The Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) has called on the Electoral Commission to take into consideration the limited media outreach, especially in the rural parts of the country ahead of the 2021 elections.
This followed the concerns that have been raised by different politicians and stakeholders regarding the virtual campaigns as the proposed primary mode of electioneering.
While addressing the media on Monday in Kampala, the executive director UWONET, Rita Aciro, said given the fact that campaigns are going to be conducted primarily online inevitably raises the question of equal access to media platforms by political candidates.
She said the fundamental principle defining credible elections is that they must reflect the free expression of the will of the people, and virtual campaigns undermine that principle.
She expressed worry about disenfranchisement ahead of the 2021 elections.
“The Electoral Commission should take cognisance of the limited media outreach especially in the rural parts of the country and allow for social and face to face meetings for a minimum of at least 50 people and the maximum of a hundred depending on the size of the facility of the meeting, “she said.
She noted that scientific election is likely to be unfair to women politicians if the recently released roadmap is not revised again.
Perry Aritua, the executive director of Women’s Democracy Network, expressed concern that the majority of Ugandans will be left out because access to the media is limited.
“There are few people who have access to the media. When you look at poverty levels in the country not many people are going to spend money on data and leave other basic needs like food among others,” she said.
She explained that the use of media will lead to cyber violence and the Electoral Commission needs to think through how this is going be addressed.