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Order from above? Byabakama breaks silence on reports that Museveni pressurized him to summon Amuriat, Bobi Wine

Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama and Presdient Yoweri Museveni. Courtesy Photos

The chairperson of Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, has denied working on orders from President and ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate Yoweri Museveni to summon aspirants Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP).

After a December 15 meeting with EC officials at the electoral body’s headquarters in Kampala, Bobi Wine claimed Byabakama had summoned him and Amuriat simply because Museveni complained.

“We raised these matters severally but the Electoral Commission did not respond. It was not until candidate Museveni came out to castigate the Electoral Commission that he is not happy with them and the police that the Electoral Commission wrote to us and summoned us,” Bobi Wine claimed.

In his address during National thanksgiving prayers at State House Entebbe on December 11, Museveni expressed his disappointment in Police chief IGP Martins Okoth Ochola and Justice Byabakama for their failure to bring to book presidential candidates Amuriat and Bobi Wine for flouting electoral and Covid19 prevention measures.

“If I stand up to speak it means my supporters are infecting one another. This is criminal. I don’t know what the Electoral Commission of Mr. Byabakama is doing to allow this nonsense to happen. I am not happy with Byabakama and police,” Museveni said.

But Byabakama has denied acting on orders from above.

He rode on the timing of the issuance of the summons and that of the president’s statements.

“Those invitations came out in the morning,” he told reporters after the meeting with Bobi Wine.

“I remember those invitations were in the morning and the comment by the president that you are referring to, I think, were made in the evening at that prayer session at State House.”

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