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By Mulengera Reporters


The Electoral Commission has, through its able publicist Paul Bukenya, explained how and why President Museveni came to be the first aspirant to be cleared for nomination as a candidate for the position of President.


In a Sunday evening interview, Bukenya explained that the criterion used is one of “first come first serve” implying that the aspirant who submits their nomination supporting signatures first naturally have their nomination files verified, cleared and authenticated first. During the interview, Bukenya revealed that Gen Museveni (who has been standing for President and going through the same process since 1996) was the first to submit his nomination file which naturally qualified him to be the first one to hear from the EC regarding his clearance and eligibility.  


“The additional three aspirants whose clearance was communicated earlier today were the next to follow [Gen] Museveni in submitting their nomination files to us. That is what we follow as opposed to malicing anybody which isn’t even possible because the process is very transparent,” Bukenya said explaining that they have a team of well-supervised EC staffers who go through the verification of all the signatures submitted in presence of the aspirants’ agent(s). “We require a minimum of 100 signatures from at least 98 districts of Uganda though some have submitted much more.”

Bukenya further explained that sometimes, some aspirants can have their verification and authentication process delayed and talking longer than others because of the anomalies in the signatures submitted. “Someone could have submitted a signature and name of someone who says he or she is a voter from Buikwe and upon verification, the system rejects the name because the one nominating isn’t a registered voter or is a voter in a district different from the one that was indicated.  We move to the next name and if you fail to raise 100 authentic signatures, we bypass that district and move to the next,” Bukenya explained.

He clarified that having inadequate signatures isn’t the end for any candidate provided there is still time. “That is why we go through this verification exercise in presence of the agents designated by the aspirant. We allow them chance to rectify the anomaly and find another signature in case of failure to readily raise the 100 required per district. The process is that considerate and transparent which is why I would be very much surprised if any aspirant goes anywhere and say they have been marginalized or deprived of fairness in favor of any other candidate.”


Mulengera News has separately established that most of the candidates are on the verge of having their files cleared and authenticated by the EC though there are some who are doing so badly that their chances of puling through are diminishing by the day. “Imagine if someone submitted days back and their file has only been cleared right now up to say 25%, the chances of making it [having 100 authenticated signatures from 98 districts] in the remaining days are minimal and their agents are fatigued and are clearly losing hope,” says an official closely involved in the verification exercise. “Some are actually forgeries whereby you find someone submitting 100 signatures from a certain district and 50 of them turn out not to be genuine voters from that district. That naturally would imply forgery though as EC we shall prefer descalation and avoid having anyone prosecuted for trying to qualify for nomination as a candidate for President.”

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