The United States (US) has imposed travel restrictions on a section of Uganda’s top government officials who are believed to have played a role in undermining the democratic process during the just concluded General Election.
According to a statement by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Uganda’s top officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in the landlocked country will not be issued with US Visas.
“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, including, during and after the country’s January 14 General Election and the campaign period that preceded it,’’ the statement read.
Blinken said actions by some top Museveni’s officials where opposition candidates were routinely harassed, arrested, and held illegally without charge represents a continued downward trajectory for the country’s democracy and respect for human rights as recognized and protected by Uganda’s constitution.
It was widely reported that during the voting process the government limited accreditation for international and local election observers and civil societies but those who were able to observe the process noted widespread irregularities which undermined its credibility.
“Civil society, organizations and activists working to support electoral institutions and transparent electoral processes have been targeted with harassment, intimidation, arrest, deportation, and spurious legal charges and denial of bank account,’’ the letter added.
While it strongly supports Ugandan people, the US further asked Museveni’s administration to significantly improve its record and hold accountable those responsible for flawed election.
President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986, secured a sixth term in the January 14 poll garnering 58.6 per cent of the votes defeating other 10 challengers.
His closest challenger musician-cum-politician Robert Kyagulani, popularly known as Bobi Wine secured 34.8 percent of the votes, disputed the tally and alleged fraud.