By Nkonge I Kaggwa and Jessica A Badebye
All roads led to Mandela National Stadium on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala Wednesday when voters escorted presidential candidates of their choice to be nominated by the country’s electoral body. Streets were littered with supporters ferried from different parts of the country, mainly in support of the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni and those in support of the Go-Forward Leader John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.
President Museveni who would have been in power for nearly 30 years when the elections are held in February next year, was the first to be nominated by the Uganda Electoral Commission (UEC) Chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu as the National Resistance Movement Party candidate. Accompanied by his wife Janet, he was proposed for nomination by Ugandan Premier Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, and seconded by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Evelyn Anite. Launching his party’s manifesto afterwards at Kololo Independence grounds, the Ugandan leader said the country was finally “ready to take off” after the liberation struggle, recovery and building foundation phases.
Former Ugandan Premier Mbabazi, was nominated second as the Go-Forward party presidential flag bearer. He was proposed by the Woman Representative of Kitgum District, Beatrice Anywar and the legislator for Kween county Abdi Chemswet. Escorted by former Ethics and Integrity Minister Miria Matembe and former Uganda People’s Congress Party President Olara Otunnu. Mbabazi attracted applause from supporters when he said that he is happy to have been nominated after President Museveni, because that is how things will be. “I am happy that I have been nominated after Mr Museveni. This is how things will be. Our people are yearning for change and I don’t think there is anything that’s going to stop it.” Mbabazi launched his manifesto at Nakivubo Stadium in the city centre where he was welcomed amid cheer and ululation by his supporters. Mbabazi launched his manifesto at Nakivubo Stadium in the city centre where he was welcomed amid cheer and ululation by his supporters. He also unveiled a chair as his campaign symbol and was also given a white dove on arrival at the stadium. Sources close to Go Forward say that the dove signifies Mbabazi as one who will bring peace to Uganda.