In the beginning social distancing was observed, but as the crowd grew bigger social distancing was abandoned
The nomination of local government council candidates started with excitement in Wakiso district.
The Wakiso district returning officer, Tolbert Musinguzi, was overwhelmed by the big number of candidates, who turned up for nominations on the first day on Monday.
Over 500 people turned up for the nomination, which started at exactly 9:00am at Wakiso district headquarters.
In the beginning social distancing was observed, but as the crowd grew bigger social distancing was abandoned.
At the entrance to the district headquarters, there were handwashing facilities, temperature guns and nobody was being allowed in without face masks.
The Police, under the command of the officer in charge of Wakiso division Police, Joseph Kamukama, emphasised the wearing of the face masks.
Aspiring candidates, who turned up for nomination on Monday included district and municipality councillors as well as municipal mayors.
James Kalisema, the political assistant to the state minister for primary education Rosemary Seninde, was the first to be nominated. He is to contest for the district councillor position representing the people of Kimwanyi ward in Kira municipality, Wakiso district.
He is standing on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket.
The Makindye Ssabagabo municipality mayor, Gerald Lumbuye, who is seeking reelection on the Democratic Party ticket was ominated on Monday. After his nomination, he said he was going to start campaigning which would involve going door to door to avoid spreading COVID-19.
Nominated for the mayorship was Hamidu Kizito Nsubuga for that of Nansana municipality.
He says there is a leadership vacuum in the municipality because the current leadership has spent most of its time embroiled in disagreements.
Nsubuga, standing on the NRM ticket, is going to compete against Regina Bakitte, who recently joined National Unity Platform (NUP). She was a Democratic Party (DP) member and is the current Nansana municipality mayor.
The returning officer, Musinguzi said although the nomination exercise was supposed to close at 5:00pm, they would attend to all those who turned up for the exercise.
Musinguzi hailed the candidates for not taking part in processions as requested by the Electoral Commission.
The first day of the nominations at Wakiso was dominated by candidates from the ruling party NRM, Democratic Party and some few Forum Democratic Change (FDC) candidates. There were not many NUP candidates.
The chairperson for FDC in Wakiso district, Caleb Muhanguzi, slammed his party's election commission for what he called lack of transparency. This followed an incident, where two people from one electoral area went for nomination on Monday.
According to Muhanguzi, Miriam Nanungi Kakande won the primaries for district woman councillor for Kasangati 1. To his surprise, Aisha Namagembe Lubega, who lost to Nanungi, also turned up for the nominations, saying she had backing of the people at the party's headquarters. The two were asked to go sort out the matter.
In Kaberamaido district, 19 candidates for different local government positions has been successfully nominated by 4:00pm on day one.
The district returning officer of Kaberamaido, Charles Bashaija, said all the 19 nominated candidates met the requirements.
He said three aspirants were sent back after failing to fill their forms correctly.
They were not disqualified, but were asked to go and correct some of the errors on their documents since tnominations have not yet closed.
Those nominated included a sub-county chairperson, six district councillors, with the rest being those interested in being sub-county councillors.
The incumbent chairperson of Aperkira sub-county, Paul Ewoyu and the incumbent district councillor from Oriamo sub-county, John Willy Ejwau, were nominated.
Joseph Eyoku of FDC was nominated to contest for district councillor position representing Aperkira sub-county.
Others are Caroline Ajumo from Oriamo sub-county, while Florence Akullo and Albert Olobo were nominated for the older persons in the district council.
Patrick Emolu, who lost in the NRM primary elections in 2016 also got nominated to stand as district councillor for Kobulubulu sub-county.
Bashaija said no crowding would be allowed, while all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) would be followed during the process of nomination.
Meanwhile, one of the candidates who was sent back was found to have filled the wrong form.
In Mbale city, Electoral Commission returning officer Charles Rebero warned aspirants against campaigning before the time is due.
Rebero sounded the warning during the first day of the nominations that took place in Mbale City Hall.
"You have now fully been nominated, but do not start campaigning until you get the official programme from the Electoral Commission," Rebero said.
"Once you start campaigning before submitting your programme and getting our programme, you will be disqualified from the race. So, stand warned," he added.
Rebero also said he had received information that several aspirants had started campaigning in the night before the Electoral Commission releases the official campaign programme.
"We are appealing to security to help us tighten the curfew so that the aspirants do not take campaign in the night which is in contravention of the SOPs that were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the returning officer added.
Rebero said campaigns will be carried out in line with the Ministry of Health COVID-19 standing orders and directives to avoid spread of the coronavirus. He said candidates are expected to conduct their campaigns scientifically and that anybody found addressing a rally would be disqualified.
Rebero also encouraged the candidates to make good use of media as campaigning tool and warned them to desist from defacing the posters of those they are standing against.
He advised candidates not to use abusive language while campaigning, adding that inciting their voters to carry out attacks or fight with opponents' supporters is criminal.