With less than a week to the presidential candidates' nomination, the electoral commission has 18 more candidates whose voter
endorsement signatures are still under verification and yet in the past two
weeks the commission has only managed to verify and qualify four aspirants as
ready for nomination.
Ugandans are already questioning the speed at which the
electoral commission is operating but when URN presented the matter to the EC
spokesperson Paul Bukenya, he said “It’s not us to blame”. We asked him to
divulge more into his response.
He said first of all the EC issued announcements via all
media platforms advising candidates to present their signatures for verification
a month ago, something that would give the commission enough time to sort out
the technicalities before nomination day, but many chose to ignore the call.
Bukenya added that even those who took the signatures earlier presented files of them with a lot of issues leading to a lengthy
process of verification. According to him, some of the aspirants
have by now only managed to have only 20 or 30 districts verified and confirmed
out of the required 98 districts in the entire country.
The presidential elections act requires that each aspiring
candidate must present a minimum of 100 signatures from each of two-thirds of Uganda’s
districts. This means all aspiring presidential candidates must produce 100
signatures from each of 98 districts.
//Cue in: “It is not us, it is………
Cue out: ……..notice in August'//
//Cue in: “Eky’okuba ntinno………
Cue out: ……..zokka ez’akakasibwa”//
By today morning, the EC had only verified and cleared four
aspiring candidates including NRM’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Mwesigye Fred
(Independent), Tumukunde Henry Kakurugu (Independent) and one female aspirant
Kalembe Nancy Linda (Independent).
As the nomination dates draw closer, candidates’ camps for
both political parties and independents are beginning to worry that they might
face problems. These include National Unity platform-NUP flag bearer
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, Alliance for National Transformation – ANT flag
bearer Gregory Mugisha Muntu, Forum for Democratic change – FDC flag bearer
Patrick Amuriat, Democratic Party Flag Bearer Norbert Mao and others.
Bukenya categorically stated that since the law gives
aspirants a deadline of the nomination day to present the signatures and other
documents, EC can’t force them to take up advice of early submission and it’s
going to continue verifying the signatures until the nomination day, and
whosever's signatures will not have been fully verified will simply get locked out by the nomination deadline, and shouldn’t be EC to blame.