In a joint press conference held at Hotel Africana on Tuesday morning, opposition presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine, Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Mugisha Muntu have urged Ugandans to massively vote and guard their votes jointly, regardless of their political affiliations.
With just two days to the highly anticipated presidential election, the opposition candidates said that this is their first step to a “unity of purpose” in their effort to bring the 35 year old reign of incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to an end.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat in his speech said that the onus in now on the Electoral Commission to ensure that the voting process is free and fair because they are united to expose any irregularities.
“I want to tell the EC that if they cannot organise a free and fair election, then they are a useless organisation,” Amuriat said.
The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential candidate Gen Mugisha Muntu said that as candidates, they have done their part and now it is time for Ugandans to play their role in shaping a better future for their country.
Muntu said that many Ugandans are already discouraged from participating in the voting because of the violence that has dominated the campaigns but urged them not to give up at the final lap.
“Regardless of what you see, let not all the problems you see around discourage you from going to the polling station. Go and cast your vote, guard it and leave the rest to us,” Muntu said.
The National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine decried the harassment he has suffered at the hands of security officers right from the day of his nomination.
Kyagulanyi said that in Uganda, standing against President Museveni is the biggest crime.
“It is unfortunate that as all these things are happening, the EC is silent and instead blaming the victims,” Kyagulanyi said.
Kyagulanyi encouraged his supporters to turn up and vote and also guard their vote despite warnings from EC boss Justice Simon Byabakama, who urged the voters to leave the polling stations after casting their votes.
“Do not pay attention to Mr Byabakama’s illegal pronouncements. You’ll not be breaking any law by staying at the polling station,” Kyagulanyi said.
Kyagulanyi asked his supporters to use cameras on their phones to take photos and videos of any irregularities and send to the UVote application that he recently launched.
Four-time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye who was also present at the presser noted that although he had faced violence at the hands of security officers on several campaign trails over the years, the violence that was meted out to opposition candidates this time was unprecedented.
Besigye urged Ugandans to vote for any opposition candidate and protect their votes in order to deny President Museveni the required 51%.
“Some people get discouraged when they see the forces of change not presenting one person, but that should not be the issue. Everybody should cast and protect their votes,” Besigye said.