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Kizza Besigye nominated, Sebaana fails

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th December 2005 03:00 AM

FORUM for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Col. Kizza Besigye was the only presidential candidate nominated yesterday despite still being in Luzira Prison on rape and treason charges.

FORUM for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Col. Kizza Besigye was the only presidential candidate nominated yesterday despite still being in Luzira Prison on rape and treason charges.

By Joyce Namutebi, Alfred Wasike and Henry Mukasa

FORUM for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Col. Kizza Besigye was the only presidential candidate nominated yesterday despite still being in Luzira Prison on rape and treason charges.

However, Democratic Party president and Kampala mayor John Ssebaana Kizito and three other prospective candidates failed to meet the electoral requirements.

FDC officials ululated and chanted their slogan: “FDC oyee. One People, One Uganda” after the returning officer and chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Badru Kiggundu, declared Besigye in absentia as the first nominated presidential candidate at about 12:15pm. His nomination lasted barely 30 minutes.

“This is just the beginning of a long journey at the end of which we expect to succeed,” said a jovial Augustine Ruzindana. “Next is the campaign and fight for his freedom. We have created a campaign team for him.”

The nomination exercise going on at the heavily-guarded Mandela National Stadium, Namboole was witnessed by MPs, government officials, diplomats, the clergy and civil society organisations.

The FDC team arrived minutes before noon, in time for Besigye’s nomination a few minutes to noon.

FDC chiefs Salaamu Musumba, Alice Alaso, Beti Kamya and Joyce Sebugwaawo were smartly dressed in busuuti while Winnie Byanyima, Besigye’s wife, wore a tie-and-dye blue African attire with a blue headdress. Some of the men on the team wore suits while others were in casual wear.

Besigye’s name was proposed by a member of the FDC electoral commission committee, Martha Tiko Ondoga, from Arua and seconded by party envoy Prof. Bwogi Kanyerezi.

Present were EC commissioners Joseph Biribwona, Tom Buruku, Stephen Ongaria and secretary Sam Rwakoojo, all in black robes laced with the national colours and the EC emblem.

There was drama when FDC chiefs left a vacant seat for Besigye beside Byanyima, on which they placed his poster and a black cap, which Salaamu Musumba was wearing. “We are waiting for him. He might arrive anytime,” Kassiano Wadri joked.

On his blue poster was a picture of a key, the FDC electoral symbol and the words, “Time to Change”.

Present also were FDC chiefs Sam Njuba, John Kazoora, Mugisha Muntu, Salaamu Musumba, Augustine Ruzindana, Harry Kasigwa, Odonga Otto, Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, Geoffrey Ekanya, Jack Sabiiti, Sulaiman Kiggundu, Reagan Okumu and Prof. Ogenga Latigo.

EC staff worked tirelessly on the 21 computers on site to verify the signatures submitted by the aspiring presidential candidates as required by law.

Two ambulances were packed inside the stadium, while a first aid tent was pitched outside.

Kiggundu commended FDC for submitting documents ahead of time, which had helped a lot in processing them.

He said the commission would hold a meeting with all the nominated candidates on Monday at 10:00am for further briefing. He asked them to bring their campaign programmes and political organisations’ structures.

Kiggundu thanked all Ugandans and the international community, who have continued to pray that the exercise ends smoothly. He appealed for more support.

FDC held a big rally at Nakivubo stadium after the nomination amid tight security.

Byanyima delivered a message from her husband urging his supporters to remain firm.

The party manifesto was also launched at the rally.

Besigye’s son Anselm addressed the rally and called on supporters to vote in his father for the presidency.

Kizza Besigye nominated, Sebaana fails

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