Fearing violence, Ugandans flee Kampala ahead of tense vote



Fearing bloodshed, some Ugandans are leaving the capital Kampala to vote in the home regions in the tense presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14.

“According to the past elections we’ve always had chaos within Kampala, around Kampala. And I think this time it will be a lot of pressure that we have right now. There might be a lot of violence,” said Charles Abigaba, an accountant who was heading on the bus out of Kampala.

Campaigning has been marred by violence.

In November, the arrest of opposition candidate Bobi Wine at a rally sparked protests, which led to deadly clashes with security forces, killing more than 50 people.

“Since this campaign has been (on) everyone is worried. Everyone is worried,” said driver Andrew Kiiza.

The vote will pit President Yoweri Museveni, who had been in power since 1986, against Wine, who is the opposition frontrunner.

Wine, 38, has urged supporters to turn out in large numbers and to “protect” the election from rigging, accusing the ruling party of trying to intimidate voters.

“Before we go to the election we already know there is rigging, vote-rigging,” said Abigaba

“We all know that and this time around, we hope there might be a change. We hope,” he said.