Besigye unsuccessfully competed against Museveni in 2001, 2006, and 2011. General David Sejusa, former Director of Intelligence for the NRM regime, has stated in public that Besigye won the 2006 elections and that the NRM party rigged the elections to retain Museveni. Speaking while in exile in the United Kingdom in 2013, Sejusa argued that the polls, in which Museveni was elected to a third term, were characterized by ‘widespread irregularities such as ballot stuffing, intimidation of FDC supporters, manipulation of the voters register, among others.’ David Sejusa is only one of the many Generals who had fought in the war of liberation with Museveni but who have now fallen out over the perceived plan that Museveni and his family has been grooming his son, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to become the next leader of Uganda. Those Generals who have opposed the Muhoozi Project have found themselves sidelined and others such as Sejusa who has been most outspoken, arrested. In early February, General Sejusa was arrested and remanded in the infamous Makindye prison over his proclamations about the current electoral process. The incarceration of the former head of intelligence is but one indication of the desperation of the political leader of Uganda who has brought the politics of retrogression to a new level. Sejusa remains in prison.
Thus far, other military officers in the top hierarchy of the NRM such as General Aronda Nyakairima, Maj-Gen James Kazini, Colonel Jet Mwebaze and Colonel Noble Mayombo have departed this life in circumstances which demand deeper investigation. Neither the opposition, nor the current government has sought to fight the election campaign on the core issues that affect the Ugandan people; but have instead focused on the nebulous formulation of demanding ‘good governance.’ Neither Mbabazi nor Besigye have been open in critiquing the IMF and the implementation of the structural adjustment programs of the IMF.
Anyone driving on Entebbe Road from Entebbe to Kampala will see the growing divide between the social classes in Uganda. Since 1987 when Uganda embarked on the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP), the conditions of the working people have deteriorated considerably while the small exploiter class has grown wealthy and more conspicuous in their consumption. This ostentation of the ruling elements in Uganda has overshadowed the depth of the impoverishment of the working poor. After 1987 Uganda was a veritable laboratory of the project of neoliberalism with the NRM government aggressively implementing the principal prescriptions of cutting social services and implementing user fees. Other imperial forces had propped up the political leadership of Uganda, heaping praise on Museveni as a ‘pragmatic’ leader while Uganda gained notoriety as one of the societies in Africa heavily dependent on ‘donor’ support for their recurring budget.
Since 1987, the Ugandan government embarked on reductions in government spending; monetary tightening (high interest rates and/or reduced access to credit); elimination of government subsidies for food and other items of popular consumption; privatization of enterprises previously owned or operated by the government and massive cuts in support for public hospitals and clinics. These measures have enriched a few in the same way that they have considerably increased the burdens on the working poor. From 1965 the Ugandan workers, poor farmers and traders lost autonomy over their organizations and the impact of commandism and militarism have intensified the impoverishment of the people. From this impoverishment one can identify ten main issues in Ugandan society: