National Unity Platform (NUP) Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine strained to respond to questions about why he and his campaign have consistently been violating the government set campaign restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid19.
Bobi Wine in an interview with the BBC’s Hard Talk program which aired on Friday, made inaccurate claims and deflected questions concerning his mass campaign rallies not observing the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures.
The NUP candidate said during the interview that he was wearing face masks on his rallies.
“First and foremost, I do wear mask at most of the rallies that I attend,” he said.
“Besides, I was one of the artistes to come out and sensitize the masses about covid19. As an MP, I also suggested in parliament that we should indeed postpone the election if we could not carry out a safe, free and fair election,” he said.
But when pushed by the host Zeinab Badawi about “lots of pictures of you at your campaign rallies on social media and you are clearly not wearing a mask or the people around you,” Bobi Wine said he was only wearing one when too close to the people.
“While there sometimes (when I don’t), most especially if there is a distance between me and the people; it should be clear that the government of Uganda has weaponised the covid19 pandemic while President Museveni carries out processions without social distancing or wearing a mask,” he said.
Bobi Wine has twice been summoned by the Electoral Commission to explain his violation of the campaign guidelines, but in both meetings, he counter-accused the EC for not enforcing the same rules when it comes to the NRM rallies.
Following his most recent meeting with the commission on Tuesday this week, Bobi Wine presented pictorial evidence of rallies and processions held by different NRM candidates where the SOPs were not followed.
Subsequently, the Commission yesterday summoned the NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba to give an explanation.
During the meeting, Mrs Lumumba “reaffirmed” her party’s “commitment to sticking to scientific campaigns by holding strategic meetings of not more than 200 people; social distancing and ensuring delegates sanitize hands and no food or drinks are served.”
She also told the commission that the NRM Presidential candidate was “leading the war against the pandemic and was walking the talk in that direction”