A 19-year-old boy, Hillary Humphrey Kaweesa, has picked presidential nomination papers from the Electoral Commission to unseat President Yoweri Museveni. He is in his senior six vacation, and a former student of Mengo Senior secondary school is among the nine people who have so far picked presidential nomination papers ahead of next year’s general elections.
Kaweesa says that he attained three principal passes in the 2019 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations which makes him legible to contest for the presidency. He also says that he hopes to raise the Shs 20 million nomination fees from well-wishers. Among other requirements, aspirants are required to collect 100 signatures from every district to support their nomination.
“I have all the qualifications, am a good leader of course and a Ugandan citizen. I have always been a counsellor and I have always aspired for big positions. I have been a big dreamer and an achiever. At Mengo generally, I was a class counsellor,” he said.
In 2017, MPs scrapped the presidential age-limit of 75 years. They also lowered the age eligibility for president from 35 to 18 years. Another aspirant Mathew Mutyaba also picked the nomination forms. Mutyaba, who is disabled and a lawyer by profession, says that he is confident of winning the presidency because he has been spiritually called to lead.
“I had a call inside of me after seeing my country the way it is and the way I was led by the spirit because am a God-fearing giant, and I take God to be number one. What has made me to come is that I have seen my fellow Ugandans really, they need to be touched upon, they need to be guided, they need to be helped in order to bring a low person to come to the level whereby he feels good or he appreciates in his or her country. I decided to come because no matter to the physical appearance because of what I am because in our fraternity we have a say that disability is not inability, so I decided to come in order to add on to where the former had reached…” said Mutyaba.
Mutyaba, who is 34 years, says that he has contested in several positions like the local council elections and the parliamentary seat, but lost.
“I have always scored less because the voters did not believe in me after looking at my physical disability forgetting that my inner ability is not like the physical one,” Mutyaba says.
Other aspirants who picked the forms on Wednesday include 46-year-old pastor Henry Byamukama, 41-year-old Christopher Alibankowa a retired military officer and Simon Peter Serunjoji.
On Tuesday, other aspirants including, Robert Kyagulanyi, the leader from National Unity Platform (NUP) also picked presidential nomination papers. Though Kyagulanyi was not physically present at the Electoral Commission, his nomination papers were picked by Paul Simbwa Kagombe the senior administrative secretary for NUP.
Former presidential assistant for special duties and Luwero Woman MP candidate, Elizabeth Lugudde-Katwe alias Dr Nabatanzi is also among those seeking to unseat President Yoweri Museveni, accusing him of nepotism and corruption.
“I want to fight him [for] this nepotism. There is still too much nepotism, there is no fairness, so I don’t care about what he’s going to say, but I think he has diverted from the NRM core. I am an NRM supporter but am independent now, and I don’t want to associate with Museveni because he’s so corrupt himself, he has ruined the country,” Nabatanzi said.
She claims that her one-acre land along the Entebbe Express highway was taken by Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) but she was never compensated. Nabatanzi says she will use the presidency to fight land grabbers from taking away other people’s land.
34-year-old Charles Mutasa Kafeero also wants to be nominated to contest for presidency. Kafeero, formerly a supporter of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party says he will contest as an independent candidate.
He says Ugandans go through a lot of torture because of their political ambitions and aspirations and that he wants to fix that once he is Uganda’s next president.
A counsellor at World Saver’s Church, Dr Joel Ssekimpi said he has decided to seek nomination now because the law restricted him during the 2016 elections. He says he was then below 35 years of age. He says that if one doesn’t have the spiritual vote, he cannot win the physical vote.
“The current president has been undressed spiritually, he’s just struggling physically now. He lost the political clout of this country and he also lost the spiritual backup that has been backing him up and he knows it because I addressed a letter to him in 2014 telling him it ends in 2021 that is what God tells me. I told in that in 2021, someone unknown will come and stand for presidency. If you fight him, you will be fighting God himself because he’s sent by God. But when I wrote that letter, I was just a servant of God, I did not know that one day I will also be in the race. So I was just giving a message to help direct the country but maybe God felt that the messenger can do it well.” said Ssekimpi.
Edward Niyonzima, 51, a peasant from Mubende district is among those aspiring to lead Uganda come 2021 elections. The other presidential aspirants who picked up nomination forms included, Godwin Batuwadde Sempwebwa a statistician from Bwaise, Ainebyoona Aluga alias Vixkingo a businessman from Sheema, John Habert Nkangabwa a businessman and Simon Ebutu a businessman.