Makerere University Guild presidential campaigns entered their last week yesterday with a mid-exercise anti-climax after the ruling party candidate Boniface Mbabazi dropped out of the race over forgery of academic records.
His ouster from the race, confirmed by the university electoral commission vice chairman, Mr Michael Opoya, also saw him arrested after some of his NRM colleagues wanted to accost him for causing them loss even before going to polls.
“He is out on bond but we have charged him with forgery,” Makerere police station criminal investigations and intelligence boss, Mr Charles Cherimo said.
Three other candidates were also dropped over similar reasons, leaving nine candidates in the race, namely Lillian Aber, Sarah Aseru, Ivan Bwowe, Benson Chark, Eddy Kintu, Sam Komakech, Sam Musiime, Nicholas Nanyeenya and Julius Tabaro.
Those affected had presented a rosy picture of their academic progress whereas they had retakes.
Observers say the polls to be held on March 29 could turn into a two-party issue with the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s Lillian Aber and the Democratic Party’s Sarah Aseru as leading contenders.
But not even the two remaining party flag bearers are having it smooth as some of their own party members accuse them of rigging their primaries through vote buying, an issue the Daily Monitor could not independently verify.
For example, Mr Ivan Bwowe who lost the DP primaries to Ms Aseru, emerges with strong support.
His, supporters are accusing the latter of having financially compromised the electoral college of 63 delegates, something Aseru denies.
Some of FDC members were heard complaining that Ms Aber, who has been a cabinet minister in the outgoing administration used that clout to snatch the party’s flag without proper primaries.
With NRM having lost before polling, supporters of the party are now resignedly throwing their weight behind Mr Sam Musiime who lost in the party primaries.
The rest of the candidates are outright independents who are emphasising “unity” as “parties have not done anything to solve our problems as students.”
The candidates are slated to tussle it out in presidential debates today, on Saturday and Tuesday in the Main Hall, Galloway Hall and University Hall respectively before the campaigns come to an end.