By Andrew Irumba
The Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze has joined a number of Ugandans opposing the postponement of the 2021 general elections.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March many Ugandans spearheaded by politicians have been proposing that the electoral commission should hault the electoral processes since this would transmit the virus which might lead to deaths.
However this has caused controversies between Voters, Electoral Commission and Legislatures, in which every one has been stranded with what innovative idea can be put in place to curb the virus and at the same time hold elections.
It’s at that point that Minister Tumwebaze has disagreed with those championing for postponement of the 2021 general elections.
“Limitation of having no rallies affect all parties, NRM inclusive. Let’s discuss these issues objectively and put aside the usual rhetoric of blame games. Even when we didn’t have the so called “scientific” elections, complaints have always come up” youthful flamboyant Frank posted on his tweeter handle yesterday.
Tumwebaze said that refusing to discuss objectively the issues and roundly call for postponement or insist on conducting the election the usual way with out minding about COVID-19, is nothing else but irresponsible politicking.
He added that new mechanisms that were previously designed by Electoral Commission has nothing to do with the forthcoming elections since even the previous elections’ rallies were always a small sample size of the wider voting population and so if candidates can all access mediums of communication and are able to meet their agents to plan then, there is no need for postponement.
“Media space is there for all contenders using public resources. We could also discuss how to conduct sizable political meetings between candidates and their selected agents to plan and execute better their canvassing plans” Frank educated.
He further requested that Ugandans should practice new technology of mass media campaigns like it is done in developed countries where politicians spend largely on media adverts due to the bigger audiences that can be covered simultaneously.
According to him the only limitation the pandemic puts on election is the issue of having no rallies. The rest of the electoral activities ( nomination, voting ) remain as usual adding that what political actors need to build consensus on soberly, is how the messages can reach the electorate.
He therefore suggested that those (opposition) who think postponement of elections is a solution, should think otherwise saying that postponing elections is not only illogical but also an escapist strategy of those whom he referred to as scape goats.
“You can only postpone if you have an idea of how long the COVID-19 pandemic will take? What if it takes 10 years, do you also postpone indefinitely?” Tumwebaze asked.