High Court in Jinja has blocked Women Council elections due on Tuesday and the follow up Local Council I vote scheduled for next week.
The Monday court order followed an application by concerned citizen, James Tweheyo challenging the elections in the absence of Advanced Secondary School students who are currently sitting their examinations until December 8.
Tweheyo, through his lawyers led by Caleb Mwesigwa filed the application arguing that the impugned elections, if held would disenfranchise the Constitutional rights of students who are eligible to participate either as voters or as candidates but they were unable to register.
The Electoral Commission (EC) had set November 14 for the election of women village committees and November 21 for the election of Local Council I Committees.
However, High Court Registrar, Ms Sarah Langa on Monday issued an interim order restraining EC and the Attorney General from organizing and or conducting the village council elections.
“Interim order is hereby issued restraining the respondents from organizing and or conducting village council I and II and women elections pending hearing of the main cause fixed for November 15 this year,” Langa ruled.
The express order followed an earlier one issued by a similar court in Jinja in a case of a student, Allan Alibwani against EC challenging the same exercise.
Mwesigwa told Court that there is irreparable injury on part of the students estimated to number about 131,000 and aged 18 to 23 years, whose constitutional right, if violated cannot be compensated by any amount.
This comes at the time when Uganda police force has deployed over 36000 police officers Country wide to guard the women and LC1 elections which are due next week.
Asan Kasingye the Police spokesperson while addressing the press at police headquarters in Naguru on Monday said the heavy deployment is to provide peace and security.
“We have deployed officers in both Uniform and plain clothed operatives to make sure that elections go on peaceful,” said Kasingye. Kasingye added that elections will be for lining up behind their candidates.
“We shall make sure that voters who will be lining up behind the backs of the candidates are not disturbed,” said Kasingye.
Kasingye also said that officers will be in charge of patrolling both at night during day, gathering intelligence about some people who would want to cause chaos during and after elections, protecting people’s properties among others.
The police spokesperson however warned police officers not to get involved in the elections. “Any police officer who will be partisan in these elections will be arrested and charged individually,” said Kasingye.