The upcoming 2021 general elections could be cancelled as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the world.
Just hours ago, the first case of the virus was confirmed in Kenya and it’s matter of days before it reaches Uganda.
Now concerned Ugandans have advised the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to pull the plug on the elections.
In another related incident, a concerned citizen has petitioned court seeking to suspend all elections scheduled for 2021 in Uganda for five years until government gains control over the coronavirus disease.
The respondents in the case are the Uganda Electoral Commission and the Attorney General (AG).
In his suit filed before the High Court Civil Division in Kampala yesterday, Mr Abey Mgugu, wants court to declare a state of health emergency in the country and halt all elections until 2026 or otherwise.
Mr Mgugu claims that on reading the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, it was reported that coronavirus spreads through close contact with infectious person, contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze and touching objects or surfaces from an infected person.
It is stated that the prevention of coronavirus is maintaining social distancing of about one metre (three feet)between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, avoid touching each other, and washing hands often with soap and water.
The petitioner (Mr Mgugu) explains that he got to know the impact of the threat of coronavirus when he visited some public places like the Industrial Court, and Uganda Revenue Authority head offices at Nakawa, Kampala, among other places.
“That based on the nature of how coronavirus spreads, the applicant reasonably believes that the Ugandan community will not freely exercise their political rights which is a crucial element of democracy due to the restricted movement and association….,” reads in part court documents.
“I believe the threat of coronavirus will affect election monitoring due to restrictions on immigration that will affect election observers who are necessary in ensuring free and fair elections,” Mr Mgugu adds.
Mr Mgugu states that the social, economic and political life of the country is threatened by the spread of a dangerous natural disaster rendering it necessary to declare a state of health emergency.
He now seeks court to enforce the rights embedded under Article 50, 23(d) and 45 of the Constitution as Ugandans have liberty through elections to choose leaders of their choice. The government side (EC and AG) has 15 days to respond to the petition.
Additional information: Daily Monitor