As we draw close to voting day, concerns on voter turnout continue to highlight the need for radical voter education and civic engagement.
This among other strategies will help the electorate to rally each other to go and cast their vote.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Covid-19 pandemic has heightened to Level 4 exposure rates in Uganda. Certainly, while campaigns are ongoing, the influx in the number of Covid-19 patients continues to soar with 36,702 cases reported by the Ministry of Health as of last week.
It is vital to note that while the electorate are eager to get involved in the electoral cycle, the unprecedented events of holding an election in a pandemic have left many gripped with the fear on what else could go wrong.
The evidence of no adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures witnessed during various campaign rallies is preview to what voting day might play out like.
The election season has been challenging for Opposition political parties from curtailing their movements, arbitrary arrests, fear mongering, army onslaughts and summons to the Electoral Commission -the official election governing body; which on many occasions have not eased the hardships that they face in conducting their campaigns. This notwithstanding, the campaigns have gone on in a gagged environment.
As the campaign season comes to an end, our energy as the electorate should be focused on casting our ballot on Thursday.
Additionally, there should be deliberate dialogue and air play of the voting dates for all candidates.
The masses too need to follow all SOPs in order to exercise their citizenry duty of choosing their leaders.
More so the EC needs to invest vastly in information and communication that can help increase awareness on the remaining phase of the electoral process.
It should be noted that even today, Ugandans are struggling with the information available on and about the voting days and their polling stations .
In a five-year election tenure, the relevance of this election is high in building a strong government that will help the country rise back to her feet from an already fraught economy.
The mandate of the next government will be to revamp social services, especially the health and education sectors.
The next leaders will have to work with and make sure that the economy survives the aftermath of the pandemic and consequently, your vote counts.
The electorate will decide, who will work for them through the ballot. To vote is to claim back the power vested in Article One of the Constitution. “Power belongs to the people.”
So fellow Ugandans, lets reconcile our voting location, have a voter slip and be ready to vote.
Show up and vote the people who will work and change the development narrative for Uganda. On voting day, show up and shape the next five years of the development trajectory of this land. Stand and be counted among the Ugandans that care for the present and future prosperity of this land. Vote by all means.
Ms Gloria Nabaye is a resident research associate at Great Lakes Institute For Strategic Studies