The spokesperson of the Election Commission Joshua Taremwa has confirmed that all electoral programmes will take place as planned in the electoral roadmap of 2021 despite the Coronavirus pandemic .
Teremwa, who spoke to this websites on Monday evening, said that all programs are going on as they were outlined in the roadmap except one program which has been disrupted by the outbreak of COVID 19.
“The program of conducting elections for special interest groups, such as youth, elderly and people with disabilities has been disrupted by this outbreak. However, when the outbreak is contained we shall resume from where we ended,” he said.
He added that the commission shall try by all means that the interrupted program does not interfere with other programs.
“We shall be informing the public about our coming programs however as a commission we want to sure Ugandans that our main roadmap 2021 is still going on and general elections will take place come 2021 on the dates in our roadmap,” he said.
Taremwa’s comments follow arguments by some of the prominent opposition figures such as the four-time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye who said while on one of the local television stations that elections may not take place due to the lockdown of businesses
“I have been hearing such even before the outbreak of Coronavirus that elections may not take place or be postponed. This election has faced a lot of constraints even before this pandemic of COVID 19, the first challenge came from the Ministry of Finance who asked the commission to cut on its budget yet even the present budget may not sustain the entire processes, so with the outbreak of Coronavirus I suspect any change in elections dates,” he said
Also the Member of Parliament Kampala Central Muhammad Nsereko, who after President Museveni first directives due to Coronavirus, said suspending businesses without putting any other alternatives that will support business community will ruin their business and in the end, the country’s coffers will have no money to run the mandatory programs of the country such as elections.
“Mere suspending of some businesses in such a type of economy, is dangerous. People are going to become poorer and this will also affect the tax base of the country and in the end you will hear government telling us that elections will not take place. Because there is no money to conduct them since all businesses were on lockdown and there were no taxes. Nobody will oppose this, yet now more solution can be found to avoid the fire that is coming” he said.
He added that suspending businesses without negotiating with banks on to reduce on loans interests of businesses people or Umeme to stop charging power and landlords to reduce on rent fees, will affect the economy and the taxman will have nothing to take and the country will not be able to conduct some programs.
However, Taremwa confirmed that already the commission is steady and set on its roadmap without changing anything.
“On our side, we don’t have any plan of postponing the General elections 2021, however, let’s pray as a nation that the outbreak of this Coronavirus is managed and handled so that we embark on our program of 2021,” he said.
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