The Inter religious council of Uganda (IRCU) has condemned the manner under which security forces brutality arrested two presidential candidates during nomination exercise on Tuesday.
The leaders who are in Mbarara meeting all religious leaders at various levels of leadership in the region so as to come up with a common stand, what role they can play to contribute to a conducive electoral environment noted that the behaviour and excessive force exhibited by security in handling Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert was a clear signal that the process will not be free and fair.
Addressing press conference on Wednesday in Mbarara the secretary general Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) Joshua Kitakule said that such bad treatment to the two candidates before and after their nomination left a lot to be desired as it jeopardized freedom of the spirit of free and fair election and cast the entire country in bad light.
He further said that much as the citizens are trying to make election exercise free and fair, the conduct of security agencies if not checked could have already set it on the path of violence.
‘’The conduct of the security agencies may not only undermine citizens confidence in the electoral process but may also set it on the path of violence which we are trying to avoid as a country’’ said Kitakule
Kitakule said even if police have the mandate to maintain law and order, this should be done with dignity, respect and within the constitution through which the country is governed.
They called on the Electoral Commission to make rules governing 2021 elections clear to all political players so as to secure an environment that will deliver a fair and peaceful election.
‘’We urge the electoral commission to make the rules of the 2020/2021 electoral process clear, fair and continuously work with the security organs.’’ Said Kitakule
The National Chairman Elders Forum Justice James Ogola said the prevailing political trends calls for immediate intervention by religious groups and elders within the country who can mediate between all political players taking part in the election so as to restore sanity and normalcy in the country.
Mbarara Resident district commission James Mwesigye faulted the religious body of being partisan and challenged them to change their mind over this position in order to be respected by all political players.