The Electoral Commission has cleared the former Security Minister, Gen. Henry Tumukunde to hold public consultations in a bid to stand for president in 2021.
The former spymaster on March 3 2020 formally submitted his intentions to stand against President Yoweri Museveni in upcoming general elections, to the Electoral Commission.
The EC Chairperson, Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon in a letter to Tumukunde penned on March 4, 2020 acknowledged receiving the controversial general’s notification.
“The Commission acknowledges receipt of your letter lodged on 3rd March, 2020, unreferenced, giving notice to the Commission of your intention to conduct consultative meetings for the purposes of the forthcoming Presidential Election, 2020/2021,” said part of the letter.
Byabakama brought to Tumukunde’s attention to the perimeters of Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2005.
“The Electoral Commission wishes to draw your attention to the elaborate provisions of the said section 3 of the Presidential Election Act, which among others, requires you to notify the relevant local council and the police of the area where you intend to go for the said consultations,” said Bybakama.
EC strongly told Tumukunde not to engage in campaigns, not to distribute materials or hold rallies.
“Further, we wish to point out that consultations ought to be distinguished from campaigns which takes the form of distributing materials, campaigns, holding rallies and meetings and canvassing/ soliciting for votes envisaged under section 21 and 24 of the Presidential Election Act, 2005,” noted Byabakama.
The general has been clearly told to go and exchange views.
“Ordinarily, consultation means an exchange of views in an attempt to reach a decision.”
Tumukunde in his March 3rd letter said he wants to reach out to even security agencies and law enforcement officers among others.
“My consultations will extend to security agencies and law enforcement agencies, currently existing political groupings and/or political parties, the rural population especially farmers, urban dwellers,” said Tumukunde.
The general also wants to meet youth entrepreneurs, elders, public servants at both national and local government levels, regulatory government institutions, civil society organizations, religious leaders among others.