Great Lakes March 9, 2020
By The Eastafrican
A few days ago, it emerged that Ugandan opposition parties are to meet Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to discuss a very important matter ahead of the 2021 general election.
Ordinarily, you’d think they were meeting the premier to talk over the vexing issue in Africa about the integrity of the vote, a “level playing field”, as the issue is often delicately described.
But no, they are meeting to discuss the shocking levels rising violence against the opposition. The violence against the opposition in Uganda in the last 10 years has been appalling, and easily the most extreme in Africa for a country not in civil strife.
The argument has been made that such violence is common in countries where leaders or ruling parties came to power through a guerrilla war, or have had a history of murderous military rule.
However, South Africa is led by a liberation party, but the opposition isn’t so violently abused. Today both in Mozambique and Angola, where the ruling parties came to power in more bloody struggles than President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement, life isn’t as perilous for the opposition.
It’s also important to note that in Uganda’s case, two times in the last 34 years of Museveni’s rule, there have been relatively civilised elections—in 1996 and 2011.
This article was published in the Eastafrican