KAMPALA – The Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth-Ochola, has warned some presidential candidates against spreading false messages that the 2021 General Election was littered with fraud and rigging.
Addressing journalists on post-election security at the police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala, on Wednesday, 27 January 2021, Mr Ochola said the some presidential candidates, after failing to destabilise the election with threats of ‘Plan B,’ have resorted to spreading false messages that the election was rigged.
“Although our risk assessment of the post-election violence and related vulnerabilities have reduced, we are aware of alarming assertions by disgruntled former Presidential candidates, that the election was marred with fraud and irregularities. They are spreading false information and disinformation to try to influence public perception and promote hatred,” Mr Ochola said.
While the IGP did not mention names, NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, who has been confined at his home since election day on January 14 until Tuesday, January 26, has alleged that the election was marred by intimidation of his supporters as well as ballot stuffing.
On the other hand, four-time former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, who did not stand in the January 14 election, has often insisted that he is preparing Plan B that will see President Museveni out of power.
But the police chief on Wednesday insisted that such unfounded claims have a potential of fanning violence in our communities.
“From a security point of view, such unfounded claims have a potential of fanning violence in our communities. We do strongly discourage such acts and advise the candidates to seek redress before the courts of law,” Mr Ochola said, adding: “As we draw towards the end of the Elections, our enforcement actions are still on. We continue to employ effective measures on levels of vigilance and alertness as we monitor all forms of threats.”
He also assured the country that the police are very firm on the ground “and would like to reassure all Ugandans and visitors to our country to remain confident and steadfast. They should also obtain information on the Electoral process from trusted sources and report any suspicious activities to the nearest police unit.”