The opposition Democratic Party (DP) has announced it will nominate actor and radio personality Charles James Ssenkubuge as its flag bearer for Kampala Lord Mayoral race.
This comes just days after the party’s earlier chosen candidate, Beatrice Kayanja was rejected by the Electoral Commission.
Ms Kayanja, last week failed to meet the requisite demands for her nomination and was locked out of the race.
The Electoral Commission refused to nominate her on grounds that she had not registered as a voter.
“In the meantime, the Kampala DP Branch announces that it will nominate Charles James Ssenkubuge, a renowned evangelist, playwright and media personality, as a dangerous substitute to join the Kampala mayoral race as the DP flag bearer,” said DP spokesperson Okoler Opio Amanu while unveiling Ssenkubuge as DP flag bearer for Kampala Lord Mayoral race.
Okoler decried the Electoral Commission’s decision to reject Kayanja, saying that the latter while in the diaspora attempted to register for National Identification Card (National ID) through the Uganda High Commission but was frustrated by the system.
“This prompted her to travel back to Uganda in March 2020, to apply to NIRA (National Identification and Registration Authority) for a National ID which she got in July this year. Beatrice Kayanja expected that she would automatically become a registered voter on that basis. However, when she checked for her votability, her name was missing on the National voters register,” said Okoler.
He added that when Kayanja petitioned the Electoral Commission to add her name to the voters register, she was informed that by the time she got registered by NIRA, the register had been closed.
“As DP, we denounce this bias and abuse of judicial power. We respect the judgment but we vehemently disagree with it. We will support and stand with Beatrice Kayanja to ensure that this ignominious ruling is reviewed and expunged from the Court records. We also denounce the Government’s lack of commitment to ensuring voting rights for Ugandans in diaspora. All efforts to have Ugandans abroad get National IDs have been futile,” Okoler noted.
He added, “In support of Beatrice Kayanja, DP vows to continue the crusade to fight for the voting rights of Ugandans living in the diaspora and millions of Ugandans with National IDs whose names are missing from the National voters register.
DP has been tirelessly looking for a candidate to contest the seat after the incumbent Erias Lukwago, who previously leaned towards DP, crossed over to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Ssenkubuge will contest for Kampala Lord Mayoral race in the 2021 general elections against FDC’s Erias Lukwago, National Resistance Movement (NRM’s) Daniel Kazibwe alias Ragga Dee, National Unity Platform (NUP’s) Nabilah Naggayi Sempala and independent candidate and musician Joseph Mayanja.