EC chairman urges Ugandans to shun People Power in 2021 due to their violent nature

EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama

The chairperson of Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, has urged Ugandans to shun all external and People Power Youths targeting to destabilize Uganda’s 2021 elections.

Byabakama encouraged Ugandans to cherish attributes of peace, stability, and security, which he said are critical for social-economic development brought in by the NRM Government.

Byabakama said the Government has a strong internal mechanism that is able to carry out peaceful and successful elections, explaining that development partners should only come in to lend a hand.

“Ugandans have an opportunity to determine the choice of their leaders who are expected to run the country to further progress and social-economic transformation,” he added.

“This is our country. We have no other alternatives to run to in case we cause chaos and mayhem. Uganda is stable, Uganda has peace and security,” Byabakama said. “The main actors and determinants of the credible and peaceful elections are Ugandans themselves because they are electing their leaders,” Byabakama explained.

He made the remarks on Monday while addressing a regional workshop for stakeholders of the southwestern region on the demarcation of electoral areas and re-organization of polling stations in preparation for the 2020/2021 general election.

The workshop was attended by resident district commissioners, chief administrative officers, and regional Police commanders, representatives of political parties and representatives of civil society organizations.

He, however, assured Ugandans that possible mechanisms have been put in place to ensure there is no violence in 2021. He challenged leaders from different political parties to be good examples and to send messages of peace, including a sense of discipline and ownership to voters.

Byabakama urged those intending to contest for any political position in 2021 to avoid voter bribery. He said the practice is costly on the part of the candidate.

“Candidates need money to mobilize their agents, run around the constituency, but not to bribe voters. That practice is prohibited under the law. If the loser petitions and the elections are nulled, it becomes costly to repeat the elections,” he added.

The Mbarara district chairperson, Tumusiime Bamuturaki, called for co-ordination among all stakeholders during elections. Muhindo Mwine, the Resident District Commissioner for Rukiga, urged Electoral Commission to always inform the Police about their mandate on the polling day.