World

Which way for Uganda? Bobi Wine takes on longtime incumbent Museveni

It has been billed as a generational battle. Africa’s gaze is turning to Uganda and the tense homestretch to Thursday’s presidential election. 38-year-old pop star-cum-opposition leader Bobi Wine is among nine candidates taking on 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni, the former military leader whose National Resistance Movement took the capital way back in 1986.

The tension is palpable with fresh claims of intimidation, arrest and on the last day of campaigning, a social media shutdown – deemed by telecoms operators to be retaliation over the closing of pro-government Facebook accounts accused of spreading disinformation. Despite the long odds and repeated violence that includes last November’s bloodbath that left more than 50 dead over two days, this election could be tighter than most. How tight?

And how much of a bellwether will it be for democracy after a 2020 that saw a mixed bag when it came to elections on the continent? Museveni is just one of a long list of leaders who’s had term limits or age limits lifted to stay in power.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Eva-Luna Tholance

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