Ochola has assured Ugandans that they have all it takes to ensure next week’s elections are held peacefully.
The Inspector-General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola has assured Ugandans that they have all it takes to ensure next week’s elections are held peacefully.
In a statement released Friday, Ochola said that they have already received information about some party groups that are planning to go on strike if the results from the elections do not favour them.
Ochola who was giving his address ahead of next week’s elections explained that there is no evidence of voter fraud, but some party leaders more so those in the opposition are using propaganda to incite violence based on claims that the ruling NRM party will rig the elections.
Relatively, he noted that these groups also intend to participate in intimidation and threatening behaviours to deny rival voters any access to the polling station.
“We are aware of some candidates, who even without evidence are already questioning the outcome of the Elections. Therefore, if such candidates lose, some of their supporters who strongly believe in them are planning on holding disruptive and violent demonstrations and riots, civil unrests, and foreign disinformation campaigns,” Ochola said.
“In addition, despite the Electoral Commission guidelines on polling day, some candidates are urging their supporters to go in large numbers to monitor the Polling Centres on false claims of Election fraud. There is no evidence of voter fraud, but some politicians are using the propaganda to incite violence based on these false claims.”
He, however, assured that the country has no specific threats at this stage, targeting the elections. The IGP explained that they have since addressed all security gaps based on what transpired during the recent protests and demonstrations.
He said that the police has now ensured a multilayered security response of patrol groups on foot, motorcycles and patrol vehicles.
Also, they have practised active drills on several scenarios including violent riots, radical youth groups, cyber harassment, clashes between rival groups etc.
The IGP also noted that encouraging peaceful statements from prominent persons including religious leaders, musicians, media and security personnel condemning acts of violence are enough proof to justify that the general public is less committed to riots.
“We are therefore committed to working collaboratively with other stakeholders to manage all threats and liabilities. This is key to protection of every person’s right to vote and maintain confidence in a safe, secure and accurate election. Like always, we pledge to remain transparent and vigilant to combat all threats against the electoral events,” Ochola added.
“We all know elections, are a cornerstone of our democracy, therefore, safeguarding the integrity of the 2021 general elections is our number one priority. All Ugandans that are participating in the electoral process must rest assured that we will protect and serve them, in a very impartial, fair and transparent manner.”