The run-up to Uganda’s presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14, 2021 has turned nasty and led to multiple fatalities.
The arrest of opposition candidate Bobi Wine in November 2020 sparked violent mass protests in Uganda, leaving at least 37 people dead and dozens injured.
As political tensions flare hours to the presidential and parliamentary race, here are some of the presidential candidates contesting Thursday’s vote.
Bobi Wine (pictured), 38, is a popular musician cum lawmaker who has become a household name in Uganda and abroad, thanks to his music and the emergence of new media. He leads the National Unity Platform party and is Museveni’s most-prominent challenger.
The Kyadondo East legislator seems to have taken the stage. Wine has captured the imagination of many who want to see Museveni’s exit, who seeks to extend his rule to a sixth term.
Wine first came to national prominence in 2017 when, as an independent candidate, he won the election as a lawmaker representing a constituency in Kampala.
He says his aim ahead of the election is to multiply himself in young men and women, so that there are as many Bobi Wines as possible.
‘’Wine is a symbol, a potential catalyst for change in a country where many young people are jobless and angry over official corruption,’’ Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a lecturer at Uganda’s Makerere University once told VOA.
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change leader and Presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat took over the mantle from Dr. Kizza Besigye.
He was also arrested alongside Bobi Wine in Gulu city, Eastern Uganda last year.
He has served as a Member of Parliament for 15 years, from 2001- 2016. Currently, Amuriat is the FDC party President having won elections on November 24, 2017.
Amuriat, 58, was on Sunday last week arrested over a traffic violation.
Others are General Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), who has been described by many as a principled military man and politician.
General Henry Tumukunde is also seeking the presidency in tomorrow’s polls as an independent candidate. He is the most senior retired Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) officer to challenge Museveni in the General Election.
Analysts say he brings new energy to the battle against Museveni because he knows well how the ruling party operates.
John Katumba, 24, popularly referred as ‘’Katumba oyee’’ is the youngest Presidential candidate, while Nancy Kalembe is the only female presidential contender.