UPC says her appeal prompted govt to ease Covid-19 restrictions

Head of Media & Communications at UPC Muzeyi Faizo addressing media last week. Courtesy/File photo.

Kampala 11 November 2020: The Ministry of Health has eased Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on both political and social activities.

The new adjustment also increases number of people to attend a political meeting at a given venue from 70 to 200.

Early this month, electoral commission (EC) chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi directed nominated presidential candidates to ensure only 70 supporters attend their meeting, and adhere to SOPs in order to control spread of Covid-19.

The EC directive was verbally protested by politicians and their supporters, with many, asking EC and Ministry of Health to increase the numbers.

Announcing a new set of lockdown restrictions lifted this week, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, country’s Health Minister increased the numbers of candidates’ supporters at a single venue to 200, from 70.

This positive adjustment has got UPC party, very well.

“On Monday 9th November, 2020, the campaigns for January 2021 polls officially kicked off amidst Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). We thank the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for ensuring that the Electoral Road Map is being implemented as planned,” UPC said during its weekly (Wednesday) presser.

According to reports so far, UPC says “adapting the new norm of scientific campaigns by some stakeholders is still a challenge! In UPC’s Press Statement of 4th November 2020, the Party welcomed the idea of allowing some small political meetings of not more than 70 people, but was very much concerned on the number and requested the IEC and Ministry of Health (MoH) to rethink and revise that position”.

According to Muzey Faizo, UPC’s head of media and communications, the party “would like to appreciate the government and the line Ministry of Health for having considered our appeal and adjusted restrictions on some sectors/activities which include but not limited to increasing on the number of people for gatherings from 70 to 200.”

He added: “UPC reiterates its position that the number of people for political meetings and other gatherings should not be static, but based on the size of the venue or place for such a meeting, provided that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are well adhered to.”

The opposition political party also conveyed her message to security team, saying: “Security enforcement should take into consideration this latest development and work very closely with various campaign teams, so as to harmonize any issues”. 

“Let all stakeholders cooperate for peaceful campaigns, free and fair elections for the good of both our people and our mother land, Uganda,” Jimmy James Akena led party added.

To all those offering services to the campaigns, UPC appeals to them to be very considerate and offer their services to candidates at an affordable, sustainable price, noting that “this will not only enable them to carry out their campaigns smoothly, but also contribute to the fight against commercialization of politics, which has been and continue to affect service delivery after elections, if not checked!”

“We are rebuilding the party and we need to win at all levels where UPC has fielded candidates so that our presence is felt and we can embark on nation building and development,” UPC tells her members and flag bearers.

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