Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Old Man in a Hat

The Old Man in a HatGo Forward presidential aspirant John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has called upon his political opponent Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement, to retire from politics. Museveni, Mbabazi and six other candidates including the Forum for Democratic Change flag bearer Dr Warren Kizza Besigye are contesting for presidency in the 2016 elections slated for February 18. ‘He needs to listen to my advice; it is that old man with a hat please retire,’ Mbabazi said.   Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he needs more time to progress the country as he looks to enter a fourth decade in power, commending voters to re-elect the "old man." As a younger man he said leaders who "overstayed" in power were the root of Africa's problems, but 30 years later he is still in charge and anticipating to win a fifth term in elections.  

"Those who say, 'let him go, let him go', they need to know that this is not the right time," Museveni said at an election rally. "This old man who has saved the country, how do you want him to go? How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?"  

Museveni, in power since 1986, will face his hardest opposition from Kizza Besigye, a three-time loser for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and ruling party stalwart now running for the new Go-Forward party. Mbabazi has said if he wins he would bring back term limits to the presidency.   According to sources, Museveni has spent 12 times more money on his 2016 election campaign than his top two opponents combined.

Amama Mbabazi has spent the second-largest amount at about $951,000. Kizza Besigye has spent about $279,000, according to the study, which was funded by the Democratic Governance Facility and conducted by the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring in Uganda’s capital of Kampala.   Museveni maintaining a strong lead An opinion poll released in the month of January showed Museveni preserving a strong lead in the 2016 race. Some 51 percent of the 2,685 respondents said they would vote for Museveni, while 32 percent said they would elect his closest rival, Besigye. Some 12 percent said they would vote for Mbabazi, according to the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Kampala-based research firm Research World International conducted the survey between Dec. 19 and Jan. 10 in partnership with NTV Uganda and Uganda Governance Monitoring platform.   Then also, the upcoming election is looking to be the hardest yet as opposition grows against Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for nearly 30 years. Critics have repeatedly blamed the president for taking up illicit means to advance his electoral chances. Human rights groups said his security personnel employs illegal arrests, beatings and other forms of violence to bully opposition supporters. Most recently, presidential hopeful Mbabazi accused the longtime leader of using murder, torture and violence to restrict growing support for the opposition. Read More....

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