Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Nobert Mao has said he will be writing to President Yoweri Museveni over security forces’ continued blocking of opposition presidential candidates from accessing campaign venues and harassing their supporters.
Mao’s opposition fellows, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC’s) Patrick Amuriat Oboi have in this campaign tested the wrath of security, as they were severally blocked from accessing campaign venues and had their supporters dispersed with teargas.
Last week, the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola to call on his men to stop frustrating opposition presidential candidates.
The Police on the other hand has accused opposition candidates of not following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
While launching his election manifesto in Jinja city on Monday, Mao said he will write to President Museveni to address this matter.
“As we enter this election, we are fully aware of the democratic deficit. We have an election Commission whose independence is in question, a security apparatus that often conducts itself like an appendant of the ruling party and a dejected and demoralized electorate full of apathy. I want to announce that I am going to write to President Museveni about the way the security forces are treating candidates and citizens. I am going to write to him a letter. This is not the first time I have written to him. I wrote to him about peace talks with Joseph Kony (LRA rebel leader), I wrote to him about opening an Embassy in Khartoum at a time when we were fighting. I wrote to him about enacting an amnesty law. I am going to write to him,” he said.
On Monday, the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alleged that 5 of his supporters had been killed by the police as he campaigned in Mukono and neighboring districts.
Responding to the matter, Mao said “an election should not be struggle for survival. It is a competition to serve.”
Mao noted that DP is the best positioned party to manage the “transition” and added that he warned the people of Kiruhura (President Museveni’s district), Ibanda and his mother’s district of Isingiro to peacefully vote Museveni out of power in order not to suffer violence in case he (Museveni) is forcefully overthrown.
“I told them that when a big tree falls, it crushes smaller trees. When a President is removed by force, violence follows him to his home village. When Idi Amin was removed by force, the violence followed him to West Nile. When Obote and Okello were removed by force, violence followed them to Northern Uganda. We want to break the cycle of violence so that violence does not follow Museveni to Western Uganda when he is removed by force. I don’t want this big tree called Yoweri Museveni to fall on my mother’s people. I offer myself to be a bridge between the Museveni generation born in the 40s and 50s and the generation born in the 80s and 90s,” Mao said.
He however added that coming after Museveni to lead Uganda will be a very difficult job, saying that the country is in a “mess.”
“Young people, allow us to prepare you. Otherwise, within 6 months, the same people running after you and chanting slogans praising you, will turn on you because you will not have sorted the mess that is in Uganda. Don’t misunderstand me,” he noted.