Religious leaders through their umbrella organization,
the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) have urged the Electoral Commission
to increase the number of people allowed to attend a political meeting.
Speaking to reporters at the Electoral Commission headquarters at Jinja Road in
Kampala, the religious leaders led by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr.
Steven Kaziimba Mugalu said that instead of a blanket restriction to only 200
people per campaign meeting, the number should be determined by the capacity of
In this, Kaziimba said clashes between the security forces will be
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The men of faith expressed dismay over the killing of
people last week following the arrest of National Unity Platform - NUP presidential
candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu after he was arrested for contravening COVID-19
restrictions on meetings.
Pastor Joseph Sserwadda said it was disheartening to
see that over 50 people were killed as result of trying to enforce COVID-19
“In trying to stop people from dying from the Coronavirus, 50
people were killed. That’s confusing and we are very saddened by this. We call upon
the police to refrain from such actions. We also call upon the politicians to
be mindful of the lives of the people in order for them not to die of Covid-19,”
The religious leaders also implored the Electoral
Commission to procure media space for all presidential candidates so that they
can reach out to their supporters without resorting only to in-person
campaigns. This way, Kaziimba said, the election will be seen as free and fair
as there will be a level playing field.
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The religious leaders also called upon government agencies
to leave all candidates to access the media without impediment. There have been
cases of opposition candidates, Kyagulanyi and Patrick Amuriat Oboi, being denied
media space especially at upcountry stations on the directives of the Resident District
In response, the chairman of the Electoral Commission,
Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama promised that he will have conversation with
the relevant government agencies to see what to do with the proposals of the
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The IRCU meeting came just hours after the Electoral Commission
had written to the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola over
continued police interference in presidential candidates’ meetings.