Pesacheck is an East-African fact checker organisation. It had already struck me that many of the fact-checks they were doing were totally irrelevant or biased towards the Museveni dictatorship.
For example, they factchecked a tweet with 40 retweets that a voter got tortured for not voting Museveni. Actually, it was a photo from Ghana. Factcheck succeeded.
However, no reference is made to the fact that disappearances and torture happen on a large scale. This has been documented by Al Jazeera. None of the real Ugandan torture stories have been factchecked by Pesacheck. An outsider is left with the impression that in general the stories about torture in Uganda are false.
On 31 March they published the following factcheck:
Obviously it’s a great idea to double check such an important statement. Let’s look at the reasoning provided by Pesacheck.
Basically Pesacheck is saying; the EC is the authority for elections, whatever they say about it is true. Well, this does not meet their own principles 2.1.
I do agree that reputation can be a part of your analysis. However, the Electoral Commission does not have a good reputation at all. Just some examples:
In 2016, the European Union observation mission stated that the EC is not sufficiently independent from the Ugandan government.
The EC chairman spoke out publicly against the National Unity Platform
National Unity Platform and FDC were not able to campaign. Complaints were dismissed.
EC has never investigated the hundreds of polling stations in 2016 and in 2021 that have a 100% voter turnout; where even dead people have voted.
On March 1st the EC published a DoR that is highly suspicious and likely the result of fraud. The EC has never given any further comment.
Interestingly, none of these five items have been the subject of any factcheck by Pesacheck, or are they mentioned anywhere in their analysis.
My conclusion is that the Pesacheck factchecks are a joke. Especially dictator Museveni is having a good laugh.
On 16 January the Electoral Commission announced the results that president Museveni has requested for. In this blogpost we will be explaining how they rigged the election.
As a scientist I request that the reader asks him or herself a number of questions.
Why would the Ugandan government shutdown the internet if it wants to organize transparent elections?
Why were voters chased away from polling stations if the government is confident they have the majority?
Why were agents from NUP & other parties chased away?
Why were agents hunted down, tortured and their copies of DORs destroyed?
Why weren’t opposition parties allowed to campaign?
Why weren’t opposition parties allowed access to radio & TV?
Why were so many journalists & election experts expelled from the country?
Why did the military & police had to intimidate their own people on a day that is supposed to be the celebration of democracy?
Why weren’t observers from European Union not invited like in 2016?
Why is Electoral Commission announcing the president to be the winner without providing a breakdown of how they got to that result?
There are many, many more questions to ask yourself, but a very important one is:
Which country in the world has voted for 35 years for the same person to be president, given that the country is one of the poorest of Africa?
Starting with the last question; there is simply no democratic country in the world that voted for 35 years for the same president, even if it’s a rich country. According to Freedom House, an organisation that rates countries across the globe for amount of Freedom, Uganda scores 34/100; it is qualified as “Not free”.
Another fundamental question:
Why is Ugandan government organising elections at all?
Uganda doesn’t organise elections because Museveni believes in democratic elections. Museveni came to power through a war after he had lost elections. The book “How to rig an election” by Nic Cheeseman explains a lot of reasons why dictatorships organise elections. One is justification. Using elections they can justify their power.
When you are popular, then having elections does not cause any problems. But Museveni has lost a lot of support of Ugandans in recent years. And with the rise of Bobi Wine they found a favorite candidate of their own generation. Talking to Ugandans it was clear to me that Kyagulanyi had a lot of support; I rarely encountered a Museveni supporter. But as a scientist I know the danger of bias… [still typing]