The government has ruled any possibility of postponing the 2021 general election due to the novel Covid- 19 pandemic according to a statement released today by the Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT ) and National guidance (NG) Ms. Judith Nabakooba .
Government has also categorically stated that there are no conditions to warrant the declaration of a state of emergency by President Yoweri Museveni. “Uganda is very peaceful and stable and elections will be conducted peacefully under the existing COVID-19 guidelines,” she stressed.
The Minister said that cabinet will meet tomorrow to consider reports from the verification teams on whether restrictions on arcades and boda-bodas should be lifted and the operators should be allowed to work .
Nabakooba assured the country that the forthcoming General Elections will be conducted peacefully and safely as guided by the Electoral Commission. “The Position of Government is that elections cannot be postponed and will go ahead as scheduled. Government is doing all it can to ensure that the elections are held in a manner that does not expose people’s lives to COVID-19,” the Minister stated while dismissing calls by what she called “selfish individuals” to postpone the elections.
The Minister for Constitutional Affairs presented to Parliament a set of regulations that will guide how Political Parties will chose their flag bearers. – The regulations have been presented to the Legal and Parliamentary committee of Parliament and government will guide the public on the way forward , she added .
Nabakooba said that following the on going stakeholder consultations by the Electoral Commission a number of issues are being addressed and the Commission will be providing more guidance on how candidates can safely conduct their campaigns.
Among the issues highlighted from the consultations include, the holding of small meetings where social distancing can be allowed and using community megaphones (Bizindalo) in areas where access to radio is weak.
The Minister warned media houses who have started “ misusing their airtime and space’ to misinform the public. “A lot of the talk shows on radio and television are using hate speech that has potential to instigate tribal and political hatred. I want to warn all media houses and political candidates that this kind of programing will not be allowed,”.
She said that Political Campaigns on all media houses should be conducted in a manner that is guided by the existing minimum broadcast standards.
“Any form of large gatherings or motorcades, boda boda escorts that accompany politicians to and after their media talk shows will not be accepted. We expect that all leaders that intend to participate in this election will exhibit responsible leadership and advise their supporters not to gather in huge numbers,” Nabakooba said.
She called upon Ugandans to remain calm and patient trusting that government is doing whatever it can to keep everyone safe during the elections.
For further information contact Telephone: + 256-414-258197 Fax: +256-414-231314 Website: www.ict,go.ug In any correspondence on this subject please quote no: ADM 70/108/01 THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA Office of the Minister Ministry of ICT and National Guidance P O Box 7817. KAMPALA, UGANDA –
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