The Electoral Commission (EC) is disturbed by the reference to the forthcoming general elections as scientific. The electoral body’s spokesman, Jotham Taremwa said in a Sunday interview that it is misleading for the media and politicians to call the 2021 elections scientific.
Since the EC released a new roadmap for the 2021 general elections in which it indicated that mass campaign rallies will not be allowed as a measure against the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the media and some politicians were quick to call the elections “scientific.”
“There is no science about it is an election like any other. I think because there [will be] no rallies, they have decided to term it as scientific, but the rest of the processes remain the same. So, there is nothing scientific; it is a general election,” Taremwa said.
On June 16, EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi announced that they were pushing ahead with the 2021 elections despite the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However as a mitigation factor, they were not going to allow mass gatherings that normally characterize the campaigning period, in order to limit the spread of the virus. It’s this ban on public campaigns that won the election, the moniker ‘scientific.’
The term scientific in the times of COVID-19 however was popularized by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who said that people wanting to marry, bury the dead or do any other thing that usually requires mass gathering, should do so with a very limited number of people. For marriages, he limited them to 10, while burials the number was put at 30 people, most especially family members and very close friends.
On the other hand however, scientific is also a common slang used to mean anything that is not true or legitimate. In referring to elections, if someone says “There was science in his victory” it means that there was cheating and other malpractices that led to victory . So maybe it’s safer to conclude that the use of the word scientific in referring to this election probably dents the credibility of the election even before the first ballot is cast.