under the Interparty Organization for Dialogue-IPOD have asked the Electoral
Commission-EC to engage various political players to harmonise the revised
electoral roadmap as the country battles COVID 19. The matter came up
during a discussion between the parties and EC held at Sheraton Hotel in
Kampala under the theme "Delivering Safe and Credible Elections amidst
COVID 19 in Uganda".
Recently, EC released a revised road-map having lost
three month of the earlier roadmap due to the Covid19 lockdown. However, the
Commission scrapped public campaigns in the revised roadmap, saying they
attract crowds, which may fuel the spread of COVID 19.
The EC advised candidates to resort to virtual
campaigns to reach out to their voters triggering a heated public debate. EC Chairperson, Justice
Simon Byabakama said the commission would issue guidelines on how the
road-map would be implemented.
Jimmy Akena, the president of Uganda Peoples' Congress,
says the Electoral Commission should engage different agencies of government
and harmonies guidelines on how the road-map will be implemented.
says the Commission needs to engage the Ministry of Health and security agencies
to avoid colliding with politicians as they conduct business.
//Cue in; "Am also requesting...
Cue out...activities being disrupted"//
Norbert Mao, the President General of the Democratic Party who has asked
parliament to discuss the possibility of postponing the election, says the
country cannot treat the election as a do or die affair. He invited the
commission to dialogue with different political players on how to proceed.
//Cue in; "I want to...
Cue out...life in doing"//
National Resistance Movement-NRM party, Secretary-General, Justine Lumumba who
says the election shouldn’t be postponed asked the Commission to devise ways to
ensure that people in different areas like those at the border access information
Some areas at the border listen to radios from neighbouring countries. Lumumba says the country
cannot count on candidates going to radio stations in neighbouring countries to
reach out to people inside Uganda’s border areas.
//Cue in; "Because we are...
Cue out...strain on us."//
Mugisha Muntu, the Presidential candidate of the Alliance for National
Transform asked the Ministry of Health through the Commission to conduct a
study in busy areas like taxi parks and Kikuubo so as to inform on the impact
of crowds amidst COVID 19. Muntu says that the large numbers in such areas are like a daily rally and that
their existence beats the logic behind banning rallies.
//Cue in; "So if you...
Cue out...a short period."//
Justice Simon Byabakama said the Commission is open to suggestions and will
continue engaging with different stakeholders and consider their suggestions. He says they are also
thinking about how else campaigns can be conducted outside media outlets.
//Cue in; "One of the...
Cue out...for the commission."//
Frank Rusa, the Country Representative of the Netherlands Institute of
Multiparty Democracy says it is fortunate that political heads are willing to
dialogue on the issues of the roadmap so as to harmonize it.