Religious leaders warn against vote buying in 2016 elections
Religious leaders under the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) yesterday flagged a 16-point blueprint to help them set the stage for next year’s elections and warned that commercialisation of the electoral process will be disastrous for the country
Setting the stage. The clerics issue a 16-point plan that will help ensure peace and stability during elections
Religious leaders under the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) yesterday flagged a 16-point blueprint to help them set the stage for next year’s elections and warned that commercialisation of the electoral process will be disastrous for the country.
The clerics, while addressing journalists at the IRC headquarters in Namirembe, Kampala, also said despite regular implorations by some political figures urging them to stay away from matters of politics, they are “citizens of Uganda” and have a role to play in shaping the country’s agenda.
“Cognisant of the important role we played before, during and after the 2011 elections to ensure peace and stability, we, as religious leaders at our meeting recently, agreed on some points to guide us,” Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali said.
The 16 points include praying for the country, being guardians of the common good, creating and strengthening impartiality and independence of the spaces of dialogue, distancing from the company of partisan religious leaders, and strengthening of mutual accountability.
Archbishop Ntagali said the 16-Point Programme had been agreed upon by heads of all religious institutions in the country during a meeting last Thursday on what role “religious leaders would play in ensuring peaceful elections in 2016.”
He also urged faith-based leadership to limit or suspend fundraising activities in places of worship during the election season. “This has the potential to compromise our prophetic voice and undermine our impartiality and independence,” he noted.
The Born-Again Faith leader, Pastor Joseph Serwadda, revealed IRC’s plans of having dialogues with aspirants. “We are of a view that as religious leaders, we should get the opportunity of addressing the political candidates on challenges along their paths,” he said.
Encouraging internal democracy within political parties
Appealing to the youth to desist from being used as instruments of polarised politics
Appealing to the media to desist from sensational journalism
Urging government to expedite constitutional electoral reforms.