Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has said either the Electoral Commission organizes a normal election as commanded by the constitution and other electoral laws or abandons the plan for holding elections in 2021.
Kyagulanyi told Journalists in Kampala that they were taken aback by the proposal to outlaw open-air campaigns due to fear of spreading the novel coronavirus. The commission unveiled a new roadmap last week advising persons vying for political offices to use media platforms to get to their electorate.
This, Kyagulanyi said is unacceptable to him and the group he leads. He described it as another ploy by President Yoweri Museveni to extend beyond 35 years his tenure as president of Uganda. He said after the attack on parliament in 2017 in a bid to push through the bill scrapping presidential term limits, he thought he had seen worst that president Museveni can go to, to stay in power.
“As we speak now, most urban places are filled with people; no social distancing, no nothing and if you want to prove the words I’m saying, go to Kikuubo or Nateete or any other urban centre that you can reach fast,” Kyagulanyi said. He added that no Ugandan should be fooled into believing that Museveni is doing this for their safety.
EC Chairman Simon Byabakama said earlier that they met President Museveni to pitch the need for a new office for the Electoral Commission head office. The commission has until July to vacate the current premises on Jinja Road and pave way for the construction of the Jinja Expressway. He, however, added that they are under no obligation to consult anybody before they design their electoral roadmap.
Byabakama also wondered the type of politicians Uganda has who don’t value the lives of their people and want to take them in an election that might compromise their health. But Kyagulanyi wondered how the people of Malawi, Burundi and United States of America, which is more affected by the pandemic are having elections. “
“There was no coronavirus when our consultation meetings were stopped. There was no coronavirus when Museveni personally stopped all our shows, so, we must all know that what Museveni fears are the people,” Kyagulanyi said. He said that the authorities are hiding under COVID-19 just as they were hiding under the Public Order Management Act, to stop opposition groups from reaching the people.
“He doesn’t want us to reach the people. There is nothing like a scientific election for us what we are going for is a real election.”
He repeated his pledge that come rain, come shine, he will be taking on president Museveni in an election expected in six months. “You either organize a free and fair election of step down peacefully but if you continue provoking Ugandans, Ugandans will rise up against you and you will end up in the dustbin of history,” Kyagulanyi said.