COVID-19 pandemic will make a big difference in the upcoming 2021 general elections. The crisis gave President Museveni a free-hand to deploy the military, Local Defence Units (LDUs) and the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) which have in the past elections been criticised for involvement in the elections.
According to the proposals, campaigns would be conducted virtually through use of mass media which comprise Radios,Televisions, Zoom, social media platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp.
This if approved will leave no gap for rallies, mass gatherings and open campaigns that attract crowds in a bid to prevent the spread of
COVID-19 in the communities.
Before COVID-19 was recorded in Uganda, prospective political contenders were in high gear galvanizing support in preparation for the presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections. By early March this year, 24 presidential aspirants had already declared their intention to run for president and notified the Electoral Commission of their plan to start consultation.
President Museveni, who has been in power for the last 34 years, had also shifted to 2021 election campaign gear. But this came to an abrupt halt in March this year when the first coronavirus case was recorded in the country and subsequently the government instituted strict health and safety measures. The government banned gatherings of more than five people; including political ones, introduced social distancing, stay home directives, and national lockdowns to deal with the pandemic. Political party activity and formations that were conducting consultations in preparation for elections were stopped in their tracks.