Monday, 15 February 2016

February 15, 2016

Fear and Politics

So Uganda is not the safest country in the world, but it has started feeling like home. The thing I've learned very quickly, starting last summer when I was in Tanzania during the last part of the election, is that East African politics are many times as deeply rooted in people as their tribes. It becomes a major issue when elections are around the corner.

In Kampala for the last few weeks people have begun leaving the country - going to neighbouring countries and or visiting relatives up country to get away from Kampala (the centre for all things politics, as it is the capital city). Today finally something happened. Besigye, the people's favourite presidential candidate, was arrested after being denied access to an arena where he was preparing to have a rally. This rally would have for sure been a massive crowd of people. Basically, the president is afraid of his 30-year reign finally ending. He's doing everything he can to stifle those who are a threat to his power. It's causing problems. The police arrested Besigye when he tried to hold a rally in the street and sprayed tear gas over half of downtown Kampala.

Pray for peace in Uganda. There is so much fear. Fear from the president himself, fear from the military and fear in the hearts of the people. Pray for peaceful elections, pray for humility, pray for Thursday's election results to be done well and for no vote rigging to occur. And no retaliation from those who are angry at whoever takes this next presidential term.

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