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The military would do well keeping off poll venues

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The recent shooting that took place during the elections of the Youth MP western that took place early this week in Fort Portal have left the pie tasting bitter. For, how else can one explain the presence of military personnel at an election involving youthful and ordinary Ugandans like Mwine Mpaka Rwamirama and Amanya Nduhura Tumukunde?

It is worth mention that from February 18 the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has conducted elections for several positions including the highest office, the Presidency, and right down to councilor level now. But at all these tiers of elections there is no report of the military directly being drawn in to deal with any electoral matter at a polling venue, not even in the presidential and parliamentary elections!

So, what was so important about the elections of the Youth MP Western? Is it possible that these youthful sons of military officers were regarded as being ‘more important’ than their future colleagues they had sought to join in Parliament?  Without delving into the details of the controversial elections, it is sensible to revisit how events panned out in the aftermath, and what lessons are to be drawn from the saga that involved the harming of a General?

First, after Lt Gen (rtd) Henry Tumukunde was harmed, there were frenzied back and forth accusations involving the army and police on one hand and the General on the other, over the nature of weapon used against Gen Tumukunde. But was that unfortunate development necessary more so given the fact that the police have a team of forensic experts who should have helped solve the jinx?

Second, Lt Gen Tumukunde is a retired senior Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) officer, so what message does aiming a weapon at him send to the ordinary Ugandan?

That said, given such a disturbing incident there is need armed personnel to revisit their conscience in regard to the use of weapons as part of the concerted efforts to demystify the unsustainable ‘might is right’ theory.

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