Do Ugandans love dictators or love to make news?

A friend asked me if we the Ugandans just love making news or are we obsessed with dictators. First we had Amin and now we are letting Museveni just move back to power as if 30 years weren’t more than enough. We all had a sarcastic laugh about it as we looked through what it means to have a free and fair elections in Uganda:

– training and arming every soldier during the campaigns and on voting day to make sure they sabotage opposition gatherings, cause commotion and disperse voters on voting day,

– voters waiting for ballot paper for over 6 hours and making sure some do not vote because the voting time would be over,

– other polling stations not receiving ballot papers at all,

– receiving already ticked ballot papers at the station,

– listening to a radio and hearing that the number of votes you counted at your polling station is far different from the one the electoral commission is announcing. That goes to the candidate too.

(foto: Adam Jones via Flickr)
(foto: Adam Jones via Flickr)


The Ugandans were not surprised at all at what happened, they knew it was going to happen because it has been happening over and over again. This time though they wanted to make sure it is very obvious to the eyes of whoever is willing to see.

Over the years Ugandans knew that even if they go and vote, the votes were to be tampered with and they chose not to vote at all. But this time, besides the tear gas, torture, losing lives and the opposition leader being captured several times did not stop the determined crowds from turning up in big numbers to vote.

Volitve v Ugandi 2016 (foto: Commonwealth Secretariat via Flickr)
Volitve v Ugandi 2016 (foto: Commonwealth Secretariat via Flickr)

Every polling station counts its votes after voting and voters remain behind to witness this. So according to what came out of the polling stations, does it show that the Ugandans are cowards? Did they show that they wanted the same person again in power? Those questions are a concern of whoever wants to look deep into what has happened and is happening in Uganda.

Civilians in Uganda do not posses guns at all. Whenever there is a riot, the whole city is full of army with big guns and a lot of tear gas.

Towards the election the police was equipped with new vehicles to be able to fight rioters. This is what happens when few people are given money to vote for the fate of the country. Uganda would not have this problem if it had a term limit and this goes to every African country which is in the same boat as Uganda, no leader is a saint and however good he/she is, has to give a chance to others. Change is always necessary.

In my own opinion, people do not just riot, there is always a reason. Now for Uganda this has been going on and the government is aware of it that is why it rather stops providing health services, education and infrastructure but make sure the police is fully armed to fight anyone who is willing to stand in its way of ascending again to power.

And now that is how the voting in Uganda is handled. So do Ugandans just love to have a dictator or love to make news? … You tell me.


catherine nakato
Catherine Nakato

Author: Catherine Nakato. She comes from Uganda. Writes a blog xPlorCity, She recently started to co-present on Radio Študent on programme sunrise Africa. Loves fashion and is passionate about Meetups for business, culture and women empowerment.

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