National Resistance Movement (NRM) has proposed to amend the electoral laws to specifically allow UPDF soldiers to help Uganda Police Force in providing security during the 2021 general elections.
The proposal was presented among other proposals by the NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, to the House Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday, 17 September 2019.
The house Committee is currently carrying out consultations on the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Political Parties and Organisations (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Local Governments (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
According to Lumumba, the validation of UPDF will provide security during elections hence catering for situations where Police may require back up from sister security agencies.
Kasule Lumumba also adds that unless the law suggests for situations where back up may be required; there is a danger that such interventions may be declared illegal.
“Unless the law prescribes for situations where back up may be required; there is a danger that such interventions may be declared illegal,” Lumumba said.
However, some legislators maintained that Police has the capacity to provide security during elections.
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality) stated that Police cannot reach a point where they will need support from the army.
“I am very
uncomfortable with involving the army in election issues,” Ssemujju Nganda said.
Hon. Medard Sseggona (DP, Busiro County East) said that police enjoy a civil relationship with the public.
“Why involve the army whose mandate is not civil in character,” he said.