The Bishop Emeritus of Masaka Diocese John Baptist Kaggwa has advised government to consider postponing the 2021 general elections if aspiring candidates cannot hold open air campaigns under the current COVID19 situation.
To Bishop Kaggwa, one of the most vocal catholic bishops in Uganda, the released roadmap cannot deliver a free and fair election. The roadmap favors incumbents and locks out new entrants in the political race at different levels. he made these remarks during a special mass on Wednesday to celebrate 25 years at the Kitovu Cathedral.
“How will I vote without seeing my candidate? My opinion is that if we cannot have the usual campaigns let government extend the elections for two years so that people can freely choose their new leaders without the current restrictions,” he said
On June 16, Justice Simon Byabakama, the Electoral Commission chairperson unveiled a new roadmap for the 2021 general elections. The roadmap requires candidates to conduct for virtual campaigns, and banned mass rallies as a measure to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines of social distancing.
The Uganda Electoral Commission insists that it is misleading to call the 2021 elections scientific and continue to disallow mass gatherings that normally characterize the campaigning period.
The Bishop tasked MPs who attended the function like Matthias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality), Babirye Kabanda (Masaka District Woman MP), Ssewungu Joseph Gonzaga (Kalungu West), Florence Namayanja (Bukoto East) and Veronica Nanyondo (Bukomansimbi District Woman MP ) to take his message to the House so that there can be a debate to extend the general elections.
Bishop Kaggwa also asked government to allow traders operating in arcades to reopen their shops saying in Uganda’s setting, malls and arcades are the same.
“Both [arcades and malls] are the same; the only different is that Americans call them malls and British call them arcades,” he said.