Dear Electoral Commission chairperson Simon Byabakama, sanity is needed in this election! Hardly a month since you flagged off campaigns in this general election, a lot of chaos, mayhem, intimidation and blackmail has marred the campaigns from both NRM and most especially the Opposition.
Unless we have a credible election, you are driving our country towards chaos, a thing that will not only affect us but also other generations to come.
An obvious case in point was the uncalled for deaths of dozens of Ugandans last week. Had you acted cautiously and competently, we would have avoided them (deaths). Why did you turn a blind eye to the arrest (for two staggering days) of the most prominent Opposition presidential candidate, the offences not withstanding?
Even a single hour of arrest of such a candidate causes unrest! The clear detachment you are showing, whether deliberately or otherwise, cannot be ignored.
If it is breaking the Covid-19 laws, all presidential candidates, especially those in the Opposition have done the same, and you know that very well. Why then did you accept only two presidential candidates to be arrested? I did not see the essence of the arrests, after all.
Fairness is a fundamental principle for any election, and the lack of it, as it is with this election, is greatly affecting the vote of the ruling party. You are creating an unnecessary tension which has attracted anxiety and anger from the affected side, an anger that is transferred to the supporters of NRM and security agents.
You are deliberately or innocently suffocating NRM votes. Physical and psychological harassment and torture is being meted out to the ruling party sympathisers.
Posters and other campaign materials of NRM candidates are being destroyed in broad daylight in some parts of the country, especially in my electoral area.
Our opponents in the playing field have abandoned the ball and they are now kicking us, spitting on us and insulting us. It is ‘an offence’ for one to put on a yellow T-shirt in my area. Why should one be harassed for what he or she believes in politically? Is this a democratic election we need?
I have reported a case of threatening violence against me at a police station in Masaka. My life and that of many others are in danger and should NRM supporters answer back in defence, a thing I do not support, then it could get really ugly.
This election needs an unbiased and responsive referee. We do not want anyone to think that you are applying double standards.
Our arsenal as NRM has always been our votes. We want to fairly and clearly trounce our opponents without excuse.
The police should minimise the use of tear gas and live bullets in dissolving protests. They (police) can use other means within their powers as the above does not bear good fruit.
The political leaders from either side must condemn violence and control their camps should we need a meaningful and peaceful election.
By Edwin Mwasame
The writer is NRM chairman Block A Nyendo-Masaka