Intimidation, Hooliganism Threaten 2016 Electoral Process – Clerics Top story

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In short
The process leading to polling day is characterized by reports of intimidation, defacing of posters and verbal insults. These, Mubaje says, have on a number of occasions degenerated into confrontation between supporters of rival camps and often with security agencies.

Intimidation, use of material inducements, recruitment of crime preventers and vigilante groups are major obstacles to the success of the 2016 electoral process in Uganda, the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) says.

This coupled with hooliganism, limited voter education and use of vulgar and abusive language could render the process worthless, the Mufti of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje observed with just 13 days left to polling day.

Ugandans go to the polls on February 18th 2016 to elect a President, Members of Parliament and Local Government leaders across the country.

However, the process leading to polling day is characterized by reports of intimidation, defacing of posters and verbal insults. These, Mubaje says, have on a number of occasions degenerated into confrontation between supporters of rival camps and often with security agencies.

Mubaje told journalists in Kampala today that all actors need to follow the law and provide a conducive environment for campaigns and elections.
 
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The Inter-religious Council of Uganda also expressed worry at the use of money by politicians to influence the will of the people. Mubaje said that the act is not only a sin but illegal, immoral, unethical and an indication that such candidates are undeserving.

Mubaje called upon political players to desist from such practices and allow voters to decide in a free environment.

The concern comes amidst reports of money being distributed by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to voters at different levels. Social media is also overflowing with pictures of NRM candidates and mobilizers distributing money to voters.

The council urged voters to decline such inducements intended to influence their decision to belong to a political group.

Mufti Mubaje equally called for a proper legal framework for the recruitment of crime preventers in order to make them accountable to the people.  He says that the way crime preventers are viewed by various actors, is an indication that their role is not clear to many Ugandans.
 
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Mubaje was flanked by Msgr. Charles Kasibante the IRCU Board Chair, Msgr. John Kauta-the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat and others. 

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.