In yesterday’s Sunday Monitor Angelo Izama wrote of widespread concern regarding the potential for electoral violence leading up to the 2011 Uganda national elections. He writes:
“In several interviews including with donor sources Sunday Monitor has confirmed that there are serious concerns about the militarisation of Ugandan society ahead of the next elections. In particular, are the military training course tailored for village level officials allied to the NRM and the issuing of military fatigues and guns to them.”
But exposing the campaign of militarisation of NRM supporters, or “election watchers”, clearly touched a raw nerve in Museveni who immediately phoned the Monitor protesting the article and spoke out publicly in Gulu, saying:
“These people of Monitor, I am going to deal with them if they don’t change their ways,” Mr Museveni later said yesterday afternoon in Gulu while officiating at the consecration of Rt. Rev. Johnson Gakumba as the seventh bishop of the Northern Uganda Anglican Diocese. “They want to scare away investors by such reporting,” Mr Museveni said.
Militarisation of the public + media crackdown = bumpy road ahead. Still, it’s not too late to prevent election violence. And it begins with exposing raw nerves.