The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has today joined the other parties in seeking an extension for the Local Government nominations deadline which is only a few hours away.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, Sharon Oyat, the Party Spokesperson intimated that many Ugandans aspiring for lower tier offices are likely to miss out on competing in the forthcoming polls owing to the disorganization at nomination centers.
“We have seen many candidates not get attended to due to the long queues and yet the exercise will be ending tomorrow which is October 1, 2020,” Oyat said.
“We urge the Independent Electoral Commission to at least consider an extension for the period of nominations of Local Government leaders in order to enable those who have not been nominated to have a chance,” she implored.
Such an extension, Oyat argued, would also cater for Local Council III Chairpersons, Municipality Division Mayors aspirants who previously had been barred from contesting for failing to meet an age cap that was lifted this week.
Previously, those running for Municipality Mayor, Division Mayor and Town Council positions among others were required to be within the age bracket of 30 to 75 years, something that was annulled in the Local Government Amendment Bill, 2020.
While UPC claims to be in the final process of endorsing its flag bearers at Local Government, Muzeyi Faizo, the Party’s Director of Communication, intimated that some of their candidates were not spared.
“It affected us because we had candidates who were 27 years and below. I would not say a majority or small percentage were affected but we had quite a number of them. Most of them, when they heard that the age limit (Presidential) was removed, they thought it cut across,” Muzeyi elaborated.
He said, however, that the party is all set in case their plea goes begging.
“As of now, we are yet to get reports from our regional Vice Chairpersons. Sub County Chairpersons, District Chairpersons, Municipality Mayors and District Councilors are being endorsed by Regional Vice Chairpersons. After this exercise, each region shall give us a report,” Muzeyi disclosed.
UPC’s apprehension comes two days after their Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) counterparts expressed similar concerns about this very exercise.
Addressing the press at Najjanankumbi on Monday, FDC Spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, owing to the confusion therein, said it appeared as if EC was caught unaware.
“The EC behaved as if they didn’t know that these elections would take place. People going for nomination in Wakiso are reporting at midnight,” Semujju pointed out.
“Others are sleeping there to go and take numbers in the queue. Some candidates have had to bribe askaris to allow them to access nomination centers,” he bemoaned.