On Boxing Day December 26, 2020, the Electoral Commission suspended campaign meetings in the districts/cities categorized by the Ministry of Health as having high spread of COVID-19. The EC spokesperson, Paul Bukenya said that no campaign meetings will be held in the 11 cities and districts of Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala and Tororo.
For the first time President Yoweri Museveni, a presidential candidate sponsored by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party commented on the decision by EC. He said he has been adhering to the set COVID-19 campaign guidelines but his opponents are the reason he also faces the ban.
“I have never done rallies but it looks like Electoral Commission has mixed me with other parties having rallies. Since the man of EC has ordered, we salute and accept,” said President Museveni.
While Museveni is accepting to abide by the suspension, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has today run to High Court and challenged the suspension of election campaign meetings. In his lawsuit, Lukwago says that the decision from EC is irrational and illegal. He therefore wants court to order for the quashing of the commission’s decision to suspend election campaign meetings in 12 districts.
“I know that during the month of March 2020, Uganda registered its first case of Covid-19 whereupon the government imposed a lockdown restricting public activities, but the President Yoweri Museveni insisted that the situation was not so grave to warrant a declaration of a state of emergency under Article 110 of the Constitution.
“I am aware that during the month of June 2020, Government took steps of easing the lockdown and instituted standard operating procedures intended to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 and accordingly several public activities were reactivated,” Lukwago states in his suit.