Bobi Wine, Electoral Commission disagree over campaign MoU


Electoral Commission says Ugandan presidential candidate should not campaign without an MoU

The Electoral Commission (EC) has blocked presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, from campaigning in 16 districts without permission.

Bobi Wine had hoped to return to the districts he skipped on his campaign schedule but the EC wants him to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before he embarks on a return journey to the districts.

Bobi Wine rejected the condition, saying other presidential candidates are in the field campaigning without signing the document.

Daily Monitor could not verify whether other presidential candidates signed the MoU.

“Justice Byabakama is a judge but he is the one who is flouting the law with impunity. We have written to him complaining about several things and he has continued to go silent about it. We cannot sign this MoU. We shall, however, reach out to the people anyway,” Mr Kyagulanyi told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday.

Some of the districts in question are Kaliro, Pallisa, Kaberamaido, Kwania, Namutumba, Ngora, Bukedea, Kalaki, Amolatar, Serere, Buyende, Bugweri, Butebo and Dokolo.

In the MoU, all presidential candidates are required to hold peaceful campaigns, follow the Covid-19 guidelines from the Ministry of Health and EC guidelines on processions. Also, candidates are not allowed to be in the same districts at the same time.

Bobi Wine said he had missed out on campaigning in these districts because police had blocked him from accessing these areas without a clear explanation.

EC spokesperson Paul Bukenya on Tuesday said Bobi Wine had no option but to comply with the set conditions before visiting the 16 districts.
“It is in his best interest to comply and it is not true that we have refused to harmonise his programme. This is a process and we have just told him to meet his obligation on his side. We shall allow him to go and campaign in those areas. We hope all candidates will be able to come and sign this MoU,” Mr Bukenya told Daily Monitor.

Last week, citing the surging Covid-19 infections and persistent violation of the standard operating procedures by some candidates, the EC suspended campaign meetings in Wakiso, Kampala, Mbarara, Kabarole, Luweero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, and Tororo.

“EC is conniving with President Museveni to break the law. NUP will keep exposing them so that everyone gets to know that they are not acting within the law. ‘We need to free the minds of the people’,” Bobi Wine said as he quoted the words of Jamaican political activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

Efforts to get a comment from both the regional police commander and the district police commander were futile as our repeated calls to them and messages went unanswered.