The National Unity Platform presidential candidate Bobi Wine through his Twitter account has raised a concern of Uganda denying visa to international journalists of accreditation to come to Uganda and cover the election
Lost count of how many international journalists have told us they've been denied visas of accreditation to come to Uganda and cover the election! This is in addition to government deliberately refusing to invite observers perceived to be very objective! #WeAreRemovingADictator
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 11, 2021
Elections in Uganda have always been controversial. When the Catholic-leaning Democratic Party and its leader Benedicto Kiwanuka won the first election in 1961 just before Independence, the Anglican-aligned colonial government muddied the waters and arranged fresh elections the following year. They were dutifully won by the Anglican Uganda Peoples’ Congress and Milton Obote.
After being ousted by Idi Amin, Obote returned in 1980 to, once-again steal the election from DP this time under Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere. This gave Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his National Resistance Army/Movement the justification to launch the five-year guerrilla war that brought him to power but little incentive for electoral reform.
Each of the five direct elections the country has had since 1996 have been marred by widespread vote-rigging, gerrymandering, violence and other unconventional barriers. For the 2006 election the main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, was nominated while in jail facing what were later declared trumped-up rape and treason charges.
In 2016, Dr Besigye was arrested on Election Day after he stormed a security location at which he claimed the results were being tampered with to favour the incumbent.