In many ways, last Saturday’s re-election of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was a foregone conclusion. His three-decade rule had seemed assured of continuing despite allegations of bribery and intimidation by his party and alleged voting irregularities that led the United Nations, among other interested observers, to question the vote’s legitimacy.
Museveni garnered more than 60 percent of votes cast. Kizza Besigye, leader of the opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), got about 35 percent. A landslide, yes, but was this really a mandate, as Museveni immediately claimed, to go on with business as usual in Kampala?
Consider that Besigye has now lost to Museveni in three consecutive elections and that, in the run-up to each, the challenger was suddenly hit with vile legal charges — including rape — that would later prove unsubstantial if not outright fabricated.
The rape charge was filed in 2006. Besigye was acquitted, as timing would have it, one month after Museveni had won an unprecedented third term….