Youth under the platform for youth inclusion in politics are set to provide legal aid to the 31 suspects who were rounded up during the security operations at NUP offices in Kamwokya and Kampala business area among other youth who will be facing trumped up electoral violence charges.
Addressing a news conference today at their offices in Kansanga the youth led by Job Kijja, Emmanuel Wabwire and Nanyonjo lynnet condemn the brutal acts exhibited by security agencies while carried out the operation saying these are pause serious threat to the youth who plan to participate in politics.
They remind Uganda of its commitment to observe and promote democracy and rule of law as enshrined in the constitution.
They further urge the youths not to be used to orchestrate acts of electoral violence but rather maintain the highest level of peace.
On Wednesday October 14, 2020, a military operation was conducted on the offices of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in Kamwokya, Kampala, leaving many injured, property destroyed and some confiscated. Some of the affected items include, CCTV cameras, party uniforms, nomination signatures for the Presidential candidate, among others. A number of NUP members were arrested, while the security forces proceeded to the city center and arrested innocent women and men that had been contracted to tailor clothing for the NUP party. All this happened while NUP was preparing for nomination of their Parliamentary candidates, and holding a meeting of their youth league.
The Police Spokes-person later in the evening claimed that the operation was in relation to a security breach by NUP. The ugly scene of the operation that resulted into chaos, skirmishes and disenfranchisement of the members of NUP created unnecessary excitement in the population, and paints a negative image for a government that has over the years worked to consolidate a progressive democracy trajectory for Uganda.
The National Unity Platform notes that they lost invaluable property which was taken by the security forces, including money and some property vandalized. The incursion on NUP can be interpreted as an ill-political motive that is aimed at intimidating and disorganizing NUP election preparations one day to nominations for Members of Parliament and two weeks to nominations for presidential candidates. The action equally erodes voter confidence in the electoral process ahead of the 2021 general elections. Such actions constitute a reversal on the democratic gains that Uganda has made over the years, and clearly constrain young people’s participation in a country with a predominantly young population like Uganda.
Adopt a dialogue approach in the interest of peaceful elections to seek out more civilised ways of contacting the leadership of any political party or actors even when acting on intelligence rather than using force as if they were a counter force against the security as this undermines the spirit of the political organizations act and elections.
Restrain your officers from the use of excessive force unnecessarily, and respect the dignity of Ugandans.
Immediately release all individuals in detention over the unfortunate events including NUP party members and the innocent tailors.Denounce election violence by state and non-state actors, and desist from engaging in any acts of violence in the upcoming elections.
We should all use our demographic strength to peacefully participate in the next elections and make our voice sound.