Concerned citizen and former Journalist Joseph Kabuleta has petitioned High Court, challenging the Scientific Campaigns process which was unveiled by the Electoral Commission this week.
In his application filed through his lawyers of Walyemera and Company Advoactes, Kabuleeta says that the new campaigning plan has a lot of limitations which are unconstitutional.
He has therefore asked to declare that all guidelines which were announced by the Chairperson of Electoral Commission as unconstitutional since they violate Article 1(4) of the Constitution of of Uganda and infringes on the right to a transparent, fair and free election.
“An order directing the Respondent to carry out a national wide consultation with key stakeholders, before any fresh guidelines for the 2020/2021 general elections are issued,” the petition reads.
Kabuleta says that the new guidelines with revised timelines issued by the commission are highhanded, ultra vires, arbitrary, unfair and a violation of the Applicant’s right to be elected and to elect other leaders as enshrined in the constitution.
In his affidavit accompanying this application, he has informed court that elections campaigns through radio and television stations are beyond reach of many citizens who intend to contest as candidates at all levels of elections.
“The cost of carrying out elections campaigns through radio and television stations are beyond the reach of many Ugandan citizens who intend to contest as candidates at all levels of elections, which may disfranchise many citizens from their free will and right to be voted and to vote.”
On top of that he has asked court to award him costs for the suit.
Early this week, Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama released a new election plan for the forthcoming elections in citing social distancing guidelines on the prevention of COVID19 pandemic.
The commission banned the physical campaigning which gathers many people and advised the candidates to adopt scientific campaigns over various means of communication like social media, radios and Television.