Opinion: Notes on the Uganda 2021 elections, why i think it’s scaring – Stephen Okhutu

I have been following with keen interest the activities of Uganda’s security operatives and the effect this could have on our country.

Already the following mistakes have been made;

  1. The arrest of Bobi Wine and the mistreatment of other opposition presidential candidates. Presidential candidates have a special previlege accorded to them from the day they are nominated. That’s why perhaps the country invests in a strong security detail on them. The way these are now being treated however, sends a bad message and actually a sign of an election that’s not free and fair.

We know that Bobi Wine is an agent of change. Remember he was one of the few African young leaders who was trained in modern leadership (in the US) soon as he had entered parliament. I think he was being prepared for days like these.

Bobi Wine also contracted Robert Amsterdam a US lawyer who uses strong media propaganda to promote political interests of his clients. The arrest of Bobi just made Amsterdam’s work easier. It provided that rich evidence to support most of the allegations Bobi’s legal and media team have been alleging against the Museveni administration. This as a result invited the international media to focus on Uganda. Unfortunately, uganda’s security operatives went ahead and allegedly killed civilians in cold blood! My friend and former co-worker, Justine Namambo was among the victims. She survived with a bullet in her spine and until today government has neglected her in pain without any support.

After this, the government then through it’s media regulatory body (UCC) tried to suffocate the media with preventive regulations instead of working with them!

  1. The arrest of Nicholas Opio, a human rights lawyer who was allegedly collecting evidence against the events that happened during the Bobi arrest was also a miscalculated move. We have seen some regimes in Africa collapsing due to the arrest of lawyers who were allegedly fighting for civil rights. Opio’s case is not exceptional. Human rights activists operate in a racket backed up by strong advocacy and media campaigns. No wonder the arrest of Opio just exposed our regime even more.
  2. The involvement of people like Ofwono Opondo and Enanga who respond to critical issues without seriousness. First it cost their credibility but then, it exposes Uganda on the international scene as a regime that is not prepared to change anything. If your neighbor tells you stop killing your children, don’t respond by telling him never to come back at your home. I think there’s a better way to respond to that! Most of the responses given by these top government Spokespersons just present them as either state sycophants or comedians.
  3. The actions of Justice Byabakama, the head of Uganda’s electoral commission just nullifies the election ab initio. Byabakama being a justice of the high court aught to know that elections are a legal matter which must be handled legally. In his operations however, the justice seems to be operating without any credible legal backing. This creates an impression that this year’s polls are not organised by the Electoral commission. We have occasionally seem some presidential candidates provoking the commission an act which seems to be calling for legal interpretation of the commission’s activities.
  4. The NRM primaries. The NRM held party elections which were marred by malpractices. This exposed all the poll rigging tricks commonly used by the ruling government in Uganda. The involvement of the top families in the NRM party elections also worked against the government. The country is now prepared for a possible poll rigging. The world however now knows where to look. Also given the history of past elections.

The most pertinent questions however are;

  1. Will Byabakama manage a free and fair election?
  2. Can the electoral commission declare a winner who is not Museveni?
  3. What will happen in case the 2021 polls are rigged?


The change of regime in America. America has already proved a strong interest in this election. All the agencies with key influence in the affairs of Africa have already spoken;

  1. The US parliament through it committee on foreign affairs lee by Eliot Engel has condemned this calling for an urgent action.
  2. The Secretary of State (Minister of foreign affairs) Captain Mike Pompeo also condemned the actions of the Uganda government.
  3. Tibor Nagy, the Assistant secretary of state for African Affairs has also voiced a call for action on Uganda government.
  4. Jake Sullivan, president Joe Biden’s National security advisor has called for use of force on Uganda government.

Africa is the largest continent in the world and is rated as an emerging market. Other continents have a very big interest in it. They are however facing an obstacle. African leaders who participated in anti colonial rule have continued to make the decolonization of Africa impossible. They are however disguising behind western democracy to either kill or fail these African leaders many of them who have ruled for over 20 years. By 2020, Museveni was among the few of such leaders remaining. Such leaders know how to fight a bad foreign influence. No wonder therefore that Museveni is a target and they want him to go by 2021!

This however puts the lives of an ordinary Ugandan at stake!

And a subtle warning was also issued by the Uganda joint Christian council calling for peace talks. They say uganda should cancel the polls and give Museveni 3 years to prepare for retirement (emphasis mine).

Lastly about Barbie Kyagulanyi, I think those signs and jewelry are not coincidental! Is this lady a member of a certain global elite club? I will talk about that later!

Stephen Okhutu is a retired Journalist, Business Talk show host and a Ugandan entrepreneur. He has founded a number of startups including 54HOMES

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