By Professor Oweyegha-Afunaduula Fred Charles
It is true. Initially, President Tibuhaburwa Museveni was skeptical about holding elections during the Covid 19 pandemic. He said it was madness to hold elections during the pandemic. That was when the pandemic was just beginning to rear its dirty head in our midst.
At that time he was providing the necessary leadership in mobilising funds to contain the disease and making Ugandans aware of what to do at an individual level to survive it.
Accordingly, there is no way people in the Opposition would easily get fair exposure to airwaves to interact with the electorate. They would be segregated via the airwaves.
Zealously they have shot people at the rallies of Opposition leaders dead or teargassed them not those of politicians of the ruling Party, including President Tibuhaburwa Museveni who doubles as Chairman of NRMO.
For example, of all the Presidential Candidates it is NUP’s Kyagulanyi and FDC’s Amuriat who have suffered most, sometimes escaping death by bullets by mere lack. It is as if offering oneself to serve as President is taking a risk.
It is unlikely we shall have another lockdown before the elections. However, no one will doubt that electioneering has become a major conduit for spreading the disease.
However, electioneering is moving like a snake, and none of those involved is strictly adhering to the MOH guidelines. This contradicts the restrictions on urban-rural interactions. Politicians are free to move but not other Ugandans. Again this segregation is unnecessarily.
Useful elections are those, which are not organized to rubberstamp a military regime by giving the impression that democracy is at work when it is not. At the end of such elections, we shall be counting more and more of our sick and dead from Covid 19, and most likely from the gun, but worse off in terms of democratic achievement and leadership renewal. Think about it.
The sick or dead could be you or me. Already so many politicians have succumbed to the disease. The latest is Second Prime Minister Mzee Kirunda Kivejinja. The solution is still in the hands of our topmost decision makers.
Professor Oweyegha-Afunaduula Fred Charles is a former Makerere Don and an environmentalist