AFRICA/UGANDA - Religious leaders have organized moments of prayer for the elections of 18 February

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 elections   democracy  

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - Uganda's main religious faiths join in praying for the successful holding of the general elections on 18 February. This was decided by the Council of Presidents of Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), which announced the schedule of the different moments of prayer. According to information sent to Fides, the Muslims are expected to hold their prayer day on Friday February 12, while the Seventh-day Adventists will hold theirs on Saturday February 13. The Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Pentecostals, Evangelicals and others, their prayers will be held on Sunday February 14, respectively.
"As religious leaders, we are not supposed to be involved in partisan election or campaign for any individual politician because all sides are our people and people of God. Politicians are welcomed to our churches but we call upon everyone to pray to God to provide the right leaders for the country", said Mgr. Charles Kasibante, Vicar General of Kampala, during the press conference, who represented His Exc. Mgr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala.
Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, Co-Chair of IRCU and the Mufti of Uganda, pointed out some of the challenges that have in the past brought the would-be democratic process to disrepute. "For example, inadequate internal democracy within political parties, credibility of the Electoral Commission, vote buying, voter apathy, intolerance and violence, militia groups, intimidation, use of abusive language and ballot stuffing",he said. "A few weeks to the polling day, these issues remain the key concerns of many people both within and outside Uganda and there is a need for urgent action by all concerned stakeholders", he added.
The country prepares for the General Elections on February 18, 2016. President Yoweri Museveni, in power for 30 years, is given as favorite in front of the other seven candidates. In view of possible violent protests, the police have received new equipment for riot and crowd control. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/02/2016)