Seven candidates took part in a historic live presidential debate in Kampala on Friday.
Pictures from a first-ever presidential debate in Uganda held at Kampala Serena Hotel Friday evening.
It was early arrival for some 1,000 carefully selected people who were invited to attend the debate.
Several politicians appeared at Serena for the debate. Here, MP Ken Lukyamuzi is pictured with a guest at a reception before the debate.
It was mingling time for those invited ahead of the moment everyone was waiting for.
Former presidential candidate Samuel Lubega was also in attendance. In the 2011 presidential race, he run as an Independent.
Government spokesperson and the Ugandan Media Centre executive director Ofwono Opondo was interviewed moments before the debate. The absence of NRM presidential candidate Presidential Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was a major talking point in the build-up to the much anticipated debate.
Security at the entrance of Serena's Victoria Conference Hall was tight. If you did not have an invitation card, you were going nowhere. There were several voices of dissent within the crowd that was blocked from entering.
Maj Gen Benon Biraro, looking composed, arrived early, and was ushered into the venue. He spoke to the press, like all the other candidates later would, before making his way into the hall.
Opposition politicians Nathan Nandala Mafabi (left) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda mingle outside the hall.
Reporters were very much keen to hear what the only female candidate in the presidential race, Maureen Kyalya, had to say before the debate. She arrived in a lovely black gomesi emblazoned with interesting prints. And as you can see below, she appeared in high spirits . . .
Some people who had expected to be granted access to the hall were left stranded at the gate. No invitation card, no way in.
The stage where the debate would unfold was nicely lit as hours of waiting turned into minutes and minutes into seconds.
Each of the eight transparent lecterns was labeled with the name of a presidential candidate.
Guests settling in . . .
Candidate Joseph Mabirizi told reporters moments before the debate that he was ready.
Dr. Kizza Besigye arrived looking sharp in a dark suit and blue neck-tie. He is running for the presidency for the fourth time, after the previous three attempts were unsuccessful.
Former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi of the Go-Forward outfit is hoping to become Uganda's next president, come February 18.
Dr. Abed Bwanika of the People's Development Party is no stranger to the presidential race. He was run twice before.
The Watoto Children's Choir sang the national anthem before the debate.
The presidential candidates interacted with the members of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), who organised the debate, moments before the start of the debate.
The moderators of the debate were BBC's Newsday programme presenter, Allan Kasujja and KTN's Nancy Kacungira, who recently won the Komla Dumor's inaugural BBC award.
The candidates that faced off included; Dr. Kizza Besigye (FDC), Abed Bwanika (People's Development Party flag bearer), Maj. Gen. Benon Biraaro (Uganda Farmers Party flag bearer), former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi (Independent), former Makerere University vice chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba (Independent), Eng. Joseph Mabirizi (Independent) and Faith Maureen Kyalya Walube (Independent).
They were asked questions rotating around the four topics of: domestic economy, good governance, rule of law and social economic welfare.