By Sania Babirye
The Electoral commission has asked the High court to dismiss a case in which presidential aspirant and veteran journalist turned , preacher Joseph Kabuleta is challenging the directive by the Electoral body to hold scientific/digital campaigns for the coming 2021 General elections.
The said case had come up for hearing before Justice Esther Nambayo, however, lawyers representing Uganda Electoral commission have told court that Kabuleta pre-maturely brought the said petition before court without first exhausting necessary steps within the Electoral commission .
According to EC , section 15 of its Act, has avenues through which such matters raised by Kabuleta can be resolved internally and if dissatisfied with the outcome, then someone can seek court redress.
EC further told court that the said petition was filed before court and should not be heard.
Justice Nambayo has set the 14th of August to giver her ruling.
Through his lawyers of Anthony Wameeli, Kabuleta was court to stop the scientific revised election roadmap until when the country is able to hold normal elections without restrictions.
Kabuleta also wants orders compelling government to declare a state of emergency and postpone next year’s elections in order to enable citizens express their will and consent on how they should be governed .
In his application, Kabuleta claims that digital elections dictated by the EC under the guise of preventing further spread of Covid- 19 pandemic , are meant to give incumbents an advantage over new contenders because the former category already has control over the existing media out-lets on top of having enormous followers on social media.
He further claims that the scientific elections will frustrate public participation in matters regarding their governance as it gags people from freely expressing their views to contending candidates and bars others from offering themselves for election .
On the 16th of June 2020 EC declared a scientific revised 2021 general elections banning politicians from holding public political rallies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic .
Kabuleta says the pandemic is just an excuse to violate people’s rights basing on mere anticipations that the situation will be worse at the time of holding campaigns yet there are countries like Ghana , Burundi , Malawi and America where aspiring candidates hold public rallies at the moment.