Uganda: Museveni uses security to attract northern votes

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Although Uganda’s incumbent president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won the past two general and presidential elections of 2001 and 2006, statistics have shown that he gained only 30 per cent of Uganda’s northern votes notwithstanding his strong support base in other regions where he scored over 60 per cent.

But his promise of security against the Lord’s Resistance Army has seen his support rise in a hitherto difficult area.

“He was so unpopular here that if one dared to wear a T-shirt with Museveni’s portrait, [that person] would be lynched,” said William Ochola, 54 a resident of Lira town.

The reason behind such behaviour, according to Ochola is that at that time people were living miserable lives in internally displaced people’s camps due to bloody raids carried our by the dreaded Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

Ochola argues that since the defeat of the rebels, people have returned to their homes and the situation has improved. And Museveni has since become popular.

Political analyst in Uganda, James Lalobo insists that “Museveni is likely to
get over 60 per cent in northern Uganda because people there are now happy due to the end of the war. And that will make him definitely win and rule for a 4th term.”

Museveni, who is also the National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate, began his 2011 presidential campaigns in Northern Uganda where he re-assured the people of permanent peace while promising that no body from anywhere can dare destabilize the region again.

Candidate Museveni was yesterday addressing a mammoth rally at Lajok-Ogayo Primary School in Omiya Nyima sub-county, Chwa County, in
Kitgum district as part of his Acholi region campaign tour.

“On peace, it is here to stay, Kony will not come back. The army is so strong now certainly Kony cannot come here alive unless he voluntarily presents himself,” he told the cheering crowd.

Museveni’s arch rival, Kizza Besigye started his campaigns in central
Uganda where the president’s popularity has slightly decreased due to
constant critisim by opposition parties.

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