President Museveni has for the umpteenth time warned that government will not tolerate any forms of violence during the forthcoming 2021 elections.
Addressing the country on Tuesday evening, the President noted that it incumbent on every citizen to observe peace during the polls, noting that security organs will be on alert to deal with whoever wants to disrupt the elections.
“There is no threat we cannot defeat. We have simple and complex means to defeat the threats. There is no part of this country we cannot reach, either on foot or in air. I therefore urge all citizens to keep peace because it is their duty and not a favour,”Museveni.
Dressed in an army jacket, arguably, to send a warning, the President reminded the public of the manner security responded to the November 18 riots that sporadically broke out after the arrest of National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi.
“You saw how rioters were defeated in Kampala! Therefore don’t be tempted to break the law. If you try to disturb peace, you will have yourself to blame,” he warned.
The President on the other side urged members of the public to go in large numbers to exercise their civic duty of voting their favourite candidate without any fear.
He noted that security agencies are ready to protect them.
“I call upon all registered voters to come out and vote. I held a meeting with security forces and they are ready to defend you. Come out to vote and nobody will attack you. If anybody tries we will get them.”
President Museveni also commented on acts of cheating that he said should not be tolerated by security and Electoral Commission officials.
He insisted that cheating is treasonable since the leaders people choose are not the ones that go through.
“I am warning everybody. Please don’t try to cheat. I am glad the Electoral Commission has brought a system where you can vote by showing your fingerprint. I appeal to the Electoral Commission not to allow any voting where thumbprint is not used.”
“We fought for the right to vote and nobody should interfere with the vote. Let the people of Uganda elect the way they feel so that leaders concentrate on convincing people and serving them once elected.”
Museveni’s warning comes on the backdrop of the growing concern from the public that there will be violence during the forthcoming polls.
Many urban dwellers have since fled to rural areas in anticipation of violence.
The Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga on Tuesday warned that some politicians, especially from the opposition are planning to incite the public into violent protests during the forthcoming polls.
However, security agencies last week assured the country that will not be violence, during and after the Thursday polls.
The President in his new year message said elite UPDF units had been deployed in the city suburbs to help deal with any forms of violence that would arise before, during and after the election period.
He explained that the highly-trained units “from our army who have been doing much of the fighting in areas like Somalia, fighting ADF” will help to deal with any form of violence in Kampala area.
The statement by the President consequently lent credence to the appointment of Maj.Gen.Paul Lokech as the new Deputy Inspector General of Police, as well as Maj.Gen.Kayanja Muhanga as the overall operations coordinator for all security agencies, a role the army said would mean that he is the link between joint operations of the police, the military and intelligence agencies
To further confirm the statements by the President, the security agencies have started to deploy heavily in and around Kampala Metropolitan Area.
By Tuesday, queues of army officers and several armed vehicles were seen patrolling several roads and suburbs of Kampala, two days to the polls that the President says ought to have no elements of violence.