Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 29 aspirants have so far notified the Electoral Commission about plans to conduct consultations as presidential aspirants ahead of the 2021 elections.
Some of the prominent people include retired Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, 2016 presidential candidate Elton Joseph Mabirizi, Moses Byamugisha and Francis Lakelle among others.
Lakelle was disqualified from contesting in the 2017 Aruu North MP race after he failed to pay nomination fees of shillings 3 million. Presidential aspirants must pay shillings 20 million as nomination fees.
By the end of last week, Edward Niyonzima and Dr Daniel Okello were also added to the list of presidential aspirants, bringing the total number to 24.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama noted that five other aspirants have written to the commission.
They are Pastor Godwin Sempebwa Bawatudde, Amir Kabunga, Dan Matsiko, Darlen Kamusiime and Grace Kabarungi. Kamusiime and Muluya are the only female aspirants in the race so far.
According to Byabakama, they anticipate the number of aspirants to increase considering that political parties are yet to elect their presidential flag bearers.
Justice Byabakama cautioned aspirants against conducting consultations as campaign rallies and must also comply with guidelines from the Uganda Police Force.
While Byamugisha is currently carrying out his consultations in West Nile and Koboko, Robert Kyagulanyi is yet to start consultations.
Kyagulanyi had expected to kick off his consultations on 6th January 2020 but Police foiled his plans. Police said that he had failed to meet all the requirements in the Public Order Management Act, 2013. Kyagulanyi appealed to the EC to intervene.
The EC and police met Kyagulanyi and his team and they agreed that there will be no processions during the consultations.
Kyagulanyi was scheduled to resume consultations at Pope Paul Memorial VI Memorial Hotel on 24th February 2020. However, Police foiled the meeting saying Kyagulanyi had not followed all requirements of the law.