Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has faced increasing criticism over his handly of the upcoming elections — most recently when his administration allegedly banned all social media on Monday after Facebook removed several high-ranking government officials’ accounts.
Museveni wants western media to stay out of Uganda’s affairs in a recent interview with NPR:
“Yes, we are committed to the freedom of the press, but see, the press, especially the Western press, is arrogant. You don’t want to learn; you know it all. Then you come on and impose your ignorance on our society,” he asserted. “So that’s the problem we are having. How can we continue dealing with these arrogant ignoramuses? So if they change their attitude from arrogance to inquisitiveness and investigation, I’m very happy.”
The leading opposition party has made allegations of violence and intimidation from the government. Museveni responded to the claims, painting a very different picture of the events in recent months.
“[Protesters] were attacking other people. Because they have been told that they should cause an uprising here like happened in Libya, like happened in Syria… so they are [American] agents. They are no longer part of a protest movement. They are now agents of foreign schemes, here,” he told NPR. “According to the police procedures, if people are protesting, there is a way you handle it — but if now they overrun — overrun, for instance, a police station — you will have to stop it by using lethal fire. Rioting and attacking civilians and attacking property, it is something that we cannot accept.”
Presidential candidate Bobi Wine campaign has garnered the attention of millions around the world as he has been targeted and brutalized for being openly critical of Museveni.
Museveni denies being involved in the violence and claims that Wine’s multiple arrests are in relation to COVID-19 regulation violations.
“He’s not been arrested for putting forward ideas. He’s being arrested for rioting and causing danger to other people. That’s why he’s been arrested. But there are other opposition leaders who are not being arrested. Why, why him?” he says.
During a recent interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News, Museveni called Wine a “foreign agent.”
The Ugandan presidential election takes place Thursday, January 14.