Kampala, Uganda — Yesterday was the deadline for taking back nominations forms for whoever wants to be backed by the pressure group. Big-name opposition politicians that include; Muwanga Kivumbi, Medard Ssegona, Seeya Nasser Ssebagala and Francis Zaake have already picked their forms, and they seem ready to challenge fellow politicians in their mother parties.
A series of local celebrities have also picked forms and these include; Jose Chameleone, Khalifa Aganaga, Katongole Omutongole, Mathias Walukaga, Dr Hilderman and Victor Kamenyo among others.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the People Power spokesperson revealed that over 5000 candidates across the country striving to take up different elective offices have picked forms. He said the party administration will keenly vet all candidates and come up with the best contender for each position.
Nevertheless, Ssenyonyi disclosed that People Power will also back capable aspirants in other opposition parties.
“We are all forces of change and we need to work together to displace the regime in every elective position,” Ssenyonyi said.
However, Police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse supporters of People Power movement.
In Kampala, riot police officers were forced to use teargas to disperse supporters of Mr Aloysious Mukasa who is seeking the endorsement of People Power to contest for Rubaga South MP seat currently occupied by ailing Kato Lubwama.
His supporters were intercepted by police as they escorted him to the pressure group’s offices in Kamwokya where he was returning his nomination forms.
In Masaka, police foiled a press conference convened by People Power leaders in the district on grounds that it was illegal.
The press conference had been convened at Ramah Hotel along Masaka –Kampala highway to inform supporters of the movement’s decision to extend the deadline for nominations by 14 days up to July 31.
Police’s action sparked a bitter verbal exchange between People Power leaders led by Mr Walter Lubega Mukaku and Masaka Police Field Force Unit Commander, Mr Andrew Alubeya, which lasted for about an hour. Mr Mukaku is the vice chairman for People Power movement’s national elections management commission.
Police said the organisers of the press conference did not inform them or other security agencies in the district.
“My brothers, I kindly request you to move out of this place and ask for permission from regional police commander, resident district commissioner or the commander Masaka Armoured Brigade,” Mr Alubeya said. Mr Mukaku wondered why police could disperse a press conference of only 10 people yet they had observed all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in regards to preventing the spread of coronavirus.
“Denying us access to media is a clear indication that they [government] are deterring us from accessing people even through scientific means,” he said.
“Our offices in Kamwokya are overwhelmed by applications from all corners of Uganda because so far, over 1,440 people aspiring for parliamentary seats , 1,160 eying district seats and 2,942 for sub county positions have returned nomination forms and more are still coming which has informed our decision to extend the deadline ,” Mr Mukaku added.Mr John Mary Ssebuwufu, the People Power commissioner elections management in charge of Buganda Region questioned why Mr Alubeya could refer them to the Armoured Brigade Commander to authorise a mere press conference.