The Democratic Party has said it is writing a complaint to the Electoral Commission over the conduct of the NRM during the launch of its manifesto.
On Tuesday, the Inter-Party Cooperation, DP and the Uganda Peoples Congress expressed outrage over the presence of security chiefs and public servants at the NRM manifesto launch, calling this a clear case of partisanship contrary to the law and Constitution. The ruling party, however, remains unapologetic for its actions.
The opposition has since expressed apprehension that the army and police will act in a partisan manner in the forthcoming general elections.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, DP deputy spokesperson John Paul Kakande yesterday said the party was concerned that the NRM was compromising security forces in the run-up to next year’s general elections.
“We intend to write to the Electoral Commission expressing our dissatisfaction at NRM’s conduct. We want the EC to know that we have noted this partisan behaviour and intend to amplify it to see if they will take action,” Mr Kakande said.
EC spokesperson Willy Ochola had on Tuesday advised that any aggrieved parties file a complaint upon which the elections body will institute an investigation into this perceived breaking of the laws and infringement on the principle of free and fair elections.
The DP will find it uplifting to discover that the Forum for Democratic Change, one of the four IPC partner parties, is also taking some action in the matter.
“We have begun keeping record of all these things happening all over the country,” FDC spokesperson Wafula Oguttu said yesterday.
“All this will act as evidence in future petitions over malpractices.”
But Mr Ofwono Opondo, the NRM deputy spokesperson, yesterday flatly rejected accusations that his party was encouraging partisan politics by inviting security chiefs to the launch of its manifesto on Monday.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Mr Opondo called the claims “complaints based on ignorance, under a veil of fear and uncertainty.” “We invited all the opposition party leaders. UPC, DP and FDC did not turn up but all the other opposition leaders came. The public was also invited together with diplomats, NGO heads and senior government officials because they would be the ones to digest and criticise the manifesto,” he added.
Seen in uniforms
“Didn’t Ugandans see them in their uniforms? This is because they were invited in their official capacity representing the institutions they head, not as NRM cadres. It was an invitation not an order. Those who did not want to come did not come.”
In response to Mr Kakande’s fears that “how can we expect to be protected by the law if it belongs to one party,” Mr Opondo said his party was not controlling any security outfit.
“We pay for using UBC and even Kololo Airstrip. What do they mean by we control? Have they requested for police help and been denied?”