It was this morning between 10-11 am East African time, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) TV had a live coverage of candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (not sure of the order yet as it usually changes every election to serve whatever interests I got no clue about) as he was being endorsed by the Electoral Commission to stand for the 2011 Presidential elections.
Museveni is the flag bearer for the National Resistance Movement which he has been for the last 24 years.
I watched his first interview after his endorsement on the national broadcaster. The Presenter, Jane Kasumba.
The questions (some paraphrased):
1- How do you feel about this momentous day?
2- Uganda’s economy grew at … percent last year, what to do you hope for in future?
3- What do you think of the Multiparty dispensation?
4- Do you think the Electoral Commission will do much better than in the past?
5- NRM primaries were marred with irregularities and out of that came out people who will stand as independents. What do you think?
6- Next months will be hectic viewers want to know how you will relax.
I know that its UBC and for the last election a media coverage review showed it way favored the incumbent but they can do better than this.
For a man who has led the country for the last 24 years, he’s been nominated three times before; do you still think his nomination is momentous?
And then you get to ask a presidential candidate what he hopes for our economy? Just hope? Couldn’t there be any question on what exactly he’s vision or lack of thereof is different sectors?
This general question gave Candidate Museveni a leeway to talk to a presenter that we want to get jobs for the Kasumbas. Also the president went ahead to call the presenter whom I believe was never born in the 80s, an NRM child.
Then finally Museveni went on the say once Bujagali and other dams are finished we will have double digit economic growth.
What a question about multiparty system for man whom for over a decade claimed all Ugandans belonged to the same political school of thought- the National Resistance Movement- even when he had opposition.
What would he say about multipartyism. Perhaps a question related to parties was relevant but not surely what the president thinks of Multipartyism.
On his NRM party sham of elections, the TV presenter choose to concern herself with people standing as independents rather than seek for an explanation for such massive rigging and bribery and whether the party will not bring this to the general elections.
And the explanation the president gave for the independents was that they can go back and recount the votes in their constituency and that the mess was because NRM is not as rich as the Electoral Commission.
I do understand that in the midst of political questions one is somehow supposed to bring a lighter question to the candidate but the question about viewers being concerned if he will have time to rest was the weakest.
I didn’t watch more to see if other candidates will be given the same live coverage and interview on the state broadcaster but this is how we begin the 2011 election campaigns. And candidate Museveni recieved two cars, Ushs 20 million and four body guards for his campaigns.