Deep-rooted election violence keeps democracy in Uganda in shackles

Deep-rooted election violence keeps democracy in Uganda in shackles
Recent elections have been marred by violence | Courtesy

Uganda has a complex history of human rights violations, including under the rule of Idi Amin from 1971 to 1979, where thousands were killed and many more tortured.

The Museveni administration who has been in power since 1986, has faced criticism for crackdowns on political dissent and media censorship.

While progress has been made in some areas, challenges remain in ensuring full respect for human rights in Uganda.

During electoral seasons in Uganda, there have been reports of violence, intimidation, and harassment, particularly targeting opposition politicians, activists, and their supporters.

The run-up to the 2021 general elections saw a surge in such incidents, including arrests of opposition figures like presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, disruptions of opposition rallies, and instances of police brutality.

The government has been accused of using excessive force to suppress dissent and maintain power.

While the elections themselves were relatively peaceful, there were allegations of irregularities and concerns about the fairness of the process.

The situation underscores ongoing challenges to political freedoms and human rights in Uganda.

There are increasing concerns to have civic education to shape the political landscape and give knowledge to the electorate.

Experts say, civic education serves several important purposes including promoting Active Citizenship.

Civic education empowers individuals to understand their rights, responsibilities, and roles within society.

It encourages them to actively participate in democratic processes, such as voting, community engagement, and advocacy for social change.

Civic education instills democratic values such as tolerance, respect for diversity, rule of law, and civic duty.

By promoting these values, it contributes to the development of a more inclusive and democratic society.

Where the electorate lacks knowledge on key political an civic issues including rights, civic education helps people understand how political systems work, including the roles and functions of government institutions, electoral processes, and the importance of checks and balances.

This knowledge enables citizens to make informed decisions and engage effectively in political discourse.

Overall, civic education plays a vital role in nurturing informed, engaged, and responsible citizens who actively contribute to the well-being of their communities and the advancement of democratic ideals.

As 2026 nears, the country's 18 million voters are eagerly waiting on what that electoral season will come with amidst considering the current and seemingly hot contestation holding multiparty factions.

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