By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen Paul Lokech has cautioned Ugandans not to stay at polling stations after casting their votes saying it’s dangerous and it could further increase the spread of Covid-19.
Gen Lokech made the remarks during a presser at Police Headquarters in Kampala on Friday noting that the police will be simply enforcing the Electoral commission’s guidelines.
“The Electoral Commission (EC) has given us guidelines that we should not accept mass gatherings around the polling centers and on this we want to put it very clear to everybody that you need to vote and go home. We have guidelines on how we will handle the polling agents representing each party but any act of hooliganism of remaining at the polling station will always not be acceptable,” he said.
Gen. Lokech also noted that Police and other sister security organs are ready to maintain law and order ahead of Thursday polls adding that those planning to cause violence should think twice before getting involved.
However, some presidential candidates such as National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Patrick Amuriat, and Gen Henry Tumukunde have already vowed to violate EC orders on polling day saying it’s one of the new tactics the Commission and President Yoweri Museveni are planning to use to rig elections inclusive of stopping people from carrying cameras, taking photos, recording videos among others.
“Mr Byabakama, the chairman of the EC is telling people to cast their ballots and go away, there is no law that you will be breaking when you stay and guard your vote, this is one historical day that we have as a people of Uganda, it is not criminal at all to guard your vote, if we all want transparency, he should not intimidate you,” Bobi Wine said.
“Get to the polling station as early as 6 am watch, make sure the boxes are open for everybody to see, make sure they are sealed and watch through all the electoral process to ensure we have a credible, transparent, free, and fair election,” Bobi Wine said.
According to the EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama, the tendency of voters to remain behind at their respective polling stations is impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic and could violate the Standard Operating Procedures as put in place by the Ministry of health.