Leaders of various political parties have expressed mixed
reactions on how banning political activities will impact the implementation of
their electoral road map.
On Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni directed among others, that political
gatherings and activities should be halted for 32 days to prevent the spread of
However, to comply with the presidential directive, the Electoral
Commission has since halted all activities on its 2020/2021 electoral road map.
As a result, political parties and organisations are also required to comply
with the presidential directive and halt implementation of their respective
electoral road maps.
Now, according to the road map of the ruling party, the National Resistance
Movement- NRM, between February and March this year, it would be registering
members and also encourage them to participate in the display exercise of the
National Voters’ Register.
However, Dr Tanga Odoi the NRM Electoral Commission chairperson
says that the party will only release its road map after the 32 days.
Leaders of the opposition political parties who spoke to Uganda
Radio Network have misgivings about the presidential directive.
Muzafalu Ssentongo, the Secretary-General of Green Partisan Party
says though it is meant to save lives, the directive will have a great impact
on the party’s activities.
He says that the party, with about 400 members has however been
mobilising across the country and therefore can resume activities after 32 days.
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Sulaiman Kakaire, the spokesperson for the Alliance for
National Transformation, welcomes the directive to ensure safety and wellbeing
of Ugandans, He, however, says the newly formed party is feeling the pinch
after suspending its activities.
The party had planned to hold district mobilization meetings in
Rukungiri, Lira, Kaberamaido and Kapchorwa from March 18th to 1st April 2020.
Also affected are the youth and women’s league sub-regional
training in West Nile, Acholi, Teso, Kigezi, Lango, Bugisu, South Buganda and
Toro. These training were scheduled from March 23rd- 10th April 2020.
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The Secretary-General of the Democratic Party, Dr, Gerald Siranda
says that the party had planned to hold elections at the village, parish, Sub
County, constituency and district levels for committees of the youth and
women between February and March this year. Thereafter prepare for and
hold the National Delegates Conference in Gulu on March 28th to elect
the National Executive Committee, National Executive Committees for the youth
In April, the party would be planning to hold primaries for
its candidates in the parliamentary and local government elections and also
select a joint presidential candidate.
Siranda thereby says that the presidential directive on political
parties will affect operations of political parties amidst time and financial
For instance, the party had to meet 120 leaders from the 9 sub-counties
of Pallisa County yesterday. To comply with the directive, the meeting was not
held and yet the party had already spent shillings 3.2 million on the event and
only got a refund of shillings 400,000 for the venue.
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Michael Osinde, the spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Congress,
says that the party will comply with the directive although it had been
preparing its members to participate in the elections, special interest groups.
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However, Abdu-Noor Ssentongo Kyamundu, the spokesperson of Justice
Forum-Jeema has downplayed the impact of the directive due to the clampdown on
opposition political parties and politicians in the recent past.