Religious leaders under their joint organization, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) have expressed concern over poor treatment of opposition presidential candidates.
Earlier today, IRCU led by the Archbishop Stephen Kazimba Mugalu met police leaders questioning the manner in which the police are upholding their constitutional mandate during the heated presidential campaigns.
The IRCU voice comes at a time when there is continuous harassment of various presidential candidates with the last victim being the National Unity Platform’s (NUP) presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert whose security guard accorded to him by the Electoral Commission being tear gassed and hurt during campaign trails in Kayunga.
“The ongoing electoral environment has particularly tested the professional ethics and conduct of the police force as well as the personal values of those involved in the operations.” The Most Rev. Stephen Kazimba said
He suggested that the police should explore more humane ways to quell riots, arrests and investigations.
The council revealed that police actions are making it impossible for the Electoral Commission to deliver a free and fair election to the country.
Msgr Charles Kasibante said With regard to the forthcoming elections, the police need to appreciate that the manner in which they seek to fulfill their constitutional role will have a direct impact on the electoral process. It is therefore critical that the police are impartial as they uphold their mandate
“What’s happening is very distressing and unbearable to watch. I am wondering whether police can’t come up with another method of policing to avoid this violence,” he said.
The political chief commissar of police Asan Kasingye said; “I can categorically state that police has not held any meeting where a decision has been taken to intentionally block NUP candidate Robert Kyagulanyi from campaigning.”
Director Edward Ochom said; “Some presidential candidates have failed to comply with the campaign programs that they submitted to the Electoral Commission. This can’t be accepted.”
Police Director Jackson Bakasumba said; “We have received your message and we shall take your message to our leaders.”