The Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) has expressed worry that the election violence that was exhibited during the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries may spill over into the general election.
The fear was highlighted by the IPOD Council Secretary Generals who had gathered to condemn the acts of violence and argue for violence free electoral processes within political parties and at national level.
“We note with great concern the increasing levels of violence and intolerance among political actors and voters especially in the periods preceding elections. In the past few days, various media houses have reported a number of incidences of violence including loss of lives in the on-going primary elections of various political parties,” noted the IPOD Council Chairperson who is also Justice Forum (JEEMA) Secretary General, Mohammed Kateregga.
Kateregga said that these incidents are highly regrettable adding that no Ugandan should die while exercising their right to participate in democratic processes.
Kateregga noted that it is of a particular concern to the leaders of political parties in IPOD because the IPOD MOU under Article 1 (b) expressly provides for one of the key objectives being “To promote interparty and co-operation as a means for dealing with political differences and managing conflict without resorting to undemocratic means including violence”.
Kateregga also revealed that IPOD will be soon launching a nationwide campaign to sensitize the masses on the importance of vigilance, issue based and peaceful participation in elections and why it is everyone’s duty to shun all forms of violence.
Democratic Party (DP) Secretary General, Dr. Gerald Siranda accused security forces in the country for fueling election violence in certain parts of the country.
“Security officers are always seen sidelining with some politicians to cause commotion during elections, this should stop because it has cost many lives,” Siranda said.
Speaking on the subject matter, NRM Deputy Secretary General, Richard Todwong noted that the NRM party primaries were relatively peace as violence was noted in less than 10 districts in the country.
“What brought about the challenge in the elections was the change of our electoral system when we retired the voters’ register since many people had joined the party and we allowed them an opportunity to vote,” Todwong said.
He noted that this system was taken advantage of some opposition and other political players who infiltrated the system and caused violence.