Tuesday January 5 2016

Government committed to violence free elections- Rugunnda

Prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda addressing the

Prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda addressing the press at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa 

By Monitor Reporter

Prime minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has urged presidential candidates not to incite violence, saying government is monitoring their activities ahead of the forthcoming elections.
Speaking to the press Tuesday, Dr Rugunda assured Ugandans that there will be no violence during the forthcoming elections.

“We have information that there is a small group of youth, especially from the radical opposition preparing to cause chaos during and after the forthcoming elections. There is also persistent talk of defiance at campaign rallies mainly by the candidates,” he said.
The premier further noted that such violence breaches the Electoral Commission (EC) guidelines.

“It is therefore unacceptable and illegal. Whatever we do must coincide and conform with the laws of Uganda. We have also learnt that militia groups are being prepared to start violence and break the law. I want to tell you that NRM government will not stand by as these groups disrupt peace,” he observed.
Dr Rugunda sounded warning to youth “who dare join violent groups will face a full force of the law.”

“I would like to assure Ugandans and the international community that the government has sufficient measures that the forthcoming elections will be held in tranquil and transparent manner,” he added.
On the issue of crime preventers meting violence on opposition supporters, Dr Rugunda said “nobody is above the law. A prime minister is not above the law, ministers are not above the law and crime preventers are not above the law.”

He however, defended their work, saying they have done a commendable job as far as maintaining peace and security is concerned.

The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura also commended crime preventers saying “ Police alone cannot manage their job without the help of these people. Besides, the idea of crime preventers has been embraced by the whole country. As far as I am concerned, we have a robust system to maintain peace, law and order.”
The premier’s assurance comes amid rising fears that the forthcoming elections may turn violent if nothing is done.

Last month, the Parliamentary budget committee approved Shs51.1 billion for Uganda Police Force to manage the 2016 post-election violence countrywide.
Benny Namugwanya, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Defence Committee told MPs on the Budget committee that country needs to prepare for post-election violence to avoid a scenario similar to the one in Kenya in 2007.