Opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye has criticized Minister Evelyne Anite for holding a procession in Koboko as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besigye expressed surprise that while opposition political figures are being blocked from holding rallies, the ruling party’s figures across the country continue to lead processions and convening gatherings hence flouting regulations put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Arrogant and highly provocative double standards,” said Besigye in reference to Anite’s procession held Saturday in Koboko.
“NRM/M7 Junta Minister Anite’s campaign procession is OK, while regime opponents can’t even be allowed to talk on FM radios,” said Besigye, adding, “Let’s stop lamenting.”
The Electoral Commission (EC) recently disallowed political rallies during the 2020/21 electoral process to prevent further spread of Coronavirus in Uganda.
EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama observed: “Mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media.”
However, politicians especially from the ruling party continue to hold public events hence cultivating ground for the spread of Coronavirus which has so far killed 6 people and left thousands bedridden.
Contacted for comment, Anite said she was not campaigning.
“I was not campaigning. I delivered the Ambulance. I didn’t talk to them,” she told ChimpReports on Sunday morning.
“With Corona, how could I be there?”
In a Tweet, Anite elaborated that the procession that has been widely viewed on social media was not a campaign rally.
“I did not organize it and neither did my Team.
I was not even there! The spontaneous procession formed on the occasion of the delivery of the Ambulances for Koboko Municipality,” said Anite.
Videos and photos of the massive procession have sparked a heated debate in social media with government coming under pressure to reign in on political gatherings or risk further spread of the virus.
As I was being blocked from appearing on a radio, this is what politicians aligned with the regime are doing this!
CITIZENS, we must and shall fight on, until all Ugandans are equal in rights and dignity. pic.twitter.com/0WK2AhdwSi
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) August 8, 2020
Others criticized security forces’ double standards considering that Bobi Wine was yesterday blocked from holding any political activities in Jinja, Eastern Uganda.
However, Anite said the “community is in great need of these ambulances as the nearest referral hospital is in Arua. We promised to deliver the ambulances before COVID19, but the pandemic has made them even more urgent to respond to emergencies during this period.”
She added: “As leaders in Koboko, we continue to raise awareness for our people to social distance, wear masks, wash hands and follow guidelines provided by Health Ministry. The Health of our people is my number one priority and I’ll do more to sensitize them and warn them against such dangerous practices.”
Anite’s Koboko Municipality MP bid is facing a challenge from Charles Ayume, the son of departed Attorney General, Francis Ayume