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.
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.