‘An election shouldn’t be a do or die but in Uganda it has been made to look like a war affair. We the political actors are not orderly and that’s the reason why security agencies get involved in elections. We need to have some level of discipline’
The Commander of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi is preparing his forces to keep law and order in the forthcoming elections early next year. While speaking on Behind the Headlines program on the National television(UBC) he revealed that the country is holding elections amidst traditional and emerging threats of COVID-19.
‘Our role as UPDF is to protect the country which is our key role which involves helping police which is the key player in securing this election’.
It’s better to get involved from the start because prevention is better than cure and that’s the reason why we are already participating in keeping law and order alongside the police. The law enjoins us to be answerable to the Head of State but we are not partisan and wherever there are individual mistakes we shall correct them.
We have picked lessons from what happened in the NRM primaries. Some of our people would call us and report the people whom they were meant to protect being the ones involved in the violence. The electoral commission should give us its guidelines together with the Ministry of Health standard operating procedures and we as the security agencies we shall use them to prosecute whoever breaks the rules.
Hon. Margaret Muhanga thinks that the reason why election violence is high is that people no longer fear soldiers and policemen like how they used to in the previous regimes before President Yoweri Museveni.
Assan Kasingye, The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) reminded Ugandans that this is not the first election and it’s not the last and our role is to create a safe environment for the voters and all stakeholders. We as police are not partisan although some people will continue calling us partisan. We have to make sure that all those who commit crimes have to be brought to book.
The biggest worry in the country at the moment is Covid-19 but in the recent primaries elections of the ruling NRM party everyone could clearly see that there was no observation of the Ministry of Health guidelines but because they are the ones in power no one has been prosecuted but if it was the opposition then police and the army would come in full force. All this shows that there’s partisanship in the security forces – says Hon. Abdu Katuntu of the opposition
Security agencies have a core and fundamental role to play in the electoral process. They should protect all stakeholders in the elections like the candidates, voters, observers, electoral commission, and everyone participating in the process.