In a brief statement issued on the US Mission Uganda official twitter handle Wednesday, the Mission says that the proposal by Electoral Commission (EC) to ban cameras and phones would prevent the media from providing effective election coverage.
The United States (US) Mission
has appealed to parliament to uphold internal best practices and allow the use
of cameras and phones at polling stations during the 2021 general elections.
In a brief statement
issued on the US Mission Uganda official twitter handle Wednesday, the Mission
says that the proposal by Electoral Commission (EC) to ban cameras and phones
would prevent the media from providing effective election coverage.
“Ugandans deserve free, fair and transparent electoral
process,” reads the statement. While appearing before the Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Committee last week, which collecting views on proposed
electoral reforms, Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama
proposed a ban on the use of cameras at polling stations.
proposed that no person should be allowed to use a camera of any kind or
recording devise inside a polling station during election as a way of
protecting the privacy of voters who wish to vote in secrecy. He proposed
a penalty of Shillings 800,000 or two year’s imprisonment or both for any
person found guilty of contravening the provision.
The proposal has already drawn sharp
criticism from legislators and on the Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Committee and other political players.
On Tuesday, the
National Resistance Movement-NRM Party officials led by their Secretary General,
Justine Kasule Lumumba opposed the proposal, saying there is need to hold transparent
elections in the full glare of the media and cameras so as to remove any doubt
on the winner of the polls.
Equally, the Forum for
Democratic Change (FDC) Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi questioned the
motive behind the Electoral Commission proposal. He said transparency is key is
key for the Commission if free and fair elections are to be achieved.