Uganda Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo

Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo has unleashed vitriol towards the US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac and the EU delegation, saying some diplomats accredited to Uganda are bent towards regime change in the country.

‘We know that some groups in the US and EU, including diplomats accredited to Uganda, funded and are still funding opposition elements in Uganda to cause governmental change outside the constitutional framework but are disappointed this hasn’t been successful as yet’ Mr Opondo said earlier today.

He added: ‘Uganda Government notes and takes strong exception to the continued unfair criticisms about the elections and human rights records by the US Ambassador Ms Deborah Malac’.

According to the government mouthpiece, the US government sponsored an election observer team under the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy (EIUSD) in Africa through the International Republican Institute (IRI), led by former Zambian President Rupiah Banda, which gave credit to the exercise.

‘I advise Amb Malac to carefully read that report. Unless she is giving it a vote of no confidence, then she is at liberty to keep referring to and relying on the partisan and very shallow EU report,’ Mr Opondo charged, adding that Ms Malac had ignored the report her government commissioned.

He further said that since publication of results none of the observer groups has come with credible evidence to challenge the results posted by Electoral Commission. ‘We therefore wish to ask them to either adduce evidence or keep their peace for good’ Mr Opondo said, adding that the envoy had failed to appreciate the hitches, including the late delivery of ballots in Kampala and Wakiso districts.

‘She does not acknowledge that late delivery of ballot materials was in only two out of the 112 districts in Uganda. These were isolated incidents and indeed time was extended and all voters who wished to vote did cast their votes and those votes were counted, tallied and added to final results’ he said.

By press time it was not possible to get comment from the US Embassy, but a source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US Embassy does not respond to such comments through the media.

There have been mixed reactions since Ugandans went to the presidential polls on February 18, with the opposition claiming the elections were rigged in favour of incumbent president Yoweri Museveni.

This was not helped by a report by the EU observer team, which rated the election standards lowly, citing a number of irregularities.

Subsequently, candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi petitioned the Supreme Court, which also ruled in favour of Mr Museveni, mostly citing ‘lack of evidence’ by the petitioner.