The Electoral Commission has condemned the blocking of opposition candidates by the Uganda Police during their campaign programmes.
In a letter to the Inspector General of Police referenced, “The alleged blocking and/or disrupting scheduled candidates’ campaign meetings”, the Chairperson for the Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakama, wrote indicating that the Uganda Police Force has been availed a copy of the presidential campaign programme including the changes made.
“As you are aware, after the nomination exercise, Presidential candidates harmonized their respective campaign programmes covering the entire country for the duration of the gazzetted 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,” a segment of the letter read.
The letter also revealed that Presidential candidates have the right to move and access the designated campaign venues, and hold campaign meetings, in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines as issued by the Electoral Commission.
The commission urges the Police to facilitate smooth actualization of the electoral process and refrain from disrupting and blocking the harmonized campaign programme.
The letter comes after several opposition candidates criticized the Electoral Commission for being silent about the physical confrontations between their supporters and the police.
This morning, while speaking to the media from Hoima district where he slept, Presidential candidate for the National Unity Platform (NUP), Robert Kyagulanyi revealed his frustrations about Justice Simon Byabakama’s silence about his ill-treatment.
“The schedule that I have was confirmed by the Electoral Commission and it was harmonized with all other candidates. I still don’t understand why Mr. Byabakama is silent. I still don’t understand why all this is happening and the Electoral Commission is silent. The police is acting with impunity, and I don’t understand why Mr. Byabakama is silent,” Kyagulanyi said.
When asked whether his party has notified the Electoral Commission officially about their disgruntlements, Kyagulanyi had this to say.
“Well, we have written two protest letters to the Electoral Commission. The few times I have spoken to Byabakama personally on phone, he has said that he does not watch the news, he’s not on social media, he does not know what is happening. Actually, he told me that he was not aware that I was arrested on the day of my nomination.” Bobi Wine said.