- Mr Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, said in a text message that nominations will end today and campaigns will take place from July 6 to 9.
- In Rubaga Division, Mr Derrick Katula, the Parish election officer, said the exercise was calm despite earlier fear of riots among rival supporters.
KAMPALA/MBALE. The nominations of Local Council One candidates in Kampala yesterday began in earnest, with candidates flocking to the registration centres.
The exercise, which commenced yesterday, ends today and the elections will be held on July 10 in 60,800 villages countrywide.
The positions being contested for include chairperson, vice chairperson, general secretary, secretary for publicity and secretary for finance.
By 9am yesterday aspiring candidates from diverse political parties had started arriving at different nomination centres across the city, with each being nominated on different party tickets although NRM and FDC dominated the race.
Some aspirants were accompanied by their supporters who waved their posters amidst cheers and loud music thundering from mobile public address systems.
The total number of candidates nominated on the first day could not be readily established by last evening as the exercise was still ongoing.
However nomination officials said the interest was high.
“The number of candidates seeking election is very impressive. It shows people have been yearning for these elections. That’s why majority of them have decided to participate,” said Ms Sarah Naluggwa, one of the officials at the nomination centres in Kampala’s Central Division.
She said the position of Local Council 1 chairperson was the most competitive followed by secretary for finance.
Ms Naluggwa urged people to come in big numbers and vote on July 10.
The first candidates arrived at about 10am at Makindye Division headquarters for nomination.
Concern over procedure
Mr Sula Matovu of FDC arrived at the nomination centre amidst cheers and chants by supporters.
“As LCs, we need to begin by bringing peace right from our homes. Our security chain has been broken because of incompetent leaders at LC level. I will make sure my people are secure in my area of Katwe,” Mr Matovu said.
Nomination officials in Makindye Division said they had registered about 21 candidates by noon, but they expected more in the afternoon and today.
However most voters expressed worry about the voting system of lining up behind candidates, saying it does not allow people to express their free will in electing their leaders. They said the method could breed hostility in the community and hinder some people from voting.
Mr Simon Ludigo, a voter in Katwe-Kinyolo in Nsambya, Makindye Division, said the women council elections on Tuesday had a lot to learn from the lining up method of voting.
“Most women lost friends yesterday (Tuesday) because of lining up. This is a bigger election and if the same method is used, we are bound to see segregation by the leaders between those they saw voting them and those who did not,” he said.
In Rubaga Division, Mr Derrick Katula, the Parish election officer, said the exercise was calm despite earlier fear of riots among rival supporters.
“Since it’s a day two exercise, we expect more contestants to bring back their forms and the race is very competitive,” he said.
“We urge voters to keep discipline on the voting day and keep time because yesterday [women council election on Tuesday] majority missed because of timekeeping,” Mr Katula said
Mr Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, said in a text message that nominations will end today and campaigns will take place from July 6 to 9.
“We have 60,800 villages and the total budget, including women councils was about Shs15b,” he said.
Mr Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM spokesperson, dismissed claims that NRM had acquired Shs1.7b from the Ministry of Defence budget to finance their candidates in the LC1 elections. He said they have friends, whom he did not disclose, to fund the party elections.
“It is true we are meeting all candidates of LC1 in their different constituencies through their MPs. After the meetings we shall give them some transport refund. This does not mean we are funding them per se. We have rich friends here in Uganda and out of the country who fund the party,” Mr Mulindwa said.
“Our prime sector in the country is security. So we cannot get money from this sector. People saying these things just want to spoil our name. Let them get save and join the party like Ms Kiyingi (state minister for Children and Youth Affairs], Ms Amongi (Lands Minister) and others,” he said.
In Mbale District, hundreds of candidates flocked to nomination centres to contest for LCI positions as they raced against time to beat the deadline.
Ms Mwanjuma Nalonga, the Parish election officer for Boma Ward in Mbale town, said on average, nine candidates had been nominated for LC1 chairperson posts by yesterday afternoon.
“There is overwhelming interest in this position, many candidates have been nominated for the same post so far. Its means there is going to be a lot of competition,” Ms Nalonga, said.
She added that majority of candidates were old people aged above 50 and most of them were contesting on NRM, FDC parties and followed by independents.
Another Parish election officer for Mooni Ward, Mr Emmanuel Kitete, reiterated the high number of aspirants to the respective Local Council posts.
“The village chairpersons are very fundamental. There is a huge interest and the residents have massively shown interest because they know the relevance of these councils,” he said.
Mr Aggrey Mangalya, 31, one of the youth candidates nominated on FDC ticket in Namubiru Cell in Wanale Division, said as the youth, they can cause change from the grassroots if they assume leadership.
“As a youth, I am still energetic and I know the loopholes in this village, which the old people have failed to fix because the world has changed,” he said.
In Budaka, the district returning officer, Mr Mark Muganzi, said the general turnout of candidates for nomination was overwhelming.
“The turnout is overwhelming but civil servants who had sought nomination were denied because they had not adhered to the guidelines,” he said.
In Tororo, the district returning officer, Mr Fredrick Muwaya Tibakuno, said the race was highly competitive.
By press time more nomination results from various parts of the country were still coming, indicating impressive participation in the LC1 elections.
Sub counties: 1,671
Polling Stations: 28,749
Compiled By Micheal Woniala, Mudangha Kolyangha, Joseph Omollo, Amos Ngwomoya & Derrick Wandera