Presidential nominations at the Mandela National Sports Stadium in Namboole turned dramatic yesterday afternoon as several independent candidates, including one actor and a comedian, showed up for nomination, but were turned away by the Electoral Commission.
Leading the pack was the chairperson of the Uganda Mandate Party, Wanjala Wagobe, who caused laughter when instead of handing in the required nomination papers he stood up, got hold of the microphone and announced that his party had pulled out of the presidential race in favor of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
A popular actor who starred in the Vicks Kingo advertisements, Bush Ainebyona who sported his trademark long grey beard walked to the nomination venue alone. He immediately told the Electoral Commission that he has filed a complaint with the Uganda Human Rights Commission to protest the abuse of his rights.
Ainebyona said it was wrong for the Electoral Commission to expect a poor man like him to raise the 8 million shilling nomination fee and to traverse the country to collect approval signatures.
Further drama came when a blind man, Shafik Mwanje, failed to present the required signatures to approve his nomination.
The height of the drama was when the comedian from the Amarula Family, Paddy Bitama, accompanied by his comedians,turned up adorned in shades and with plaited hair.
Bitama was not nominated because he turned in a check instead of a bank draft. He broke into tears as he was led away by the Electoral Commission's protocol officers.