Uganda's electoral machinery returned to operation after 18 years on Wednesday (10 December), with the country's five million voters hoping for a government that would restore peace and prosperity to their troubled nation.
SV EXT MONO FILE MAY 1962: Doctor Milton Obote posing as newly elected Prime Minister of Uganda with cabinet members (6 shots).
GV & SV FILE JANUARY 1971: Cheering crowd watches monument to Dr. Obote torn down (3 shots).
SV INT COLOUR FILE: 18 JANUARY 1979: Dr. Obote calling for rebellion in Uganda from exile in Tanzania.
GV & SCU EXT FILE 27 MAY 1980: Plane carrying Dr. Obote from exile taxiing past tribal dancers at Mbarara Airport (2 shots).
SV Dr. Obote with wife Maria walks down aircraft steps, kneels to kiss ground, before shaking hands and embracing welcoming party.
GV & SV INT FILE 4 NOVEMBER 1980: Dr. Obote being congratulate on winning re-election as President of Uganda Peoples' Congress, acknowledging applause and speaking in English (2 shots).
GV INT SHOT: 8 DECEMBER 1980: People in Kampala gathered around to read newspaper headlines.
CU "The Economy" newspaper predicting Democratic Party win in headline.
CU The "Uganda Times" predicting UPC win in headline.
GV & CU Crowd at election rally applauding Democratic Party candidate Paul Semogerere (3 shots).
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: OBOTE: "I call for a Uganda-wide rebellion. Amin has turned the gun, bought out of the sweat and toil of the people of Uganda, against those same people. He has turned the pearl of Africa into a human slaughterhouse. Terror, more than anything else, has sustained him and his regime throughout the past eight years. Consequently, there have been many attempts by Ugandans to rid themselves of this scourge of terror. Now is the time for Ugandans to close ranks and co-ordinate their efforts to overthrow the regime of death."
OBOTE: "We have re-kindled the flame of freedom in Uganda. We have overcome nine-and-a-half years of ruthless, consistent and odious acts to destroy the congress of the people. We now therefore meet to map out the road ahead and to construct that road."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Uganda's electoral machinery returned to operation after 18 years on Wednesday (10 December), with the country's five million voters hoping for a government that would restore peace and prosperity to their troubled nation. Radio Uganda reported a good turn out in the 126 constituencies and long lines of up to 2,000 people formed at polling stations in the Kampala area. Several parties are contesting the elections, but the leading campaigners are the Democratic Party led by Paul Semogerere and the Uganda Peoples' Congress (UPC) led by former Prime Minister Dr. Milton Obote.
SYNOPSIS: A Jubilant 38-year-old, Dr. Obote was first elected Prime Minister in 1962. He and his cabinet had great plans for African unity which culminated in the East-African Co-operation treaty signed in 1967 between Uganda. Tanzania and Kenya. But the picture soon changed.
Four years later disillusioned crowds cheered the destruction of his monument. General Idi Amin had overthrown Dr. Obote and introduced a reign of terror.
In 1980, a year after Dr. Obote's call to overthrow General Amin, a Tanzanian Air Force aircraft brought him back from exile in Dar es Salaam. With the help of Tanzanian troops General Amin and his supporters had been thrown out of the country in a bloody war. Dr. Obote was back, visibly delighted and once again found support from his countrymen.
In November, Dr. Obote was unanimously re-elected leader of the UPC and nominated the party's presidential candidate. For Dr. Obote the wheel was about to come full circle.
Dr. Obote fought a hard, well-organised election campaign. But on the eve of polling opinion was divided over the likely result.
Dr. Obote's strongest challenge comes from Democratic Party leader Paul Semogerere, who draws his support from the majority Baganda tribe. But the UPC goes to the polls with 17 secures uncontested seats, which might swing an otherwise close election in Dr. Obote's favour.