As the country gears up for tomorrow’s elections, Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, an expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable rights has said that the state is creating an environment of fear and distrust by deploying heavy security during this election.
Appearing on NBS TV’s Morning Breeze show on Wednesday morning,Ssewanyana said when the state deploys heavily, a civil exercise is undermined.
Ssewanyana who is the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) said violence, intimidation and killings need to be tamed in the electoral process.
“There has been limited voter education. We should be telling people what they should do tomorrow. This is not a time for campaigns. There are also very many descending voices, people don’t know what is right and what is wrong,”he said.
He stated that there should be more emphasis on the deployment of candidate’s agents at the polling station.
“The notion of change or no change stands out in this election. The security think anyone with divergent view needs thorough treatment. There hasn’t been, serious attention to the needs of the ordinary citizens,”he noted.
“You hardly feel the excitement and that the choice you make will make an impact. All I see is fear and the question of who is in charge of the elections? The quality of the election continues to be undermined,”he added.
Ssewanyana said Covid-19 should not be used as an excuse to stifle people’s rights.
“Covid-19 doesn’t take away our rights and shouldn’t be trivialised at the expense of others. I hope we don’t experience the failure of the Electoral Commission to deliver the polling materials on time,”he stated.
Regarding the suspending social media ahead of the polls, Ssewanyana said there is no serious justification for the blockage.