Friday, November 6, 2009

UPDF role in Uganda's 2011 elections clarified

KAMPALA - The army will only be involved in the 2011 general elections to provide security, the Government has said.

The Minister for Information and National Guidance, Kabakumba Masiko, yesterday said reports that the NRM was plotting to use the army in the 2011 election were wrong. "The NRM is not planning any unconstitutional use of the army in the 2011 elections," Kabakumba said during a press conference at the Media Centre in Kampala. She said the Government would meet its constitutional mandate of providing a good environment for peaceful, free and fair elections.

Kabakumba added that the army would be involved where it is called upon to keep law and order. "It must be emphasised that the army offers supplementary support to the Uganda Police in maintaining security," she said.

The Cabinet, she added, had approved most of the reforms proposed to amend the Electoral Commission Act, Presidential Elections Act, the Parliamentary Elections Act and the Political Party and Organisation Act. She noted that this was an indication that the Government wants a free and fair election in 2011.

The minister also asked the media to help in shaping the public attitude towards the army, saying it is a public institution that has been professionalised to respect civil rule and consolidate good governance. Kabakumba also defended the closure of some radio stations.

She blamed them for inciting violence and coordinating riots that took place in Buganda in September. "This means that they violated the terms upon which they were set up and licensed to broadcast," Kabakumba said. She said the critics of the Government should also point out the mistakes of the radios.

Central Broadcasting Service (CBS FM) and Ssubi FM remain closed much as the management of Ssubi on Wednesday apologised for airing comments that could have incited violence. Kabakumba cautioned the media against abusing their freedom.

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