The opposition Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has accused the authorities particularly security forces of using COVID-19 as an excuse to stop opposition candidates from campaign.
Mao, who was campaigning in Nwoya district on Monday, expressed concern that “the quality of the election is going to be very poor, and not free and fair.”
“Corona (COVID-19) is being used as an excuse. The real Corona is President Museveni and NRM. That is the Corona which threatens to destroy Uganda. I am concerned that presidential candidates are not being allowed to talk to voters. Therefore, the quality of this election is going to be very poor. It is going to be an election which is not free and fair. It is our duty to speak out,” said Mao.
“I want to warn the security forces, this Government found us, and this Government will leave us because we are the people. I want to warn the operatives in the villages who are threatening people, tomorrow when Museveni falls, he will fall on you. At least he has dollars, he has aeroplanes. I believe he has homes outside Uganda. He will abandon you. For you, you will be stuck here. So, my advice is only one, stick to the law. The law allows campaigns,” he added.
In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Electoral Commission banned all mass campaign rallies and announced “scientific” elections where campaigns would be conducted through the media.
The Public Health guidelines allow an election rally to accommodate not more than 200 people.
However, opposition presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) counterpart Patrick Amuriat Oboi have consistently defied the guidelines by holding mass election rallies, gathering huge numbers of people.
This has forced police into running battles with their supporters by dispersing them using teargas.
Police actions have made various opposition politicians draw conclusions that opposition is not allowed to campaign.
Although the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate and incumbent President Yoweri Museveni seemed to have followed the public health guidelines, various NRM candidates at various levels have not followed suit.
Basing on this fact, the opposition politicians have accused Police of having double standards in enforcing the law.