Kampala, Uganda | URN | Security chiefs have warned people planning to riot or protest during or after next Thursday’s 14th January 2021 Presidential and Parliamentary elections that they will taste the full wrath of their forces.
Led by Minister of Defence Adolf Mwesige, Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo, IGP Martin Ochola, Deputy commander Land Forces Lt Gen Sam Kavuma, Deputy IGP Maj Gen Paul Lokech and Commissioner General of Prisons Dr Johnson Byabasaijja, public was urged not to dare engage in any unlawful protest.
Ochola said they have been planning to secure the elections for two years and those attempting to riot should be prepared for the consequences. Ochola said rioters will regret ‘why their mothers gave birth to them.’
“I would like to assure the whole country that whoever causes trouble will regret why his or her mother gave birth to him or her,”IGP Martin Okoth Ochola warned.
He defended the police against accusations of harassing the media.
“The police are not targeting the media. It is the media targeting the police by portraying it as brutal and siding with the government,” he said.
“We’ve been beating journalists to restrain them from going where there’s danger. Police at times beat journalists to help them…for their own safety. When a police officer tells you to stop, you must stop for your own safety. I won’t apologise for police actions.”
Defence Minister Mwesige called upon the public and politicians they are supporting to wait for the Electoral Commission results as opposed to declaring themselves winners.
Mwesige warned those who will take to the streets against the will of the people as will be declared by EC, that UPDF and police are more than prepared to handled any situation.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, according to Mwesige, has been following all the Standard Operating Procedures intended to control Covid-19 thus urging public to emulate him during and after elections.
Mwesige also rallied the public to turn up and vote in large numbers but in observance of Covid-19 and electoral process procedures.
Gen Odongo asked the public to remember that they have entered 2021 with Covid-19 pandemic and therefore they should protect themselves by following SOPs.
Gen Odongo said in the course of campaigns quite a number of candidates have acted and made statements that tantamount to threatening peace.
Citizens, according to Gen Odongo, are scared of what will befall after next week’s elections. However, Gen Odongo like IGP Ochola and Mwesige assured the public that elections period during and after will be peaceful.
“We shall not accept any disorder or chaos in the country. Nobody will shake our resolve. We are a very resilient force with an agile team that can adjust and adapt to any threats,” said Maj Gen Paul Loketch, the Deputy IGP.
“There should not be mass assemblies around polling centres according to the EC. You need to vote and go home. Any act of hooliganism around the polling stations will be dealt with.”
Prisons said they are ready to keep all offenders.
“There’s always an upsurge of the prison population, especially after the elections. I can assure you that we can accommodate whatever number of people are or will be thrown at us,” said Dr Johnson Byabashaija.