By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Ever since the electoral campaigns kicked off earlier this month, the chairperson electoral commission Justice Simon Byabakama has since been accused of being coward and incompetent by key opposition figures over his silence amidst the death of countless Ugandans due to police’s ‘unprofessional’ policing against opposition candidates whom he has authority over during the electoral period.
This evening, puzzled Byabakama finally issued a statement addressed to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola asking him to ‘talk’ to his officers and men in uniform have lawful enforcements over opposition candidates, reminding him that they [presidential candidates] have a right to move and access the designated venues for campaigns without police’s unnecessary interruptions.
“Presidential candidates have a right to move and access the designated venues for as long as they comply with the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Electoral Commission that limits to 200, the number of people to attend a political meeting,” Byabakama tells Ochola in a statement.
Read Full Statement Below;
“Re: Alleged Blocking and Disrupting Scheduled Candidates’ Campaign Meetings
The Electoral Commission has received complaints from some Presidential Candidates and also seen press reports alleging that Uganda Police is blocking and/or disrupting them (candidates) from accessing scheduled venues for purposes of conducting their respective campaign meetings.
This has resulted in unnecessary confrontations, with physical clashes involving security officials and the candidates and their supporters, which has portrayed the conduct of this activity in a negative way.
As you are aware, after the nomination exercise, Presidential Candidates harmonised their respective campaign programmes covering the entire country for the duration of the gazetted campaign period.
The Commission has provided a copy of this programme, including changes as they are officially made, to all stakeholders including the Uganda Police Force.
Please note that conducting campaigns as per the harmonized programme is a recognized activity under the Presidential Elections Act and the Roadmap for the 2021 General Elections. In that regard, Presidential Candidates have a right to move and access the designated campaign venues, and hold their campaign meetings, in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines as issued by the Electoral Commission.
Uganda Police is required to ensure that this electoral activity takes place in a peaceful manner and in accordance with the law and guidelines. This is, therefore, to urge you to facilitate the smooth actualization of this electoral activity, and ensure that there is no disruption and/or such blocking of the harmonized campaign programme.
Thank you for your co-operation. For God and My Country, Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon”