Zimbabwe: Concern for Local CSOs As Uganda Brutality Heightens

24 November 2020

Local civic society organisations under the auspices of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) have called on the Ugandan authorities to exercise peace and restraint ahead of the country's Presidential elections scheduled for January 14, 2021.

The call comes at a time violence erupted in Uganda after Presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) was arrested for defying Covid-19 regulations when he held a campaign rally on November 18.

In a statement, the coalition expressed concern over the acts of brutality by the police and the army. The clashes have claimed more than 50 people with over 800 arrested.

"We further implore Ugandan authorities to desist from the use of force against civilians. As CiZC, we are deeply concerned with the recent acts of brutality by the police and the army which led to the death of about 50 people following protests that erupted after the arrest of Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) who was arrested for allegedly defying Covid 19 regulations during a campaign rally in Luuka on November 18, 2020," read the statement

CiCZ condemned the brutal crackdown and called on the Ugandan opposition to observe the law ahead of the January elections.

"As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we firmly stand by the fact that peaceful processes are a panacea to free, fair and credible elections hence we condemn the brutal crackdown on opposition leaders and supporters ahead of the Ugandan elections.

"We also would like to call upon the Ugandan opposition to observe the law ahead of the January elections but we stand firm on the fact that the brutality by the police and the military which led to the shooting of about 50 civilians has no place in a modern democracy." said CiCZ

The coalition says the events unfolding in Uganda were a concern as it mirrors the general trend in Africa and Zimbabwe included.

"The situation unfolding in Uganda mirrors the general trend across the African continent and it is of huge concern to us as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition that of late, elections in Africa have mostly been characterised by violence and loss of lives with opposition party supporters being the major victims while ruling parties, with the assistance of the police and military, have been the major culprits.

"We reiterate our call for intervention by the African Union (AU) as well as the international community in ensuring that peace prevails before, during and after the January 2021 elections in Uganda. The current events unfolding in Uganda can only point to an election with predetermined outcomes and one that will ultimately fail the credibility test."

The Coalition called for solidarity across the African continent and ensure human life as well as free, fair and credible elections in Uganda.

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