By Solomon Muleyi
When Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared president of the republic of Uganda by the Electoral commission (EC) on Saturday, members and supporters of the opposition parties were not about to take it lightly. They took to social media (the only forum for debate and demonstration where they wouldn’t lose the functionality of their nostrils to the cruel irritation of tear gas) and demonstrated through wild memes and troll vines about the president.- Mostly, dismissing the declaration of Museveni as President a harsh figment orchestrated by the Electoral Commission.
The musicians that participated in the Tubonga Nawe were the first to receive the back clash. Musicians like Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone and socialite Judith Heard received the biggest criticism. Something that prompted Chameleone to apologize for earlier defending his participation in the campaign.
This was later aggravated when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Museveni upon winning the elections. Kenyans and a number of Ugandans attacked the President Kenyatta, labelling him a hypocrite and disrespectful of Ugandans.
One comment on his Facebook post, from Ugandan musician Viboyo Oweyo said; “If you really respect the people of Uganda, then you should know they are grieving”.
The situation was later capped by the declaration of opposition presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, through a long windy post on his Facebook that he was going to demonstrate by walking from his house to the Electoral commission today. In the post, Besigye dismissed the credibility of the results and labelled them fraudulent, before appealing to the local and international community to disregard them.
When the news of the planned demonstration reached the newly elected President’s ears, he reacted rather forebodingly.
“The opposition are not leaders, they are just demagogues, liars, just talking, talking,” the 71-year-old Museveni said from his country home in Rwakitura.
“Besigye cannot be allowed to disturb our peace. I am very happy with Ugandans, they came out in big numbers and voted,” Museveni added, warning against those who wished to cause violence through protests.
“We shall use both soft and hard means to guard the peace in Uganda… by soft means I mean talking to the youth, who these criminal politicians try to use,” he said. “But also we can use non-lethal but tough methods, to deal with any trouble makers.”
International observers raised concerns over the proceedings, saying that Uganda’s electoral commission lacked transparency and accusing the police of heavy-handed treatment of the opposition.
Museveni dismissed the criticism aimed towards the Electoral Commission and Police by European Union observers.
“I don’t need lectures from anybody,” he said. “Those Europeans are not serious.”
“Anybody who is trying to challenge the results of this election must not be serious. If anyone was rigging, why did we not rig in Kampala? Why did we agree to lose where we can rig? That is rubbish.”