As presidential campaigns get into the second week, Police and sister security agencies have revealed that so far, the situation is calm and some candidates are conducting their campaigns abiding by the set guidelines of the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Health.
In the first week, the joint security taskforce said they witnessed that different political groups approached their campaigns in different ways and the first category of candidates are adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures and avoiding large gathering to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Security agencies applauded candidates of this category which includes President Museveni who has carried on with minimized interactions and less numbers of attendants at campaign meetings.
“We have seen that President Museveni with the NRM party are being exemplary. He has not hosted any traditional rallies and he has emphasized the existing approach to the fight against Covid-19,” Said police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga.
The other political parties that have been exemplary according to the law enforcement agency are; Alliance for National Transformation led by Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Democratic Party by Nobert Mao and independent candidates such as Nancy Kalembe and Pastor Mwesigye.
“We do want to commend them for the good conduct during the political campaigns. It is in agreement with the guidelines that were given by the Electoral commission,” Enanga said.
When presidential campaigns started, different candidates organised processions and even addressed rallies but Museveni declined to breach the guidelines.
“To our supporters in Arua who turned up to welcome me, I am sorry for not getting out to greet you, but I insist we should keep away from gathering for the safety of each one of us. Stay Safe first, we shall not be able to Secure Your Future when you are dead,” said Museveni on Friday.
He also said that he will stick to meeting with only 70 people despite the Electoral commission increasing the number to 200 people per campaign meeting by presidential candidates.
President Museveni, however, called upon other candidates to protect the people against Covid-19.
“Although I am campaigning, I call upon my other colleagues to desist from endangering our people no matter the reason. This disease does not discriminate between young and old as it’s falsely believed. Therefore, the ones in charge should see to it that Ugandans’ lives are protected. COVID-19 is very real.” he said.
The second category is for candidates who are campaigning in total disregard of the Electoral commission guidelines and Ministry of Health standard operating procedures.
These include the National Unity Platforms led by Robert Kyagulanyi and Forum for Democratic led by Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
On Sunday, police dispersed crowds and processions by Robert Kyagulanyi in Mbale and Sironko districts. In Masindi district, police also blocked Joseph Kabuleta’s meeting citing breach of covid-19 guidelines.
Police said that they will continue engaging them to ensure that they observe the SOPs going forward.
Defiant candidates have been urged to address a maximum of 200 people and also encouraged them to invest in mass media.