The Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, has appealed to presidential aspirants for the 2021 elections to keep time for the two-day nominations at Kyambogo University cricket grounds.
“Given that we have 10 aspirants who have already been cleared for nomination and maybe the others will come on board, the aspirants should strictly observe time and ensure they report in time so that they leave the venue for their colleagues who are coming in after them,” he said.
Byabakama noted that if an aspirant comes late they will not allow him or her to eat into the allotted time of the one who will have complied with time observation.
“So that aspirant (latecomer) may miss out until maybe all the other booked slots have been utilized and then we identify for him or her a free slot,” he said.
Twenty-three aspirants have so far returned nomination forms and supporter forms to the EC and 10 had been cleared for nominations by press time.
The 10 include incumbent President Yoweri Museveni of National Resistance Movement, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform, Eng. Patrick Amuriat of Forum for Democratic Change, Maj Gen (rdt) Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation and former security minister Lt Gen (rtd) Henry Tumukunde (independent).
Others are independents Pastor Fred Mwesigye , Nancy Linda Kalembe, Joseph Kabuleta, John Katumba and Willy Mayambala.
The nominations are for Monday and Tuesday starting at 9:00am and ending at 5:00pm.
Warns against defiance
Byabakama also asked aspirants to make sure that nomination is conducted in a very tranquil, stable, peaceful atmosphere that does not cause disruption to the lives of other people.
“It is not an essential requirement that for you to be eligible for nomination you must come with a procession of 1000 supporters or 2000. If the candidate can’t make it for circumstances beyond their control we can proceed to have them nominated provided the nominators and seconders are available,” he said.
“So we don’t want to use coercive means right at the inception of this exercise but if you don’t leave us with any other option then that will be applied. I want to appeal to aspirant that let us be as compliant as possible. There is nothing that the EC is suggesting that is a hindrance to the process of being nominated,” Byabakama stressed.
And that is why, he added, we have gone out of our way to ask the ministry of health even to test those who will be accompanying them for COVID-19 to ensure they are safe.
“So if any aspirant wants to act in defiance, noncompliance then law enforcement will deal with that aspirant because nobody is going to be accepted to act the way they want and above the law,” he stated.
Museveni, Tumukunde, Katumba, Muntu and Kalembe have booked November 2, while Kyagulanyi, Amuriat and Mwesigye November 3.
Museveni will be nominated at 10:00am, Tumukunde at 1:00pm, Katumba at 2:00pm, Muntu at 3:00pm and Kalembe at 4:00pm. Kyagulanyi will be nominated at 10:00am, Amuriat at 12:00pm and Mwesigye at 2:00pm.
Byabakama also said an aspiring candidate will use only three vehicles for purposes of his or her nominations and each vehicle should not carry more than four persons, driver inclusive.
“Each of the vehicles shall bear a police sticker. The commission strongly warns aspiring candidates from mobilizing supporters to accompany them to and from the nomination venue, as processions are not permitted during this exercise,” he warned.