Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buganda Kingdom has tasked the Electoral Commission to organize a ‘visibly free and fair election’ so that the results can in turn be accepted by the general public.
Charles Peter Mayiga, the Katikkiro (Prime Minister) of Buganda made the demand during his address to journalists at Bulange-Mengo about Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
“We call upon the Electoral Commission to conduct visibly free and fair elections,” said Mayiga.
“When the elections are held in a free and fair manner, the public accepts the outcome. Free and fair elections is not a matter of rhetoric, it must be visibly free and fair.”
Mayiga emphasized the need for all voters to turn up and exercise their right despite the violence witnessed during the political processes leading to the election.
“Many people have been killed like never before in an election in Uganda. Many people are held in jails, other people are in hospitals, others are nursing wounds but despite all that, we need to vote,” he told the press.
” If the person you vote president of Uganda doesn’t go through, at least the one you vote for area Member of Parliament will go through. Just because we have witnessed violence, it shouldn’t stop us from exercising our right to choose leaders.”
The Katikkiro said that voting materials should be delivered to polling stations on time, candidates allowed to have agents at every polling station, tallying done in the open and declared to the world to know.
He said that such transparency will not spark any form of violence since every party will be contented by the outcome.
“Avoid malpractices and acts of violence, because Uganda will outlive all of us,” he said.
The Katikkiro said democracy is a process that goes through pitfalls and that countries learn through experience and hopeful mistakes committed today are corrected.
Mayiga also called upon security agencies to be professional as they carry out their duty of enforcing law and order. He said that it is not physical assault, force and anguish that will ensure law and order.
He also noted that journalists should be allowed the freedom to perform their duty during the election process and after gather and relay information to the public. “We have witnessed the harassment of the press during this electoral process and it is extremely dangerous when members of the fourth estate are hindered from carrying out their duty, if someone doesn’t want a particular incident to be relayed to the public, then that person shouldn’t do it,” Mayiga said.
Mayiga says that the press should not be hindered from accessing polling stations, events or political activities because the country is entitled to the information about what is going on.
Since the political campaigns kicked off on 9th November 2020, Buganda Kingdom has met major political actors including the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party, the National Unity Platform – NUP, the Forum for Democratic Change –FDC, Democratic Party and independent presidential candidate Joseph Kabuleta.
Mayiga rallied the Kingdom subjects to look out for those candidates willing to stand up and fight for the key aspirations of Buganda. These are the sanctity of the kingdom’s heritage, a federal system of government, land rights and the borders of the kingdom, economic and social wellbeing of the people of Buganda and unity.