The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, justice Simon Byabakama has trashed opposition politicians who have been disregarding the revised road map as he argues that none of them mattered to add a voice to the reforms.
Byabakama says they reached that resolve after intensified talks with the incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni who urged them to use cheaper means to hold the 2021 polls. Reliable sources say that the EC had asked for more funding of about shs 55 billion to buy sanitizers, temperature guns and other anti-covid equipment which they were to deploy at every polling station. Museveni, whose main worry from the start has been the hordes of masses rallying behind People Power supremo, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine tasked Byabakama to adopt a scientific campaign trail to which the latter heeded.
In the revised roadmap, open air campaigns have been banned and candidates urged to use digital means such as radio, television and the internet to reach out to their supporters.
Addressing journalists this week at the time of unveiling the new roadmap, Byabakama said he is acting under section 12 which gives him the power to ensure that candidates campaign in an orderly and organized manner. He maintained that it has always been in the jurisdiction of the EC to guide and direct all candidates on how to conduct their campaigns. “When we were rolling out the roadmap in 2018, it was the hardwork of the commission as required by the constitution. When we are revising this roadmap in the context of the prevailing circumstances, it is still the work of the EC,” he said.
He said it was therefore unnecessary to consult political parties prior to the unveiling the roadmap because he believes there would be no ‘common consensus’ reached about the matter. He however adds that political players can raise formal concerns and see how their can be checked. On meeting Museveni, Byabakama says he sat down with him not as a ‘candidate’ for the next polls but rather as the serving president of the republic of Uganda.