President Yoweri Museveni on Friday assured the country that the 2021 general elections will be conducted peacefully.
“Our elections will be peaceful; NOBODY is going to disrupt us. I have heard people here playing games with foreigners backing them,” the president tweeted Friday evening.
“Well, I wish them luck BUT I can assure you, we shall NOT tolerate violence, we shall have peaceful elections.”
The president’s tweet was published amidst a briefing by chiefs from all security agencies who also promised that they are ready to fend off all types of lawbreakers.
“Lawlessness and hooliganism under the guise of political activity as the country has witnessed on a number of occasions shall not be accepted and shall be dealt with firmly and decisively,” IGP Okoth Ochola said in a joint statement.
The security chiefs also outlined some challenges they have encountered in the enforcement of the EC guidelines and Covid-19 rules.
- Deliberate and consistent non-compliance and lack of adherence to EC guidelines and the law by some Politicians.
- Deliberate acts of provocation, obstruction and attacks on law enforcement officers.
- Deliberate departure from routes and venues that have been agreed upon with the candidate’s district’s agents.
- Rampant hooliganism and riotous behavior.
- Disobedience of lawful orders and failure to responsibly lead and guide supporters by some political actors on the proper behavior required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Assault and violent conduct towards security personnel in the line of lawful duty.
- Total disregard for life and public safety. Incitement to violence, hate speech and promotion of sectarianism, fake news are being orchestrated through social media.
- These, in addition to blackmail, threats and cyber bullying of officers and their families in an attempt to discourage them from carrying out their assignments.
- Stakeholders like the Press are failing in their public responsibility to educate and provide awareness about the EC Guidelines and COVID-19 Rules. This has led to a spike in infection rates and deaths from COVID-19.
In addition, there is failure by the Press to consistently point out these breaches of public health laws instead of glorifying the breaches as an exercise of freedom of assembly.
These freedoms are not absolute and should not be exercised in a manner that prejudices the rights and freedoms of others.
- Lack of a unified approach and consistency in emphasizing the seriousness of following the EC Guidelines and COVID-19 Rules by a cross-section of all national stakeholders leaving law enforcement alone to handle the consequences of these breaches.
Uganda will go to the polls on January 14 to choose a president and representatives in parliament.