from the campaign trail

Above: Incumbent MP and minister of defense Amama Mbabazi in Kunungu District, Western Uganda

Above: Campaign Posters in Masaka Town, Central Uganda

Above: Besigye arrives in Kanungu

Above: Besigye addresses his supporters in Kanungu

Above: Museveni’s rally in Lwengo, Central Uganda on February 10, 2011

Uganda Election 2011: t-18 hours

It is the final day before Uganda’s 2011 national presidential and parliamentary elections. Yesterday, amidst the final rallies of the presidential candidates, Kampala remained eerily calm. It is as if people are preparing for a natural disaster, a hurricane. Some have packed up and left town, others have stocked up on water and foodstuffs. Most people in town are hoping for just one thing, a peaceful election. The memory of the 2007 Kenyan election is still fresh, and the revolutionary spirit across North Africa and the Middle East is enough to make you second guess your perceptions of

The Independent has just put the election issue online. Our cover story is up here, and you can read Andrew’s final pre-election analysis here. He concludes:

It is now clear to me that what Uganda needs to change is not just a political party fighting for power in Kampala. Our country needs a social movement whose organisation begins from the village. This movement has to avoid the false dichotomy of NRM versus FDC or UPC. It has to embrace Ugandans of all creed against the ills that bedevil our public sector. We need to reconstruct our politics from private greed to public service. That is our challenge.

On the campaign trail: Mbarara Taxi Park

In this video for the Independent, Andrew began interviewing taxi drivers and conductors in the Mbarara taxi park. After a short time the owner of the park told us to pack up and go elsewhere. We were later told that one of the men we interviewed was fired for talking to us. As in Masaka, there were many young men who expressed discontent with Museveni and announced they would support Besigye.

On the campaign trail: Masaka, Uganda

I traveled through central and western Uganda with Andrew Mwenda last week/weekend. Some video I took from the trip is posted on the Independent website under the video tab (right side of the page) but I will also be embedding them here. The first, below, is Andrew’s analysis after attending Museveni’s rally in Masaka.

Uganda Election 2011: 8 days to go

I’m in Masaka today, a small town 2 hours southwest of Kampala,  following President Museveni’s campaign. This is a small and quiet town, but from the hotel in town I can hear a lot of hooting and shouting — it’s possible Museveni’s convoy has just arrived. He has won this central region district in past elections, winning about 64% of the vote in 2001 and 59% in 2006. The urban areas, namely Masaka Municipality, tend to vote for Kizza Besigye, the main opposition candidate for the past three elections. But the rural areas are pro-Museveni.

In all likelihood Museveni will win again here, and win big.

More soon….