Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The conflict between the Electoral Commission, security agencies and Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu, the presidential candidate of the National Unity Platform -NUP will not be ending soon as he vowed to continue with his normal campaigning.
Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting the Electoral Commission chairperson in Kampala today, Kyagulanyi said rallies are the only means through which he is capable of speaking to his supporters. Kyagulanyi said the security have blocked him from accessing several media houses across the country on which he would have talked about his candidacy. He said this leaves him with no option but to hold mass rallies.
Last week, Kyagulanyi was summoned by the Electoral Commission to answer to charges of holding mass gatherings against the directives of the commission and the ministry of health. The standard operating procedures limit to only 200 the number of people who can attend a political meeting. However, Kyagulanyi and other presidential candidates including of the National Resistance Movement-NRM’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have on different occasions held rallies with more people than those recommended.
In reacting to Kyagulanyi’s vow not to honor the directive, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission said he [Kyagulanyi] is not above the law. He said the commission will be forced to take action against him if he continues to defy its directives.
Byabakama read a letter written to him by the director general of health services at the ministry of health, Dr. Henry Mwebesa telling him to take action against politicians who continue to flout guidelines hence putting the lives of the people in jeopardy.
The letter said that in only three days last week, the ministry registered more than 2000 Covid-19 cases. It added that if the trend continues like this, the situation is likely to get out of hand. When asked whether he’s worried that his actions are putting the lives of the people at risk, Kyagulanyi said everywhere he goes, his first message is to remind the people about the existence of Covid-19. However, he claimed that Museveni’s ‘dictatorship’ outstrips the dangers that Covid-19 poses to Ugandans.
Tomorrow, the commission is expected to meet Forum for Democratic Change candidate, Patrick Amuriat Oboi who is also accused of the same crime as Kyagulanyi – holding rallies.