KAMPALA — The Electoral Commission (EC) has briefly published presidential election results and immediately deleted them over circumstances no one at polls body is willing to talk about.
The Uganda Radio Network (URN) was the first to report the news.
EC spokesperson, Paul Bukenya had told URN that the results would be published mid this week after completing what he called the “finalization process” of scrutinizing data that came in from districts.
URN which traced the development reports that there were indications that results were about to be uploaded on the EC website; on Wednesday, a section of the 2021 General Elections results was created on the EC site.
This section, which was under Elections and Results has now been deleted.
Bukenya reportedly told URN the “finalization process” is still ongoing. And once its completed, he says, the results will be published in the gazette and uploaded on their site. He gave no precise answer on when it is likely to happen. He said finalization means “final ascertaining and preparing to sign off documents.”
The 2005 Presidential Election Act stipulates that the “commission shall ascertain, publish and declare in writing under its seal the results of the presidential election within forty-eight hours from the close of polling.” But it is ambiguous on when results should be published in the gazette. It says “the commission shall, as soon as practicable after each presidential election, produce a detailed report on the conduct of the election.”
This delay has implications: for instance, Bobi Wine—real name Robert Kyagulanyi rejected the election results and is mulling litigation to challenge the results. Without granular data of election results, he may not have substantial evidence to make a good case in court.
Official figures, which all the opposition members alleged had been tampered with, gave incumbent President, Yoweri Museveni a sixth term in office.
Bobi Wine has particularly accused Museveni and EC of fabricating the results and called the poll “the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda” while security forces surrounded his home.
Since the election, Bobi Wine and wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi have been denied access to family, lawyers, donors and U.S. Ambassador Natalie Brown, who was blocked Monday from seeing them.
It is not immediately clear why the Electoral Commission has declined to make public the presidential election results a week after elections were held.
In 2016, presidential elections were published two days after the winners was announced.
Early this week, EC pledged to make thorough investigations and iron out the underlying issues on videos circulating on social media alleging vote rigging in favor of President Museveni who was declared winner.
The videos that show motion pictures exhibit pre-ticked ballots in favor of President Museveni and army officers involved in ballot stuffing.
In a Facebook post, Bobi Wine said that “This particular video was sent to us by a member of the UPDF who was disgusted by what they were commanded to do!”
“He told us they spent days pre-ticking ballot papers in favor of Museveni because they knew there was no way they could beat us in a free contest! Up to now, it is difficult to believe that a one time prized revolutionary is going down as one of the world’s most despised despots! Did he claim to have gone to the bush because of a rigged election? How despicable! Keep the evidence coming in comrades,” he added.
The results followed one of the most violent election campaigns in Uganda, which included killings, the arrest of campaigners and civil society groups and intimidation by the security forces. Ugandan authorities also shut down internet networks across most of the country. Turnout was 57%, the lowest since Museveni took office.
The aftermath of the general elections has been dominated by social media meltdown rotating around the transpirings of the actual event since there was an internet shutdown on voting day.
Several videos have been making rounds on social media platforms demonstrating how illicit the electoral process was.
Deputy army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki confirmed that in some parts of the country, including Mukono, Rakai and Jinja, the military took over the tally centers
Lt. Col. Akiiki told reporters that the institution had already arrested some of the officers that involved themselves in messing up the EC’s work.
According to Akiiki, these officers will have to face the army court martial and answer the charges that will be preferred against them.
President Museveni was announced the winner in a widely dispute poll. His party, however, suffered significant loses. About 30 MPs, including many cabinet ministers and the vice-president, lost their seats, largely to candidates from Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP).