By Alfred Wasike
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni was yesterday nominated for next yearâ€™s presidential elections.
Museveni travelled to the nomination centre in a long and crawling motorcade from State House Nakasero to Namboole, then back to State House and later to a rally at Kololo Airstrip where he launched his manifesto.
This will be the first multiparty elections since Museveni took over power in 1986. He faces five challengers: jailed Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Partyâ€™s (DP) Ssebaana Kizito, Miria Kalule Obote of the Uganda Peopleâ€™s Congress (UPC) and independents Nasser Sebaggala and a vet doctor, Abed Bwanika.
At the rally, Museveni described archrival Besigyeâ€™s supporters as looters. He said during the recent riots in Kampala city, the Government had to deploy the Police and the military to stop the looters.
A jovial Museveni, wearing a yellow NRM cap, a dark suit, yellow-and-blue polka dotted neck tie, and wife Janet in beige traditional Kinyankore attire, arrived at Namboole Stadium, the nomination venue, at 1:38pm.
He was accompanied by Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya, NRM vice-chairperson Moses Kigongo, premier Apolo Nsibambi, speaker Edward Ssekandi, deputy speaker Rebecca Kadaga, ministers Amama Mbabazi, Sam Kutesa, Beatrice Wabudeya, Betty Akech, Bakoko Bakoru, Namirembe Bitamazire, John Nasasira and Okello Oryem.
Kigongo, a proposer and Bitamazire, a seconder, came forward and presented their documents to the Electoral Commission (EC) chief, Badru Kiggundu.
The EC said the NRM had paid the non-refundable sh8m and garnered the signatures from at least two-thirds of the districts.
Kiggundu said, â€œWe thank the NRM for submitting their nomination requirements much earlier than today. We have verified the papers of the NRM candidate and he satisfied the requirements.â€
Kigongo, accompanied by Bitamazire, said, â€œWe are here to present our candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.â€ He pointed at the smiling Museveni, standing next to him in front of the panel of the electoral commissioners.
Kiggundu said, â€œWe are entering the climax of the first stage of the election. â€œToday, we are closing nominations. This is a very good testimony for Uganda. This exercise we are doing is the result of the referendum that decided that we go multiparty. The world is looking at Uganda.â€
â€œBy virtue of the powers conferred upon me, I hereby declare Museveni Yoweri Kaguta a nominated candidate.â€
He asked the candidates to take their campaign programmes and their organisationsâ€™ organograms for synchronisation on Monday at the Electoral Commission.