By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: The City Lord Mayor His Worship Ssalongo Erias Lukwago in his right as the Kampala political head, legal pundit and concerned citizen through his lawyer Ssekanjako Abubakar has today’s mid-morning filed a case challenging the obnoxious orders on campaigns in Kampala and some other districts by Justice Simon Byabakama, the Electoral Commission Chairperson.
In his application, Lukwago argues that the decision to indefinitely suspend campaigns was illegal, irrational and ultra vires and it constitutes an egregious affront of the right to associate, assemble and interface with the electorate and the entire citizenry which is the cornerstone of a free and fair election.
“The Electoral Commission’s decision isn’t backed by any law and whereas we appreciate that Covid-19 is here, the SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health can be adhered to so that the candidates aren’t deprived of their right to disseminate political agenda which constitutes an essential element of the social contract between them and the electorate,” Lukwago noted.
The Lord Mayor, therefore, wants Court to quash the decision by the E.C Chairperson and accordingly issue an injunctive order restraining, stopping and preventing campaign meetings in Kampala.
It’s worth noting that Electoral Commission (EC) last week suspended campaign meetings in Kampala and 10 other districts and cities in the country citing the escalating Covid-19 infections and continuous violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by some political candidates.
The EC spokesperson, Paul Bukenya revealed that campaign meetings in the 11 districts which are considered by the Ministry of health to be registering high spread of the virus would face suspension from December 26, 2020, until further notice.
Meanwhile, EC’s decision has faced a lot of criticism from political candidates most especial those on opposition side saying all are meant to favour incumbent President Museveni who has covered most of the suspended districts whereas, others are said to be opposition support hotspots with less interest of Museveni campaigning in them.
The districts on suspension include Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala and Tororo.