters.