Every after five years, Ugandans go to polls to choose a new set of leaders right from the sub-county to the president.
Often however, the campaigns that are mounted by the candidates in the process of canvassing for votes, tends to be a season of widespread human rights abuses. History shows that security agencies, particularly the Police, tend to become the enemy of the people by engaging in human rights violations such as beating or imposing illegitimate sanctions especially against opposition candiates that violate their human and constitutional rights.
And as the 2020/21 electoral season hots up, the Electoral Commission, and other national organisations charged with the job of civic education, are being called upon to realizing that past mistakes relating to human rights violations are not repeated.
Emmanuel Mbonye, The Mukono District Council Speaker has credited the Electoral Commission (EC) for coming up with plans to create civic education among voters.
He also urged the EC leadership to implement the same plan among officers and men in the uniform, some of whom have often been sighted in human rights violations.
“Our worry is that the youths in uniform might be used by top politicians with promises of money and ranks better than the ones they currently hold. I however, appeal to the Electoral Commission to also give civic education to these youths in uniform,” said Mbonye.
Mbonye, who also doubles as the LC5 councilor for Mpatta Sub County further advised men in uniform to stick to their oaths of protecting civilians and their property.
“These youths in uniform are young and they may think misbehaving earns them respect from the public. They shouldn’t get over-excited with the guns they hold but instead do things in a professional manner that will not ruin their names after service,” stressed Mbonye.
in an exclusive interview with The Sunrise at the district headquarters, Mbonye appealed to the peace keepers to distance themselves from actively engaging in politics by actively supporting the NRM regime but instead serve their country in a neutral manner.
“We have always seen men in uniform handling opposition leaders and supporters in a brutal way. They at times even harass journalists that do great work to this nation. Army men and police must know that as power changes, they are not meant to engage in wrangles that may kill patriotism with in civilians and also cost them after retirement,” he revealed.
Mbonye has also appealed to the Electoral Commission to sensitize candidates and the general population so that the country gets peaceful elections.
“Civic education must also be given to contestants so that people join the politics with discipline and respect for one another,” said Mbonye.