Uganda Human Rights Commission, the country’s human rights watchdog, has said that apart from the delay in distribution of electoral materials in various parts of the country and other minor occurrences, the just concluded presidential and parliamentary election exercise was peaceful.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, Mr. Katabalirwe Amooti, the Acting Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) said that they dispatched a team of election observers to various parts of the country so as to establish facts and present a clear report on the whole exercise.
“The Commission has concluded that on the whole, the presidential and parliamentary elections exercise was carried out peacefully and this enabled a fair voting process,” Katabalirwe said.
He noted that the Commission made this conclusion from the reports they received from the media, contacts as well as both local and international observers who participated in the polling supervision exercises across the various regions of the country.
He noted that although this was successfully done, there are some incidents which happened out of their expectation as far as voting and democracy is concerned.
“Other than the disconnection of internet which to hindered communication, it also greatly affected people’s livelihoods as well as banks, Mobile Money services, online schooling among others,” he said.
He, however, noted that government, through its senior officials, gave substantial reasons for suspending the internet and these were based on the need to prevent violence as tipped by intelligence reports.
“It was in line with Article 41 and 43 of the constitution of Republic of Uganda which provides for general limitation on fundamental rights and freedoms. Article 41 specifically stipulates that every citizen has a right to access information in possession of the state except where the release of information is likely to prejudice security or sovereignty of the state or interfere with right to privacy of any other person,” Katabalirwe said.
The Commission also noted that there was late delivery of electoral equipment to some polling stations in Gulu, Kampala, Mpigi, Gulu, Mbarara and Mbale which disrupted the projected order of the voting exercise.