Following the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine and his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) counterpart, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, the main opposition presidential candidates have passed a resolution to work together in solidarity in case any of their colleagues is arrested by the Police.
The opposition presidential candidates that made the resolution include; Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party (DP), Rtd Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu Gregg of Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde who is Independent, FDC National chairman Wasswa Birigwa who represented Amuriat and Lina Zedriga of NUP who represented Bobi Wine.
“If anyone is arrested, harassed or manhandled, we shall stand together in solidarity. We have agreed to design a common response to the arrests, brutalization and harassment of candidates aimed at denying the access to the electorate. We are on different fronts but the cause is the same – change,” they jointly announced.
The resolution was announced to the media in a joint news conference in Kampala on Friday.
The opposition candidates also agreed to “avoid attacking each other and thus deny the regime an opportunity to divide us. We pledge to work together in areas of common interests. Where we don’t agree, we shall strive to understand each other.”
Bobi Wine was arrested in Luuka district on Wednesday, produced to Court in Iganga on Friday and charged with flouting COVID-19 guidelines set by the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Health to curb COVID-19 spread while Amuriat has severally been arrested but later released by the police.
The duo has been arrested on grounds that they hold election campaigns banned by the Electoral Commission in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The opposition candidates expressed concern that the Electoral Commission “has been overrun by security agencies and is no longer in charge of elections.”
“The so called COVID-19 rules are subject to the interpretation of partisan security operatives. There is a clear contradiction in the manner in which COVID-19 rules are being enforced. On any given day, there are crowds in our markets and business centres like Kikuubo. And yet, there is no interest to enforce these rules in those areas. Instead, there is a range about stopping campaign rallies by opposition presidential candidates,” they said.
Before this Friday resolution, the above opposition presidential candidates had suspended their campaigns in protest.
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