Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango has warned presidential aspirants who are mobilizing over thousands of voters for the presidential campaigns. He strongly expressed the need for the candidates to follow and observe the EC guidelines during the electoral campaigns.
“We are getting information that some presidential aspirants are mobilizing thousands of their supporters to escort them for nominations next week. Any presidential aspirant, who makes a procession, contrary to EC guidelines of having only 10 people, will be arrested & detained,” Onyango said.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, a lot has been put at risk forcing governments to adopt new strategies and guidelines on how to combat the deadly virus. Uganda, in particular has done a lot to hold up a great fight in curbing the airborne disease including the implementation of a curfews and sops. As the country nears the election period, the Electoral Commission released a number of guidelines that would ensure the safety of both voters and aspirants.
Some of these guidelines include: the prohibition of defamatory language, campaigns are to be conducted between 7am-6pm as well as processions and public/mass rallies remain banned; and candidates allowed to hold meeting under specific standards of procedure.
Although the Ministry of Health maintains that these measures are put in place to stop the spread of Covid through person-to-person, person-to-object and object-to-person contact, a number of opposition members and citizens do not agree with the proposed regulations as they believe it is a ruse by government to hinder a fair and free election.
Elections in Uganda have always been a rather tumultuous and chaotic affair, and as the country readies itself for the inevitable, policemen in anti-riot gear can already be seen patrolling the streets and engaging various aspirants who unwittingly break the sops and guidelines. Among the candidates who have so far been cleared to stand for president include none other than: H.E Yoweri kaguta Museveni, Fred Mwesigye. Henry Tumukunde and Nancy Linda Nakalembe as others await nomination.