By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Uganda’s oldest party-in-power, National Resistance Movement (NRM), has cried out to Police to stop ‘selective enforcement’ of laws on ground of protecting president Yoweri Museveni in leadership while torturing opposition candidates which they say has made them lose support from Ugandans, by giving opposition sympathy vote.
The communication that was previously aired out by the party’s Secretary General Kasule Lumumba, has been re-echoed by the party’s Spokes Person Rogers Mulindwa.
“We ask the Uganda Police Force to disperse all rallies organised by our candidates, mobilisers and supporters because they are illegal,” Mulindwa said adding, “If the President is not attending any rallies, who are you to organize one?”
Last month, while addressing journalists, Lumumba said it makes no sense for officers to fail to enforce the set guidelines in the name of trying to please members of the ruling party and the commander in-chief Museveni.
It should be remembered that key opposition figures like Ssentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine (NUP), Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of FDC among others have been crying against dispersing their rallies by police, which has affected their smooth campaigns.
“NRM members are not above the law. They can also contract covid-19. The laws that govern politicians on public meetings also govern NRM. Any enforcement officer who thinks he is favouring NRM by not enforcing the law is not favouring us. He wants NRM people to contract Covid-19, suffer the consequences and may bring in loss of life,” Lumumba said.
She added, “You may assume you are favouring them because it is the party in leadership but you are doing a disservice. You are the number one enemy for NRM if you don’t enforce the guidelines.”
In the same vein, Mulindwa has called upon their mobilisers not to hold rallies as per directives from the Electoral Commission and guidelines from the Ministry of Health to curb Covid-19 hence permitting police to disperse the rallies without favouritism.
In his last week tweet, he explained, “When I do not stop to greet or engage with our supporters, it is not that I am a bad person. When you stop, the people will keep gathering and this is totally against our primary goal in the fight against COVID-19.”
Additionally, President Yoweri Museveni cautioned politicians against rallies warning that Covid-19 is real. He said the growing number of infections in the country had stopped him from holding public rallies.
“Current circumstances (COVID-19) do not allow me to do rallies. Although I am also campaigning, I call upon my colleagues to desist from endangering our people no matter the reason. The ones in charge should also see to it that Ugandans’ lives are protected,” Museveni said.
The development comes after the Ministry of Health lessened restrictions on the initial number of candidates who were supposed to attend the rally from 70 to 200.