November 28, 2020

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Presidential candidates join forces to deal with police brutality

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Civilians burning tyres

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Five of the 10 presidential candidates have agreed to design a common response to the arrest, brutalization and harassment aimed at them by security personnel. 

In a joint statement signed by Maj. Gen Mugisha Muntu Gregg of the Alliance for National Transformation, Norbert Mao, of the Democratic Party, Henry Tumukunde an independent and representatives of FDC’s Patrick Amuriat Oboi and NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the candidates said that working together is the only logical thing to do because they have a similar cause.

“We are concerned that the Electoral Commission has been overrun by security agencies and are no longer in charge of the elections. The so-called Covid rules are subject to the interpretation of partisan security operatives. There is a clear contradiction in the manner in which the Covid rules are being enforced,” the statement they issued after their meeting reads in part. 

Wasswa Biriggwa, the chairman of the FDC signed on behalf of Amuriat while Dr Lina Zedriga signed on behalf of Kyagulanyi.   

The meeting comes in the wake of a brutal crackdown of protests in and around Kampala after the arrest of Kyagulanyi for allegedly going against the Ministry of Health and the Electoral Commission guidelines that limit to 200 the number of people a candidate can meet at any given time. The candidates said they are appalled by the fact that the government that has allowed multitudes of people to operate freely in markets and other public places can violently crackdown on politicians for carrying out campaigns. 

The candidates also agreed to avoid attacking each other to deny their common opponent the opportunity to divide them while campaigning. 

“We agree on a common understanding of each other’s positions to avoid contradictions that may play into the hands of the regime,” the statement reads. 

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