In 1996, when President Museveni was casting his vote within the presidential race, he sported navy apparel.
He requested the voters to allow him make that transformation from a navy chief right into a civilian president.
Mr Museveni received simply by shrugging off competitors from Democratic Celebration’s (DP) Paul Kawanga Semogerere.
Within the subsequent elections, which he received regardless of protestations from his rival Dr Kizza Besigye, Mr Museveni dumped his navy apparel for plain garments on voting day.
Twenty 5 years later, when he solid his vote in his dwelling district of Kiruhura on Thursday, Mr Museveni reverted again to carrying military uniform.
Placing on military fatigues, based on analysts, symbolised how Mr Museveni has used safety forces earlier than and throughout the elections interval to have a transparent edge over his opponents.
A day earlier than the elections, in a transfer that was meant to ship a message to the could be protesters, disputing his victory, armored navy automobiles rolled into downtown Kampala, as fighter jets had been scrambled within the atmosphere- an obvious present of power.
Safety forces have been used to implement normal working process (SOPS) that had been instituted by the federal government ostensibly to information the conduct of elections throughout the nation, which is being hit laborious by the Covid-19 virus.
The Public Well being (Management of Covid–19) (Modification No.3) Guidelines, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Well being, on November 9, 2020, offered that gatherings for functions of political conferences mustn’t exceed 200 individuals.
The Electoral Fee (EC) at the start of the electioneering interval issued tips which had been to be adopted by candidates. Therein, candidates had been prohibited from conducting processions alongside public roads, by way of cities and buying and selling centres.
With such legal guidelines, the military was given an excuse to crash Opposition candidates’ rallies all through the election time, limiting the period of time they needed to work together with voters.
Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, generally often known as Bobi Wine, who has been the main Opposition candidate within the race, thrice suspended his campaigns, accusing the safety companies of sabotaging his rallies and in sure occasion killing his supporters.
Even earlier than the EC would put a complete ban on campaigns in about 12 districts, safety companies, for instance, hadn’t allowed the Nationwide Unity Platform (NUP) candidate to marketing campaign in Jinja and Kayunga districts and later his rallies had been stopped in Kalangala District, although it wasn’t a part of the districts during which campaigning was prohibited.
Mr Kyagulanyi was as soon as charged in a Justice of the Peace’s court docket in Iganga District after he was arrested within the neighbouring district of Luuka for ignoring tips that would verify the unfold of Covid-19, sparking off protests throughout the nation during which greater than 50 folks had been killed by safety forces.
For Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the Discussion board for Democratic Change (FDC) celebration presidential candidate, his campaigns had been largely annoyed by safety forces from the phrase go.
His could be first rally in Soroti Metropolis was dispersed by police, once more citing Covid-19.
The development continued as Mr Amuriat solicited votes all through the nation amid being pepper-sprayed.
By the point the campaigns had been settled, a annoyed Amuriat, who had almost come to blows with a policeman, had been charged thrice in Mbarara, Kakumiro and Mpigi magistrates’ courts.
Having spent an evening in police cells and later launched by court docket, Mr Amuriat was arrested upon arrival in Kampala and he spent one other day in police cells at Katwe, in Kampala.
Mr Amuriat had slated rallies for all nowadays in Buganda. The previous Kumi Municipality MP wasn’t allowed to step a foot within the FDC stronghold of Kasese, but different candidates, together with Mr Museveni, Mr Kyagulanyi and Gen Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for Nationwide Transformation (ANT), had efficiently campaigned there.
By the point Mr Amuriat’s flip to marketing campaign within the district reached, the district had been put amongst these during which campaigns weren’t allowed attributable to Covid-19. Mr Amuriat’s pleas to marketing campaign within the district utilizing one of many radio stations within the space fell on deaf ears.
Mr Museveni, all through the campaigns, used radio, extra so in rural areas to ship his marketing campaign message however his opponents had been largely prohibited from utilizing the identical medium.
Regardless of paying cash, Mr Kyagulanyi was not hosted on a radio station in Hoima District after homeowners cited ‘orders from above’.
When Mr Amuriat was campaigning within the northern district of Amuru, the radio station at which he had been hosted was switched off whereas the barefoot presidential candidate was on air.
For various minutes, Mr Amuriat saved on speaking with out figuring out that no person on the market was listening to him.
Covid-19: Blessing in disguise
Whereas Mr Museveni ‘adhered’ to the Covid-19 guidelines, it was very clear they favoured him as NRM, his celebration, is arguably fused with the State.
Though Mr Museveni has largely averted holding large rallies, public servants corresponding to Resident District Commissioners (RDC) and Resident Metropolis Commissioners (RCCs) have been campaigning for him, which gave him a transparent edge.
All through the campaigns, Mr Museveni loved incumbency and this was on present when he resorted to commissioning a number of tasks corresponding to markets in varied city, which he mentioned enhance the financial standing of city dwellers.
When the EC added Wakiso District to the checklist of areas the place campaigns had been prohibited, Mr Museveni proceeded to launch the Kiira-Kasangati-Matugga highway, which was seen by many as a approach to circumvent the ban to marketing campaign within the space.
The choice by the EC to restrict the marketing campaign interval additionally favoured Mr Museveni, who was already identified to the voters and likewise has a sturdy construction of the NRM, which is intertwined with the State.
In accordance with the EC, the election needed to be held inside the first 30 days of the final 121 days of the presidential time period.
Though holding the elections on January 14, wasn’t unlawful, the 25 days which had been lower off for campaigns would have been useful to lots of the novices within the race.
Of the 11 candidates within the race, solely Mr Museveni and the Democratic Celebration’s (DP) Norbert Mao had contested in earlier races.
Mr Kyagulanyi, as an illustration, is fashionable due to his music however he wanted extra time to achieve out to extra Ugandans who needed to embrace him as a politician.
He as an alternative ended up doing a single rally in each district he was allowed to marketing campaign in by safety forces.
Though Mr Amuriat is the FDC celebration president and had beforehand been an MP representing Kumi County, he wanted to work together with voters extra, who had been used to the celebration being offered within the earlier presidential races by Dr Besigye.
The finance issue
Amidst the elections, authorities launched greater than Shs1 billion underneath the so- known as presidential initiative on job and wealth creation, generally often known as Emyooga.
Emyooga, which was launched by Mr Museveni in March final 12 months, had the primary goal of, based on its proponents, financially empowering teams within the casual sector, together with restaurant homeowners, boda boda riders, girls entrepreneurs, carpenters, salon operators, journalists, Folks with Disabilities, fishermen, mechanics, performing artists, taxi operators, amongst others.
With many Ugandans within the casual sector and with the cash tagged to Mr Museveni’s “generosity”, this inevitably gave him a lift with these teams of individuals he had struggled to win over in 2016.
The cash, curiously, was by design to be given out on the constituency stage, which is extra of a political unit than an administrative one.
Every constituency was given Shs560 million, which apparently has been dished out to voters in a bid to entice them to vote for Mr Museveni.
In the course of the campaigns, as candidates had been working out of money, the NRM secretariat gave their candidates on the parliamentary stage the a lot wanted money aid.
NRM candidates for District Lady MP slots had been every given Shs53 million, these contesting for the particular curiosity slots got Shs60 million, and people for the primary constituencies got Shs43 million.
The NRM secretariat additionally bankrolled their village constructions and likewise facilitated them by way of bicycles and motorbike, making their transport straightforward.