President Museveni has taken a swipe at politicians, especially from the opposition for defying the Ministry of Health and Electoral Commission guidelines to hold mass campaign rallies in disregard to the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
“There are these jokers who are playing around with the virus. In these campaigns, some people want to kill people by holding gatherings. Which kind of leaders are those? I have specialized masks like ones used by surgeons but I don’t hold gatherings,” Museveni told NRM leaders from Nebbi, Pakwach, Madi Okollo and Zombo districts at Nebbi Secondary School.
“Whenever I am moving, I find groups of people but I just wave to them. I don’t move out to speak to them. I have surgical masks and shields but I don’t get out mixing with the people. The specialized masks I have can’t allow the virus go through. I can put it on and mix with people but those people will transmit the virus to themselves. I can’t do that because I am a leader.”
Museveni cited an example of the US where over 250,000 people have died in the past few months due to the pandemic.
He noted in the US elections, whereas one candidate was advocating for people to stay safe while canvassing votes, the other was urging them to come in large numbers and in the end, the latter has lost.
“In America, there were two groups with one calling people to gather and the other was saying they don’t want to kill people just like I am doing. The other person of indirect campaigns (Joe Biden)has got five million votes more than the other one(Trump). It is (mass campaign s) totally unnecessary. You can do it safely. Campaigning does not mean rallies but message. You can pass on the message using the radio.”
Museveni asked NRM leaders to advise the public not to take risks with their lives by joining mass campaign rallies to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
“You can do it via radios and here you are assured of time to explain all your points than rallies where you are rushing to beat time. I now have more time to explain the NRM manifesto than speaking at rallies .”
Museveni’s remarks come on the backdrop of refusal by several presidential aspirants to heed to the Electoral Commission guidelines stopping mass rallies as a way of campaigning.
Whereas the number of people to attend campaign meetings was increased from 70 to 200, this has proved difficult to adhere to by the various aspirants who are seen moving with processions and holding mass rallies.