The Secretary-General of ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) Justine Kasule Lumumba has called for calm and peace from Ugandans.
This is in the wake of the electoral related violence that disrupted different parts of the country last week following the arrest of the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine while on the campaign trail in Luuka district.
Bobi Wine who was bailed out after spending two days detained in a police facility at Nalufenya in Jinja district was accused of undermining the electoral guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the health ministry to contain the spread of Covid-19.
According to the police, the violence left about 50 people dead and several others wounded.
Speaking during the launch of of #IChoose Peace campaign at Serena Hotel Kampala on Thursday, Lumumba reminded Ugandans and political players that no one has the monopoly over violence adding that it can affect everyone.
“Nobody has monopoly on violence I may be guarded as the secretary general of NRM, but my children are not guarded, my children and relatives are not guarded. I may be guarded, but there are somethings I may not be guarded against,” she said.
Lumumba called on the media to be responsible when it comes to the kind of information it releases to the public saying that some journalists have gone astray while doing their job.
“I want to thank the media for the role it plays in our society; however, sometimes the media tends to amplify the bad over the good. You make it look so bad,” she said.
Lumumba also cautioned the public against not following the set standard operating procedures during the campaigns saying that, “We also need to remember that COVID-19 is real. Let us be careful to avoid contracting the disease. We need to be safe during this time.”
She appealed on the public to stop provoking security officers because it makes their work difficult.
“We condemn all those who did what was wrong and we are deeply sorry for all those who lost their lives and property,” she added.
The leaders of the Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Justice Forum (JEEMA) also condemned the violence and agreed to coordinate efforts to prevent the escalation of the kind.
The deputy secretary general of the FDC, Harold Kaija, said addressing what causes violence was the most important thing.
“We must all work for peace but having in mind what causes the violence we see,” he said.
He decried the police interruption of the campaigns of the opposition candidates who are campaigning in different parts of the country.
“If we want peace, let us work for justice,” he added.
Christine Kasule Mugerwa, the DP deputy secretary general said the party remains committed to peace and dialogue saying that violence does not only undermine democratic governance, truth and justice but grossly affects women and children.
The #IChoosePeace campaign is facilitated by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) which hosts the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD), a forum that brings together Political Parties with representation in Parliament.
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