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Archbishop Kazimba calls for peaceful campaigns

Archbishop Kazimba has called on people to be peaceful in the electoral period. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu has asked all leaders and citizens to embrace peaceful campaigns.

Kaziimba says that the country can do better than the violence so far exhibited and that Ugandans deserve better.

He was on Thursday addressing journalists at Namirembe ahead of the first-ever Archbishop’s Leadership Summit that is scheduled to bring together 50 leaders from each of the Church of Uganda 37 dioceses to reflect on the leadership challenges during the season of Covid-19 pandemic. The virtual summit is scheduled for Monday 7th December.

“This summit is primarily focused on leadership within the church; it will not specifically address our current political climate or electoral issues. We do believe however that as we become more responsive leaders in the church, we will also become more responsive leaders in our communities and our country,” said Kaziimba in part.

But the Archbishop said that campaigns and election violence has often been a sad part of Uganda’s past and that there is need for everybody to remember that the season is unusual hence a need to embrace peace.

Under their umbrella the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), religious leaders have previously engaged the Electoral Commission to ensure a non-violent campaign, equal opportunity for all candidates as well as free and fair elections.

“It’s only fair that they have also asked us, Ugandan citizens to obey the laws and respect the public health standard operating procedures (SOPs) to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

The Archbishop noted that all religious leaders are going to continue to meet other leaders and stakeholders in the country in order to promote non-violence and a peaceful campaign and election season.

Since the campaigns kicked off on November 9th, opposition candidates and their supporters have had confrontations with security personnel who have dispersed the rallies using live bullets and teargas to enforce the COVID-19 standard operating procedures- SOPs.

Police have repeatedly blocked opposition presidential candidates especially National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Patrick Amuriat Oboi and independent candidate Henry Tumukunde from accessing their campaign venues.

On Wednesday, Kyagulanyi halted his campaigns to interface with the Electoral Commission leadership following skirmishes in Kayunga district where his police guard was injured by an explosive fired from a police truck.

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