Uganda. According to
CountryAAH, the president since 1986, Yoweri Museveni, who
turned 85 this year, showed no signs of wanting to give up
power. In February, the ruling party nominated the National
Resistance Movement (NRM) as its candidate in the 202
presidential election. The constitutional amendment meant
that the previous upper age limit of 75 years was removed.
However, three out of seven judges disagreed with the
decision. President Museveni has also allowed his son
Kainerugaba Muhoozi to rise rapidly in the army. In
February, he was promoted for the third time in six years,
this time to Lieutenant General, which is the second highest
of the army.
The person who in recent years has profiled himself as
Museveni's sharpest critic is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu,
better known as pop star under the artist name Bobi Wine. He
has continued to act opposition despite repeated harassment
by the regime and has announced that he plans to run for
presidential election in 2021. In April, he was arrested
again for a planned concert and put in what was called
"preventive house arrest". He was released after a short
week but was arrested again a few days later, this time
accused of organizing protests in 2018 against a new tax on
social media. After three days he was released to the
castle. In August, Kyagulanyi was indicted for annoying,
upset and ridiculing President Museveni. The events intended
occurred in 2018, when stones were thrown against the
president's car column. However, Museveni was not found in
any of the vehicles, but Kyagulanyi and a large number of
other persons are accused of lying behind the stone throwing
and have been charged with treason. Just days before the new
prosecution, Kyagulanyi had gone out with information that
one of his supporters, music colleague Michael Kalinda, had
died after being abducted and tortured. According to
Kyagulanyi, Kalinda shared this fate with dozens of others
of his followers.
In October, it was forbidden to wear or sell red baskets.
The official reason was said that red baskets are state
property as they are used in the military. The real reason,
however, is that the headgear is associated with Bobi Wine;
both he and many of his followers usually wear red baskets.
The regime also tried to silence other critical voices.
In August, academic and activist Stella Nyanzi was sentenced
to 18 months in prison for harassing President Museveni in a
Facebook post. Nyanzi is well known for his fight for the
rights of LGBTQ people, whose already vulnerable situation
worsened during the year. In December, a court awarded
Nyanzi a damages equivalent to US $ 14,000 for the
authorities in 2017 preventing her from going abroad, more
specifically to a conference in the Netherlands.
In October, Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo
talked about a planned tightening of legislation against
homosexuals. According to the minister, homosexuality is not
a natural occurrence in Uganda and he said he wants it to be
punishable, not only to carry out homosexual acts but also
to "advocate" homosexuality and "recruit" people. If the
planned legislation goes through, the person who is judged
to have committed a serious crime must be sentenced to
death. Whether that will be so is uncertain. Lokodo was
opposed shortly after his statement in a Twitter message
written by a government spokesman. However, the fact that it
is already fatal for sexually abusive people in Uganda was
shown a few days before Lokodo's play. At that time, LGBT
activist Brian Wasswa suffered such a severe abuse in his
home that he later died.
At the beginning of December, at least 16 people died in
floods in the western part of the country.