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Presidential Contestants Protest Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Prior to Nominations

Flag bearers of opposition parties National Unity Platform (NUP), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) as well as some independent presidential candidates, have protested the Electoral Commission’s proposal of testing them together with their ten members who will escort them, prior to their nominations and during the campaign period.

EC met with the presidential candidates or their representatives in a closed door meeting where they discussed several matters on the nomination and campaign preparations

While speaking to the media shortly after the meeting, David Rubongoya, the General Secretary of NUP, who represented Robert Kyagulanyi said the proposal of testing for Covid-19 by the government is aimed at locking opposition and mostly his candidate out.

“How sure are we that they will not present forged COVID-19 results that our candidate is sick when he is not. We totally oppose it and shall not work with,” he said.

Rubongoya says the EC should allow some of their members like their president to be tested in hospitals where they feel results won’t be forged to lock him up.

Meanwhile, Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu, the ANT flag bearer said that the exercise is aimed at failing candidates.

“We shall be moving across the country, meeting different people so if you say we go on testing, who will cover those costs,” he noted.

Justine Lumumba, the Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement who represented the incumbent president Yoweri Museveni said that in their meeting, they asked the EC not to do something which is outside the law.

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“We as NRM told them that unless EC or government pay for this testing because someone has endeavoured to represent his people again how do expect them to pay for ten people who are escorting them,” he said.

Nancy Linda Kalembe, and independent presidential candidate said, “We totally opposed the testing because its costly first of all and we question its rationale.”

Simon Byabakama Mugyenyi, the Commission boss however, clarified that government will pay for these tests

“The ministry of health will do the testing,” he noted.

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