At least 24 presidential aspirants have declared intention to run for president in 2021 polls and have notified the Electoral Commission (EC) of their plans to start consultations.
Few of the aspirants are publicly known with the most recognisable faces being Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine (MP for Kyadondo East), and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (former security minister).
But more and bigger names are expected in the race as political parties have not yet convened their national delegates conferences to elect their presidential flag bearers.
While Bobi Wine has already hit the consultation trail, other candidates are yet to embrace the process.
The latest to enter the race is Lt Gen Tumukunde, who until 2018, was Security minister in President Museveni’s government.
The Presidential Elections Act,2015, states that “an aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before the nomination date. While consulting under subsection (1), a presidential aspirant may carry out nationwide consultations; prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials; raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means and convene meetings of national delegates.
Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, the EC chairperson, has confirmed that presidential aspirants are allowed to consult on their candidature but added that they should do it within the parametres of the existing laws that distinguish consultations from campaigns.
“We wish to point out that consultations ought to be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, holding rallies and meetings besides canvassing or soliciting for votes envisaged under Section 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005,” Justice Byabakama told Daily Monitor recently.
“We, therefore, advise you to desist from holding rallies, campaigns and carrying out procession on public roads under the guise of conducting consultative meetings, as this would totally be at variance with the objectives of consultations envisaged under Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2005,” Justice Byabakama added.
On many occasions, police have blocked all attempts by Bobi Wine to convene consultative meetings on account that he has not fulfilled the required security conditions.
Some aspirants for 2021 race
Nyero Francis Elton Lakelle
He has attempted to contest in many parliamentary constituencies in Acholi sub-region without success.
He was disqualified in 2017 from contesting in a by-election of MP for Aruu North County after he failed to pay Shs3m nomination fees.
In 2018, he crossed to West Nile and contested in Arua Municipality parliamentary by-election, which was won by Mr Kassiano Wadri.
Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde
A retired senior military officer of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
He was one of the 1981-1986 Bush War fighters in the National Resistance Army (now UPDF) that brought President Museveni to power.
He served as the minister of Security, director general of Internal Security Organisation and army representative in Parliament between 1995 and 2005 among other roles.
Better known by his stage name of Bobi Wine, has declared that he will challenge Mr Museveni, 75, for the presidency in the 2021 general election.
He is current the MP for Kyadondo East in Wakiso District.
He is challenging Museveni under his People Power pressure group and has had violent clashes with security forces who have blocked his consultations.
The 24 aspirants
1. Robert Kyagulanyi
2. Elton Joseph Mabirizi
3. Dr Moses Khalim Amin
4. Timothy Mugerwa
5. Apostle Ben Israel Sseninde
6. Bob Paul Akileng
7. Isaac Sendagire Salongo
8. Mathias Semusu
9. Joseph Mwambazi
10. Stephen Kaweesa
11. Christopher Rubaga
12. Ambrose Kyomukama
13. Charles Mutaasa Kafeero
14. Dr Joel Senkimpi
15. Yosam Makooma Tunawooza
16. Fred Mwesigye
17. John Herbert Nkangabwa
18. Moses Byamugisha
19. Fred Chemuko Wakuri
20. Maguru Ruhinda
21. Francis Elton Nrero Lakalle
22. Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde
23. Edward Nyonzima
24. Grace Kabarungi Muluya