Eleven aspirants who returned forms to
run in the 2021 presidential elections blame the Electoral Commission for
failure to nominate them. They are part of the 24 aspirants who returned the
nomination forms for verification. In total 87 aspirants picked the presidential
nomination forms, but the majority of them didn't return them to EC.
Only 11 aspirants were successfully
nominated as presidential candidates after fulfilling the requirements. Although
the Electoral Commission ejected 13 aspirants for alleged failure to raise the required
signatures, the aspirants most of whom claim to have met all the requirements,
blame the Commission for favouring some aspirants, having a messy election
management data base and
deploying limited manpower to verify their documents.
Brenda Katushemererwe, one of those
who missed the nominations, says she observed many challenges but the major one
was unfair treatment of some aspirants by the EC. She says that she was severally
sent to look for more signatures but her files kept disappearing.
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Dan Matsiko, another aspirant says despite
mobilising the nomination fees of Shillings 20 million and submitting the
required signatures; the verification of his papers was still ongoing by close
of the presidential nominations on Tuesday. According to Matsiko, he is still
seeking an audience with the Commission to understand why he wasn’t nominated.
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Jotham Yamureebire, another
aspirant says EC told him that some of the signatures that he submitted had
already been submitted by other aspirants. According to Yamureebire, he wrote
to the Commission but didn’t get a response.
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Charles Bbaale, the Ecological Party of Uganda
(EPU) presidential candidate says EC told him he was missing four signatures
from Luuka district but even after getting them they couldn’t be verified by
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Robert Mbulanbago Mutono, another aspirant
told URN last week that as far as he is concerned, EC was still verifying his
papers since he hadn’t received any official commission on the verification
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Geoffrey Okoth, another aspirant says EC frustrated their bid
by deploying one officer to verify their papers.
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Fred Wakuri Chemukwo, another aspirant says he did everything
that was required of him but the Commission kept on telling them the machines
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Moses Makmot, another presidential aspirant, says despite the
fact that he didn’t have enough signatures, his troubles started from the verification
“Our submissions were on point but
the EC told us to add 11 districts, but when we submitted the missing
signatures, they told us the system is down,” Makmot said.
Elizabeth Lugudde-Katwe says
her nomination was frustrated by the Commission that she says kept on playing
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Elton Joseph Mabirizi, who contested in the previous presidential
elections said he decided to withdraw his interest in the race because the COVID-19
restrictions and guidelines wouldn’t allow him to accomplish his task.
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Phiona Mirembe declined to speak about her botched
presidential bid, saying it is water beneath the bridge. Paul Bukenya, the EC Spokesperson disagrees
with some of the aspirants blaming their failed nomination on inefficiency on the
part of the Commission.
He also denied claims that some aspirants were favoured,
saying all aspirants were treated equally.