Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As the saying goes, better late than never. Independent presidential candidate John Katumba is set to launch his political manifesto in a controversial move as he concludes his campaigns ahead of next week’s general election.
Departing from the convention of candidates publishing their manifestos, listing their plans and strategies for the country, the youngest presidential candidate who has been the most talked about after Museveni and Kyagulanyi has not had any documentation for his campaign – not even campaign posters.
“I am going to launch my manifesto so that all Ugandans understand the ideas I am representing and what I am going to be championing if they elect me in office,” Katumba, a political novice whose election symbol is a table said in an interview with Uganda Radio Network.
Usually, such documents are produced and disseminated to the electorate earlier to give them ample time to read and discuss their content. However, Katumba whose main campaign focus has been on employment amongst the youth has not provided written plans he has to liberate them.
While speaking to URN weeks back, Katumba, a beneficiary of the 2017 removal of the upper and lower presidential limits said he didn’t see the relevance of having a manifesto as a campaign working document.
He further argued that the he was using the campaign trail to gather the people’s concerns thus deliberately choosing the slogan ‘Katumba Oyee’ to bond with the electorate, mainly targeting the youth so that “they share with me their problems”
In a new twist now, Katumba will be launching his manifesto on January 11 detailing what he is planning to do for Ugandans. His team members say that after the launch, the document will be shared widely across online platforms.
“If it came out earlier, voters could forget about it, but our strategy is to release it at this time so that everyone is aware of our aspirations days to the voting day,” says one of his campaign team members.
Although a manifesto is a very critical document in a campaign at such a level, political pundits have pointed out that in Uganda, it serves limited purpose as very few people vote for someone basing on his manifesto.
Meanwhile, Katumba shares that after launching the manifesto, he will be using megaphones to reach out to voters in Kampala and Wakiso regarding the recent ban on political gatherings in the areas in question.