By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Independent Electoral Commission of Uganda re affirms its commitment to serving Uganda in delivering a transparent free and fair elections come to 2021 despite of the global interference by coronavirus pandemic.
Jotham Taremwa EC’s Communications Manager and Spokesperson has said while appearing on NBSTV that as “EC” they do not require anyone’s permission to draft electoral roadmap, saying that the Electoral body is independent of any political direction and it only derives its mandate from the constitution and the people of Uganda.
While appearing on NBS TV on June 17, Taremwa said the issue of whether they should have a roadmap is not a matter of consolation, the constitution has already solved that.
“We generated this revised roadmap per the Constitution. A serious thought process took place. We are not newcomers in this exercise. Whatever we embark on is given our best,” said Taremwa.
Taremwa said that, the new roadmap for the 2021 general election that received a lot of public outcry indicated that the campaigns will be conducted digitally but maintaining the election day in January/February.
He said that Benin used the same approach of digital elections adding that this is not unique to Uganda.
“I want to assure the viewers that the Electoral Commission will issue specific guidelines to the process of nominations, candidate campaigns, and the process of campaigning,” he said.
Taremwa said so many things have changed due to COVID-19 and.
“We have not been able to have our functions the way we want. Schools have closed. So many things have changed due to COVID-19,” he noted.
According to the roadmap issued by the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, presidential candidates will only have two months (November to January 2021) to conduct digital campaigns via platforms such as radio, TV, social media and Zoom.
Appearing on the same show, Kampala Central legislator Muhammad Nsereko said there is no cause for jubilation for the scientific election.
“We are all delving into new waters that are new to everyone. Uganda will be the first country to delve into this kind of an election,” said Nsereko.
Nsereko further noted that the roadmap gives a lot of advantage to the incumbent because they already have infrastructures in place.
“It is a great disadvantage to new entrants because these are new waters,” said Nsereko.
He added that, “The guidelines the EC issued are borrowed. Did they consult scientists before all this?”