News / Africa

    Uganda's Lone Female Candidate: Election Won't Be Free or Fair

    Opposition candidate Maureen Kyalya is a former adviser to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.
    Opposition candidate Maureen Kyalya is a former adviser to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.
    James Butty

    The only female candidate in Uganda’s upcoming February presidential election says she is running because she wants to rebuild the foundation of the nation away from its colonial connection.

    But Maureen Kyalya, a former adviser to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni on poverty alleviation, also said she wants to unite the people.

    She said she does not believe the election will be free and fair because Museveni has created laws that make it harder for his challengers to have access to the voters.

    Presidential debate

    Kyalya criticized Museveni for not taking part in last Friday’s first-ever Uganda presidential debate.

    FILE - Uganda's presidential candidates take part in a presidential debate in Uganda's capital Kampala, Jan. 15, 2016, ahead of the Feb. 18 presidential election. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni did not attend the debate.
    FILE - Uganda's presidential candidates take part in a presidential debate in Uganda's capital Kampala, Jan. 15, 2016, ahead of the Feb. 18 presidential election. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni did not attend the debate.

    Museveni said he could not take part because debates are speech competitions that should be left to high school students and he could not leave his busy campaign schedule to attend such a function.

    “Basically, I’d like the people of Uganda to elect me because I want to rebuild the foundation of Uganda. The issues in Uganda start way back in 1900 at its foundation,” Kyalya said.

    She said Uganda is made up of roughly 15 kingdoms, with different languages and cultures. But she said when colonial Britain came it only signed an agreement with one kingdom, and other kingdoms were forced to become the modern day Uganda.

    She said since then, Ugandans have been fighting among themselves, and have never sat down to discuss the type of governance that would serve all Ugandans.

    “Today, even the current president was never elected into power. He came by gun power and has made sure he rigs the election every single time. So, I decided to take part in the election to appeal to Ugandans that we need to gather round a roundtable,” she said.

    Kyalya is one of six opposition candidates seeking to unseat Museveni, who has been in power for 30 years.

    “In a few words, the election has been rigged already because first and foremost the Ugandan law says that all public servants have to resign their offices before taking part in the election," she said.

    "The incumbent did not resign; he is the president of the country at the same time he is an aspiring candidate. And during this time, he is making all sorts of oppressive laws to make sure the opposition has no access to the public,” Kyalya added.

    FILE - Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, , centre, gestures to delegates attending the Burundi peace talks, at Entebbe State House about 42 kilometers east of Uganda capital Kampala, Dec. 28, 2015.
    FILE - Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, , centre, gestures to delegates attending the Burundi peace talks, at Entebbe State House about 42 kilometers east of Uganda capital Kampala, Dec. 28, 2015.

    The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch earlier this month accused the Ugandan government of intimidating the local media ahead of the February presidential and parliamentary elections.

    In a report, Human Rights Watch said journalists have been suspended under government pressure, and radio stations threatened for hosting opposition members as guests or when panelists expressed views critical of the ruling party.

    Human-rights report called propaganda

    But minister of information and national guidance, Retired Major General Jim Muhwezi, told VOA this month the Human Rights Watch report is nothing but propaganda.

    Muhwezi said freedom of speech in Uganda is the strength of the ruling National Resistance Movement government. He also said the report is laying the groundwork for an after-election complaint because President Museveni will win the February election.

    Kyalya said Museveni feels he’s God or an emperor of Uganda.

    “I really think, one, he’s is definitely too arrogant, and also he has taken on so much power like Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi if I can put it that way. I believe power has gone to his head; he believes he’s a God now, and the Ugandan people are watching him as well,” she said.

    A mini survey conducted by the Uganda Monitor revealed that Ugandans believe Museveni should have appeared in last Friday's presidential debate to show the other candidates vying for his seat in next month’s election that he is still the best leader of the country.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora