Uganda. According to Countryaah official site, Yoweri Museveni was re-elected in February for another five years as president. He received just over 68% of the vote. The opposition complained about a number of shortcomings and partly received support for its criticism of observers from the Commonwealth. After the election, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was repeatedly arrested by police after participating in, or attempting to organize, demonstrations in protest of rapidly rising food and fuel prices. He was charged with incitement to violence, participation in riots and failure to obey police orders, but was released in court on all counts. At least nine people were shot dead and hundreds were arrested as police responded to protests and demonstrations.
The public’s dissatisfaction with the price trend was understandable. In October, prices had increased on average by 30% during the year, but most foods had become 45% more expensive. There were shared opinions as to whether the price increases were due to the global economic crisis and drought in East Africa, or whether the government’s economic policies were playing a role.
A highly contested planned law that would have punished the death penalty for some forms of gay relations was stopped, at least temporarily, by the Speaker of Parliament. The bill had been condemned by governments and organizations around the world and could have led to the withdrawal of aid. The President stopped a debate on the law by dissolving Parliament in conjunction with the government being reformed after Museveni’s election victory. The forces behind the bill said that the issue would be raised again.
In January, a judge banned the media from identifying gays with names and photos. He referred to the constitutional right to a protected privacy and said that those who have been suspended in the media risked their lives. Shortly thereafter, a gay activist was found murdered in his home after his name and photo were published in a newspaper. A man was later sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder.
Several ministers and senior officials were suspected of corruption in connection with the arrangement of the Commonwealth Summit in 2007. Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa resigned in October when he was brought to trial. In December, Kabakumba Masiko, minister at the presidential office, resigned after her private radio station was accused of stealing equipment from the state radio company.
The first war crimes trial in Uganda began in July. A commander in the militia The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was charged with 53 counts of deliberate murder, hostage taking, destruction of property and causing bodily harm. The case was closed after a couple of months with reference to the amnesty issued for LRA rebels. The senior leaders of the LRA are prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) but are still on the loose. In November, the United States sent hundreds of troops to Uganda to help the state fight the LRA.