With Uganda awaiting an election year in 2021, the country’s capital Kampala is a bee-hive of activity with many locals cashing from the display of Presidential hopefuls’ portraits.
Social distancing is the number one tool to fight COVID-19 is not respected as the public gathers to ‘catch a sight’ of their favorites.
From as little as 1000/-(less than ½ a $) is put beside the portrait of whom one supports, while others ‘go a mile’ and feed these portraits as a show of ‘love and loyalty’.
Nomination for Presidential candidates isn’t expected till next month but a walk downtown Kampala reveals rivalry between the two main protagonists Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine and the incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
“Many think we are paid to do this but how wrong they are. We simply want change and thus using every opportunity to campaign scientifically for Bobi Wine” is what an elderly man told this JoseyNews Network.
Kyagulanyi is transiting from ‘Music to Politics’ and under the national unity platform while Yoweri Museveni is the flag bearer for the national resistance movement party.
Even when elections are due next year (between 10 January and 8 February), those two are the official main rivals and have polarized public opinion with many urban dwellers rooting for Kyagulanyi while the rural society ‘seems’ to remain loyal to the ‘no change’ slogan of the incumbent.
In fact, one may make think that next year’s election is between just those two.
“Truth be told, I don’t know much about most of the other aspirants and to me, it’s only Museveni and Bobi that I think to deserve being on the ballot paper,” said an elderly man who preferred anonymity.
“Oh no, we have more than 50 that showed intention-to-stand but we shall wait for nomination day (2 and 3 November) to see who makes the ballot paper.” A spokesperson for the Independent electoral commission Paul Bukenya clarified.
Indeed others like Mugisha Muntu, Joseph Kabuleta, Nancy Kalembe, and General (RTD) Henry Tumukunde are in line for the seat to replace Museveni who has been in power since 1986 and is seeking a sixth term.
Downtown Kampala however doesn’t paint a real picture of what is happening across the country as the public waits for nomination for candidates for parliamentary seats next week.
The selection of flag bearers for almost all parties but notably National Unity Platform and National Resistance Movement has bordered on fierce competition resulting in death, insults, and ‘departures’ as some candidates seek parliament as ‘independents’.