The National Unity Platform (NUP), presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi has asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to summon President Museveni, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate over crowds of supporters who are mobilised to gather around his car convoy in disregard of Standard Operation Procedures to control the spread of Covid-19.
The Kyadondo East MP popularly known as Bobi Wine also accused the EC of selective application of the law and “turning a blind eye on Mr Museveni’s actions.”
Bobi Wine’s call comes after fresh pictures showing people welcoming Mr Museveni in Rukungiri District ahead of his meeting with the party leaders and flag bearers from Rukungiri and Kanungu districts.
Moments before the Monday meeting, Mr Museveni tweeted a video showing supporters wearing yellow T-shirts running after his convoy.
Yellow is the official colour of his NRM party.
“To all our supporters that have welcomed me to Rukungiri, it is a pity that I cannot stop to address you or stand to wave to you. It is for the benefit of each one of us that we keep away from gatherings. I am at Boma grounds addressing your leaders who will convey my message,” Mr Museveni, 76, said in the tweet.
However, the pop star turned politician thinks all this is hypocrisy.
“So the Electoral Commission claims that they are not aware that Mr Museveni and his campaign agents actually hold processions! When the team went there today, they were requested to present evidence that NRM has been holding mass rallies and processions on public roads! Can you imagine the lack of shame? Good enough, the team was well equipped with some of these images captured in different areas where Museveni has been for his campaigns,” Mr Kyagulanyi who snubbed the EC summons on Monday said in a statement on his social media platforms.
The EC chairman, Mr Simon Byabakama summoned Mr Kyagulannyi and the Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate, Mr Patrick Amurita to appear in person and defend themselves against allegations of “persistently breaching Covid-19 guidelines and holding processions as well as addressing mass rallies that have sometimes resulted into confrontation with the security operatives deployed to enforce the Covid-19 SOPs.
The two politicians, however, snubbed the summons, arguing that the time they have to campaign is limited.
However, Bobi Wine, who has proved to be Mr Museveni’s biggest challenger in the campaign says that EC officials should summon Mr Museveni to appear before them in person and explain how all these meetings have been taking place under the guard and watch of the police and the military.
Bobi Wine said that such a move would prove that the electoral body is neutral and independent.
“While I would love to respect this man on account of his age, I think Museveni is the most dishonest political leader in history. I watched him speaking with a straight face to religious leaders about COVID SOPs and shuddered! The man uses tax payers' money to pay desperate, poor people to converge wherever he goes. He then turns around and speaks with a straight face about how other candidates are not observing SOPs. Does this man have a conscience?” he said before confirming that he will appear before the commission tomorrow.
Bobi Wine said: “He [Mr Museveni] recently issued directives to police to ensure that no processions takes place on public roads. The same man shamelessly watches as NRM hired crowds take to the streets to welcome him in towns. I want to challenge the religious leaders before whom he displayed his hypocrisy to gain the courage to say NO. They must not keep silent at this critical time. This and more is what I'll tell Mr. Byabakama tomorrow, before heading out for our Western Region tour in the afternoon. We begin with Kiruhura and Ibanda!
The development comes amid reports that health facilities in Uganda are grappling with surging numbers of Covid-19 cases.
The ministry of health on Monday confirmed 234 new virus infections as number of confirmed cases rose to 27,766.
The ministry also said the virus deaths had reached 224 after three more people succumbed to Covid-19.
The new cases are contacts and alerts from Kampala (130), Luwero (8), Tororo (10), Wakiso (8), Buliisa (6), Kibaale (6), Mbarara (5), Soroti (4), Hoima (3), Busia (2), Mbale (2), Gulu (2), Jinja (1), Bulambuli (1), Kiryandongo (1), Kalaki (1). The other two are truck drivers from Malaba point of entry.