With only ten days left before Uganda’s Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on 14th January, Catholic Archbishop Lwanga has called all Ugandans to three days of prayer and fasting starting tomorrow (Monday, January 4th).
Elections are held every five years. President Museveni (aged 76) has now been in power for nearly 35 years having changed the Constitution to allow himself to be re-elected as President indefinitely. Once again, it has become increasingly difficult for opposition parties to campaign freely. Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi) is probably the strongest opponent, but with seven opposition candidates, the opposition vote will be split. For months now, there has been violence and non-judiciary arrests, riots, corruption and lies, with claims that Museveni treats any opposition more like terrorists and criminals than political opponents. The situation is deteriorating. It has been reported that the police, army and military police have been using excessively brutal force. Many members of the public have already been killed, detained and tortured.
The fear is that things will get worse in the last few days in the run-up to the elections and that unrest and violent reprisals are likely to continue after the elections.
It is in this context that all Ugandans have been called to three days of prayer and fasting. It is my hope that many other people around the world will join with them to pray for peace and justice.