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The Muzungu Stays Home – While #UgandaDecides

By Diaryofamuzungu @CharlieBeau

Follow #UgandaDecides is the hashtag dedicated to Uganda’s forthcoming election.

One thing is for sure, Ugandans have a fantastic sense of humor.

I’ve just been rereading a few of my posts written before and during Uganda’s Presidential elections of 2010.

Apparently “it is illegal to create an effigy in the image of a candidate.”

Someone needs to tell this one!

Effigy of Dr Kizza Besigye. Uganda elections 2016 #UgandaDecides

Effigy of Dr Kizza Besigye waving the traffic on at Mulungu, Kampala, last week. Opposition presidential candidate Besigye heads the FDC. Will he finally get to beat President Museveni this election?

Someone needs to tell this one too!

Effigy of Museveni Uganda elections 2016 #UgandaDecides

Effigy of President Yowei Museveni, giving his trademark thumbs-up to passers-by in Kasese. Can anyone beat President Museveni? (and can anyone explain the buses drawn on his jacket lapels?)

If “it’s illegal to cover your number plate with a candidate’s election poster” it would be pretty safe to assume that covering up a road sign and risking road traffic accidents might also be illegal!

Uganda elections 2016 #UgandaDecides Kasese

Man cycles towards Kasese. The whole area was plastered in the NRM party’s trademark yellow for the impending visit of their leader

Some people are concerned about Uganda’s security in the lead up to the elections, during the elections or even after the elections, but so far it’s all pretty much passed me by. Foreign travel advisories are notoriously cautious. (They’re hardly talking about the Uganda I know). Conversations with journalists, a candidate and business contacts suggest Uganda will be business as usual, bar the odd scuffle.

Our trip upcountry a few weeks ago was quite interesting however, as we drove through Fort Portal the day before the President was due to arrive there. Bright yellow National Resistance Movement T-shirts and placards were much in evidence.

“If truth is the first casualty of war,” then what might be the truth behind these pictures doing the rounds on social media?

#UgandaDecides counting Uganda shillings

#UgandaDecides counting Uganda shillings. 50,000 UGX notes – currently worth about $15 or £10


#UgandaDecides young girl counting Uganda shillings. The brown 50,000 UGX notes are currently worth about $15 or £10

Although people say that votes exchange hands for Uganda shillings, washing powder or even soap, I find these photographs just a little bit too stage managed…

Also trying to stir things up a bit… ? Our friends in Kenya shared some pictures of brand-new military hardware fresh off the cargo ships in Mombasa.



There was considerable extra security on the streets before during and after the last elections. Their presence was highly obvious, yet relaxed.

Makindye Mayor Dr Ian Clarke canvasing during elections

Makindye Mayor Dr Ian Clarke canvasing local-style during elections to become MP for the Bukasa area of Makindye

I enjoyed following Ian’s progress as he was voted Mayor at the last election. He is popular with the local electorate for his good service delivery record. Ian first came to Uganda as a missionary almost 30 years ago.

Erection* fever

There’s a lot of talk about the elections. Let’s hope things go smoothly.

Uganda elections 2016 #UgandaDecides Electoral Commission

Man on a boda boda, carrying a traditional musical instrument. Behind them are the painted walls of the Electoral Commission, advising Ugandans how to vote

I’ll be around, I have no plans to travel anywhere. I quite enjoyed being in Kampala at Christmas after everyone else had gone to the village!


#UgandaDecides, elections, Kampala, Uganda

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