Uganda: No Amount of Pressure Will Stop Us - Army

19 November 2020

Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) have warned politicians against flouting Covid-19 restrictions issued by government and its relevant agencies as well as the local laws.

"If this defiance does not stop, we have a task to make sure that the laws are not flouted. We have not started implementing Covid-19 SOPs during the election period and we shall not stop," warns the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso.

"No amount of pressure is going to bar us from doing the right thing," Brig Byekwaso added.

The army spokesperson was appearing on a political show hosted on state broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), late Wednesday night.

Re-echoing bits of scientific truism, Brig Byekwaso said, "What happened on Wednesday is one of the things that are going to put the country at a high risk of the pandemic. It is so disheartening that the people who want to be leaders have not 'appreciated' what the country is going through."

Asked by show host Charles Odongtho - why security forces have kept a blind eye towards other massively attended political rallies, especially by the NRM supporters, Brig Byekwaso responded: "Two wrongs do not make it right. I was not there to see what Bebe Cool or Tanga Odoi did. They should be held responsible for what they did."

Brig Byekwaso further explained the precedent set by the likes of Tanga Odoi and Bebe Cool should not set a leeway for aspiring leaders who want to have a health population.

In an attempt to justify events resulting from the Wednesday arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, "We started because they started," she said.

"You know when you want to do something, you first warn. We cannot continue postponing it [arrest] after we have kept warning and warning you. That is why it had to happen yesterday," Brig Byekwaso explained Mr Kyagulanyi's arrest.

Her remarks came just moments after her counterpart in Police, Mr Fred Enanga had uttered statements alluding to a Wednesday morning warning from the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

"IGP Martin Ochola indicated that we are coming up with tougher measures to start arresting," Mr Enanga said, adding that, "these are normal operations."

On November 3, incumbent president and National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Mr Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni- warned that his regime had intent to crackdown people, including politicians flouting Covid-19 guidelines and those who want to disrupt the supposedly peaceful election process.

November 18 would see Mr Kyagulanyi and the Forum for Democratic Change president Patrick Amuriat become the first pair as victims of fate.

The two presidential candidates were viciously arrested and detained in different locations on grounds that they had flouted Covid-19 restrictions, prompting at least three of the other 11 presidential candidates to suspend their campaigns amid wild-wide spread protests in several parts of the country.

While Mr Amuriat was released last night, Mr Kyagulanyi was still in detention at Nalufenya by press time.

dajuna@ug.nationmedia.com | editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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