Yesterday, the EC chairperson Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon suspended campaigns in 20 districts including; Jinja, Jinja City, Kabale, Kalungu, Masaka, Masaka City, Tororo, Kampala, Luwero, Wakiso, Mukono, Buikwe, Buvuma, Kayunga, Mbarara, Mbarara City, Kabalore, Fort Portal City, Kasese and Kazo.
The ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] is
unhappy with the decision by the Electoral Commission [EC] suspending political
campaigns in 20 districts as a result of the continued rise in cases of
Speaking at the NRM Secretariat this morning, Justine Kasule Lumumba, the
NRM Secretary-General said that the decision badly affects their campaign schedule
seeing that their presidential candidate, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni
was meant to campaign in Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala districts between Monday
and Wednesday this week.
On Saturday, EC chairperson Justice Byabakama
Mugenyi Simon suspended campaigns in 20 districts including; Jinja, Jinja City,
Kabale, Kalungu, Masaka, Masaka City, Tororo, Kampala, Luwero, Wakiso, Mukono,
Buikwe, Buvuma, Kayunga, Mbarara, Mbarara City, Kabalore, Fort Portal City,
Kasese and Kazo.
“All candidates’ meeting are hereby suspended until further
notice and candidates are advised to restrict
themselves to virtual campaigns-radios, televisions, social media…These
measures are necessitated by the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country
and the need to preserve the health of the citizens vis-a-vis their constitutional
and democratic right to elect leaders of their choice…” Byabakama’s press statement
suspending the campaigns read in part.
Lumumba wondered if Covid-19 is such a big threat in
those districts, where not declare a lockdown on those areas.
//Cue in…bwemuba nga mu
Cue out…kiba kitegeezaaki?
However, Lumumba denied accusations that the EC was
doing NRM’s bidding by suspending campaigns in areas such as Masaka, Kampala
and Wakiso among others where the opposition seems to be having an upper hand.
Lumumba said contrary to what is being said, NRM and President Museveni were
the biggest victims because opposition presidential candidates like Mugisha
Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation and Patrick Amuriat Oboi of
the Forum for Democratic Change had already campaigned in some of the districts
where the campaigns have been suspended.
//Cue in: "This is meant
Cue out…use the media,//
Lumumba called upon the Electoral Commission to
convene a meeting of candidates to decide on the way forward now that campaigns
have been suspended. She said the Electoral Commission should ensure that candidates
get a way of reaching out to their supporters by for example paying for the
air time on the media.
Ugandans will go to the polls to vote for the president
and members of parliament on January 14. Campaigns are expected to end on January
12th. Ten candidates were nominated to challenge President Museveni’s 35-year long
hold onto power.