Kampala – 4 November 2020: There is need to ensure peaceful environment by all stakeholders throughout the campaigns and elections amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
The above is part of the statement issued by Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) party Wednesday morning during its weekly presser.
On Monday and Tuesday this week, electoral commission (EC) headed by Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi duly nominated eleven candidates for president in the next elections.
Among those nominated were incumbent president, Yoweri T. Museveni Kaguta of NRM party, with Nancy Kalembe, the only female candidate.
“The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has finally finished the nomination processes of various candidates at all levels that was concluded by nomination of Presidential Candidates on November 3, 2020. These are totally new form of nominations, campaigns and polling due to Covid-1919 pandemic and its related restrictions under Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by Ministry of Health which is taking Uganda into the first ever scientific elections. The country is yet to adapt with such kind of situation, and we hope, for the best, at least!,” Mr Muzey Faizo, head of media and communications, said.
He added that “the Independent Electoral Commission has guided that elections will be held scientifically as we have observed during the nomination processes. UPC calls upon candidates at all levels of elective positions across the political divide to cooperate with all stakeholders as they deliver their message to the electorates during campaigns, so that we cannot put the lives of our people we want to represent, at risk.”
In his message to UPC flag bearers, he asked them to “please deliver our good message in the Party Manifesto to the people as you look for votes while following SOPs”.
According to UPC head of media and communications, “this will witness the people’s wellbeing in their respective communities as well as the development of the country hence good service delivery”.
Referring to IEC guidelines, he said, in the statement that “campaigns will be done on radios, televisions and other media platforms with some small meetings of not more than 70 people. UPC makes an appeal to the IEC to ensure that Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and its affiliate radios or TV stations among other things come up with a program that shall offer equal access and opportunities to various Political Party flag bearers and Independent Candidates to campaign freely”.
“UPC would like to remind the country that during the December 1980 polls, Uganda Television (UTV), the then UBC and Radio Uganda did a tremendous job to cover all the four Political Parties in the race equally: UPC, DP, UPM and CP, which resulted into free and fair elections. This is what the country deserves after 58 years of Independence,” he recalls.
UPC also request the Independent Electoral Commission to rethink and revise number of supporters of candidates it has directed to be not more than 70 at each venue.
“The number of people should not be static, but based on the size of the venue under Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),” opposition party says.
“UPC party calls upon the electorates to vote for all UPC Candidates at various levels of leadership across the country and encourages peace loving Ugandans to remain calm, peaceful and carry out their day to day activities within the frame work of the law as we go through campaigns and get closer to 2021 polls.”
UPC under Akena James Micheal had early this year announced they would not contest for president, but to continue with grassroot mobilisation and recruitment of new members.