Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairperson, said Kyagulanyi’s party applied for a change of its colours to make red the dominant one, but the request was turned down because the colour had already been taken by UPC.
POLITICS 2021 ELECTIONS
KAMPALA - The Electoral Commission (EC) has warned the National Unity Platform (NUP), led by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, against using the colour red, saying it is reserved by the Uganda People's Congress (UPC).
Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairperson, said Kyagulanyi's party applied for a change of its colours to make red the dominant one, but the request was turned down because the colour had already been taken by UPC.
"Under the former party, it was white/blue, but they wanted to change so that red dominates. We wrote back to them and indicated that the colour is already being used or has been booked by UPC and that the request could not be entertained," Byabakama said.
He added that even after writing to the party about their application on using colour red, the party went ahead to use the red colour, which is not among its gazetted symbols and colours.
In a phone interview with New Vision end, Justice Byabakama said the commission had only gazetted the change of the party's name from the National Unity, Reconciliation and Development, when it was under the leadership of Moses Nkonge Kibalama.
"We don't want UPC to ask why we allowed another party to use their colour. That is why we indicated it to them, but they did not get back to us and went ahead and launched the party colour as red," Byabakama said.
He said it is irregular for any party to use symbols and colours that are not gazetted after the registration process.
In response, NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said there is no monopoly over colours. He argued that the official party colours for NUP are red, white and navy blue. But the party chose red as its dominant colour.
"There is no monopoly over colours that is why most parties have numerous colours. FDC has white, a bit of red and blue, but they chose to use blue. NRM has yellow, white, red and blue, but they chose to use yellow. So, red is one of our colours," Ssenyonyi argued.
He said NUP had written to EC over the matter, but the commission had not given the party a fair hearing and instead had shut them out.
Ssenyonyi said: "We wrote to EC they are still tossing us, they don't want to hear us out."
Last month, Bobi Wine unveiled the National Unity Platform as the political wing of his pressure group, the People Power, which is unregistered.
People Power supporters have, since the inception of the pressure group, been predominantly using the colour red for their gear and symbols. It also uses red berets, which have a shade of white on them. Some of the members of UPC had voiced concern over the pressure group adopting the colour red.
The army had also queried the group's use of red berets, which is gazetted for the UPDF.
Kyagulanyi, who all along had rejected turning the pressure group into a party, about a fortnight ago announced he had been elected president of NUP that was originally founded by Nkonge Kibalama, a former UPC functionary.
Kibalama said his party's marriage with People Power was endorsed by NUP's delegates' conference on July 14.
During the launch of the party, NUP also unveiled an umbrella with red and white as the party's symbol. The EC has, however, not indicated what it will do if NUP does not stop using red as its dominant colour.