Kampala, Uganda | URN | The leader of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Maj. Gen (Rtd) Gregory Mugisha Muntu has said that a move by the Electoral Commission (EC) to ban physical campaigns tantamount to snatching the right of Ugandans to make informed decisions.
Gen Muntu told this publication in an interview that although the approach was fronted as ideal for controlling the spread of coronavirus disease, the government has already exposed its lack of readiness to follow and implement related health guidelines.
His comments were in response to a revised roadmap that was outed by the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi on June 16, in preparation for the 2021 general elections. Ugandans will be voting for a President, Members of Parliament and local government leaders.
But according to Byabakama, it is risky to run crowded campaigns at a time when the world is facing paralysis occasioned by the coronavirus disease. As a result, he advised political contenders to utilize virtual collaboration platforms to interface with their constituents.
Gen Muntu says his party, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) is engaging the commission and scientists to review the position. Gen Muntu noted that because millions of Ugandans cannot afford the cost of virtual engagements, campaigns it is crucial that scientists offer alternative measures that neither damage the country’s politics nor the lives of Ugandans.
Gen Muntu cited crowds in Kikuubo Business Community where people operate an equivalent of a daily open rally amidst all restrictions. He says that the developments in Kikuubo show that it is possible to have political rallies with guidelines of managing crowds to control the spread of coronavirus disease.
Gen Muntu however advised political opponents against boycotting the general elections. He says the only time they would take a boycott as an option is when they have built enough structures to mobilize the population to a level where they can paralyse an election.