Kampala Central Division Mayor Charles Sserunjoji Musoke told URN that besides the absence of temperature guns, the space inside the EC premises in Kampala is too small to accommodate the huge numbers of aspirants seeking nominations.
The Electoral Commission
has acknowledged inability to provide temperature guns at all nomination in
line with the COVID-19 preventive measures and Standard Operating Procedures
issued by the Health Ministry.
Since the commencement of EC field activities on its 2021
electoral roadmap, several media houses including URN have reported the failure
by the Commission to implement Covid-19 preventive guidelines not only among
the people they deal with but also among its field officials.
Kampala Central Division Mayor Charles Sserunjoji Musoke told URN that besides the absence of temperature
guns, the space inside the EC premises in Kampala is too small to accommodate the
huge numbers of aspirants seeking nominations.
He proposed that EC hires open spaces like fields to conduct the nomination and
hire more manpower to attend to more people within the limited time to avoid
crowding. Sserunjoji also wants the Commission to provide bigger water tanks
and adequate soap at the nomination centres because the available facilities
are inadequate to serve their intended purpose.
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In response to the issues raised, the EC Spokesperson, Paul
Bukenya confirmed that they have indeed fallen short of complying with the COVID-19
regulations. He said it is still hard for them to provide temperature guns at
the moment because the procurement process is still ongoing.
He, however, said that they have tried to adhere with other
safety guidelines such as providing water for washing hands and ensuring social
distancing. Bukenya also said they registered huge crowds as most of the
aspirants wanted to be nominated on the first day of the exercise.
He revealed that since they don’t have funds to hire bigger
space or conference halls, they have decided to start registering aspirants and
give them dates for their nomination.
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According to the SOPs issued by the Health Ministry, all public places must provide temperature guns for measuring the temperature of all people accessing the areas, handwashing facilities, ensure physical distances and wearing of face masks.
They are also required to provide an isolation room for suspected cases until they are picked up by the health ministry. Covid19 spreads through contact with the droplets of infected person or surface, which calls for routine sanitisation.