Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | National Unity Platform- NUP is overwhelmed with the number of members petitioning against its vetting process that selected party flag bearers.
Mercy Walukamba, the chairperson of the party election management committee admitted that there are hundreds of complaints received from Kampala and Metropolitan areas alone.
The petitioners cite favoritism and corruption in the vetting process but Walukamba says the vetting committees established based on competence of members to award party tickets because what they need is a win.
She however adds that the redress process has started and they are set to hold a meeting tomorrow -Tuesday- with some of the petitioners. She hastens to add however that some members raise baseless complaints that cannot be verified since competition for the ticket is high.
Nevertheless, the process might be late for some petitioners since the national Electoral Commission has already started nominations. As such, several members of NUP who failed to get party tickets have decided to contest as independents.
Paul Busulwa, People Power coordinator in Kawempe who failed to secure the party ticket to run for LC 3 councilor Kisowera zone has now gone independent.
Busulwa claims the vetting process was marred with favoritism and influence peddling saying he is ready to battle with the NUP party flag bearer. However, Busulwa still identifies himself as NUP member.
Busulwa says he had popularized the party in the area using his little resources and is well known on ground. He says the party electoral commission is fronting weaker candidates leaving those with potential and vows to rally behind candidates for their capacity to lead but not because they hold a NUP ticket. He pledged his support for the party president Robert Kyagulanyi who wants to stand for the presidency.
Another member Shamim Nambi is standing for LC 3 Woman Councilor Kawempe Ttula as an independent after losing in the NUP vetting exercise. But Nambi who walked around the compound of the nomination venue murmuring declined to have an interview with media.
Nambi told our reporter that she wouldn’t take her grievances to the media but is anxiously waiting for her opponents in the field. Nambi came in with friends formerly from the National Resistance Movement- NRM.
Rashid Bulime is the other member who failed to get the party ticket for Local Council 3 in Kilokole zone. He lost to Joseph Kiboga. Bulime arrived at the Electoral Commission offices by 10am with nomination papers indicating independent. He accuses Kiboga of also being the flag bearer of the Democratic Party in the same area.
“What is his mission? Is his intention to make DP or NUP go without a candidate in that position?” wondered Bulime as he talked to some DP members he narrated his situation to.
Mercy Walukamba says they cannot stop members from contesting as independents. She says such is expected in an election.
Nevertheless, NUP members holding party tickets are excited about their nominations. Ismail Nsubuga who beat Busulwa to get the NUP ticket for Kisowera zone says having completed nominations with Electoral Commission, he is now set to embark on efforts of soliciting for votes. He says he wants to debate issues that seek to improve sanitation in his area.
Several other independent and party candidates are also excited about their nomination. They are already compiling their manifestos. Many want issues of sanitation and tax addressed in their areas.