The Catholic Bishops in Uganda under their umbrella body, the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) have warned police against inviting the army into the management of elections.
The remarks followed the recent actions by security agencies and other government institutions which they said put to doubt the credibility of the forthcoming general elections.
Speaking to the media, the chairman of the UEC, Rt. Rev. Joseph Anthony Zziwa,appealed to the police and all other security agencies involved in the electoral process to dispense their mandate in a diligent and professional manner.
“What perturbs us most is the fact that many of the victims died or got injured in the hands of security agencies tasked with the duty to protect life and property of citizens. We see this as abuse of authority,” he noted.
He implored government to urgently address issues such as the increasing militarisation of the electoral process, suffocation of press freedom, commercialisation of politics and the likely disenfranchisement of voters.
“In particular we recommend that in the maintenance of law and order, the police should be seen to act impartially and refuse to be drawn into political contestations, it must at all times be seen to account to the people, not to any political group,” Zziwa said.
He warned the Electoral Commission against mismanaging the general elections.
He cautioned that acts such as vote-rigging and tampering with election results would be a sin of great proportions.
“For electoral process to be free and fair, it must be conducted in an atmosphere that enables every citizen entitled to vote to exercise his or her right without any form of intimidation, or coercion, or manipulation,”.