By Spy Uganda
Kampala: With only 8 days to the polling day, the Catholic Bishops in Uganda under their umbrella body, the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) have expressed their grievance towards the government’s unconstitutional acts that have since left hundreds dead in a period of 2 months as a result of deploying army into minor operations mandated to police.
“The police should always invite the military as a last resort given the latter’s limited knowledge and experience in crowd management; the military is trained for battle with high profile enemies, not crowd control,” the angry Bishops asserted.
The remarks were made yesterday during the presser where the chairman of the UEC, Rt. Rev. Joseph Anthony Zziwa, appealed to the government to know the responsibilities of each of its organs and stop mixing their roles saying that its ashaming to see the army busy controlling elections as if the electoral commission doesn’t have the mandate to make the adequate decisions in that field.
“We ask police and all other security agencies involved in the electoral process to act professionally and also respect human rights because elections don’t mean death as we saw it in the previous riots,” furious Zziwa noted.
The holy people further noted that acts that have already been brought to camera against regime challengers, put to doubt the credibility of the forthcoming general elections since the public is already in fear whereas others have critically been brutalized.
“We appeal to the Police Force and all other security agencies involved in the electoral process to dispense their mandate in a diligent manner. In particular, we recommend that: in the maintenance of law and order, the police should be seen to act impartially and refuse to be drawn into the political contestations, it must at all times be seen to account to the people, not to any political group,” Bishop Zziwa said.
In the same vein, Zziwa tasked the government to urgently address issues such as the increasing militarization of the electoral process, the suffocation of press freedom, commercialization of politics, and the likely disenfranchisement of voters.
He further warned the Electoral Commission against mismanaging the general elections adding that acts such as vote-rigging and tampering with election results would be a sin of great proportions.
“The results of an election are very crucial in the electoral process. We have already stated that the results of a mismanaged election led to the bloodbath in the past, and the scars of that violence are still with us. Instead of learning from such incidents in order to improve the management of our elections, we seem to slide back into the same problem, For the electoral process to be free and fair, it must be conducted in an atmosphere that enables every citizen entitled to vote to exercise his or her right without any form of intimidation, or coercion, or manipulation,” he added.