Africa Coronavirus Politics World

Uganda Clergy asks Government to postpone elections for three years due to coronavirus

Uganda Opposition Candidate Bobi Wine during a campaign Rally. image courtesy
Uganda Opposition Candidate Bobi Wine during a campaign Rally. image courtesy

The men of God in Uganda wants the upcoming elections postponed due to the threat of coronavirus infections. Led by the Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the clergy asked the government to postpone the presidential election for three years.

The Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) further wants the Ugandan Constitution to be amended to allow President Museveni to continue ruling during this period of postponement. According to the clergy, politicians are not following standard operating procedure which has escalated the spread of Covid-19, with more deaths expected after elections.

According to UJCC, as much as the constitution states that if elections are postponed the speaker of parliament takes over government till elections are held, the article 259 of the constitution allows parliament to amend the constitution. In this case, the clergy are requesting parliament to amend the constitution to allow president Museveni continue to hold power until the elections are held. This, they propose would allow for coronavirus pandemic to cool down and therefore have the campaigns for the election held without risking the lives of the citizens. The clergy argued that during campaigns, it has been impossible for the politicians to follow the standard operation procedures that are meant to tame the spread of coronavirus.

The electoral commission of Uganda has banned processions and restricted the number of supporters at a a rally to 200 people as part of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. However, due to the acrimonious nature of the elections, this has become extremely difficult to maintain

Dr. Lwanga was accompanied by Fr. Daniel Musiitwa (UJCC deputy executive secretary) and Twikirize Lois (Deputy executive secretary in charge of programmes). Meanwhile, Uganda government spokesman Mr. Opondo dismissed the proposal by the council as long overdue.