Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission has said that several aspiring presidential candidates are submitting forged signatures of supporters supporting their nomination.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, at his office on Jinja Road in Kampala, Paul Bukenya, the acting spokesperson of the Electoral Commission said that although 14 aspirants have so far submitted signatures of nominators for verification, they have only verified one.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement [NRM] was last week issued with a certificate of compliance indicating that he had fulfilled one of the cardinal requirements for nomination. Over two weeks ago, his party submitted over five million signatures of nominators for verification. The following week, two more candidates, Charles Bbaale and Henry Tumukunde Kakurugu also submitted their signatures but are yet to be cleared.
According to the Presidential Elections Act, for anyone to be nominated as a candidate, he/she must present 100 signatures of registered voters from two-thirds of the districts of Uganda. Currently, Uganda has got 146 districts, which means that aspirants must get signatures from 98 districts.
Bukenya said that although many of the aspirants have indeed brought more signatures than those that are required, a number of them have been forged, their details don’t match or they had already nominated another candidate.
Bukenya added that in cases where they find that the aspirant has fewer signatures than those required, they are advised to bring others to top up. He advised all intending candidates to submit their signatures to the commission in time so that they avoid last-minute disappointment.
The Commission in its guidelines had given October 16, as the deadline for submitting signatures for verification. However, as of the time of closing the exercise, only seven aspirants had submitted them.
These included Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the NRM, Charles Bbaale of the Ecological Party of Uganda and independent aspirants; Henry Tumukunde, Fred Mwesigye, Mayambala Willy and Lugudde Katwe Elizabeth. As of the time of filing this report, seven other aspirants had also submitted their signatures for verification. These include independents; Mutono Mbulambago Robert, Ebetu Simon, Mabirizi Joseph, Kabuleta Kiiza Joseph, Yamureebire Jotham, Makmot Moses, Okoth Geoffrey and National Unity Platform’s Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert.
Bukenya said that all these aspirants’ signatures of nominators are being verified and he was optimistic that by the time of the presidential nominations on November 2-3, they will have verified all the submitted signatures. Ugandans will go to the polls to elect new leaders in the second week of January 2021.