All aspirants under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have to take a Covid-19 test and present a negative certificate before they can get nominated, the party’s Electoral Commission has decreed.
Speaking to reporters at the NRM Electoral Commission headquarters at Plot 13 Kyadondo Road, Dr Tanga Odoi, its chairman said they are going to ensure that the Presidential directive is enforced.
Last week the President said all political aspirants must first test for the virus before they go to the population to canvass for votes.
“If you want to clean yourself, come with a COVID-19 certificate that you are clean. We can’t endorse you yet you are not going to be in parliament. These things are real; COVID is real, we must thank the government for caring for us. If the President said people should test what’s wrong with testing? For me every after three days I go and test because I don’t know who is sick,” said Dr Odoi.
This development comes at a time when Uganda has confirmed its fourth COVID-19 death in less than two weeks. It also comes at a time when two senior employees at the NRM secretariat tested positive of the highly contagious virus.
Meanwhile, 2054 aspirants have expressed interest in contesting for LCV and Member of Parliament positions on the NRM ticket. According to Dr. Odoi, by the close of business on Thursday last week, 584 women had expressed interest in contesting for woman Member of Parliament position, 1112 expressed interest in contesting for constituency seats while 312 expressed interest in contesting for LCV chairperson seats.
On the other hand, 46 aspirants picked forms for the Special Interest Group MP seats. These include the elderly, youth, workers, and the disabled. “That shows a massive number for NRM if we translate that into votes NRM has already got 2054 votes and People Power is still debating what its name should be. As a political party called NRM we are ready for the contest,” said Dr Odoi.
He added that as the Electoral Commission of the party, they are ready for this contest because at the national level they already have a flag bearer dully endorsed, nominated and forwarded.
President Museveni was last week nominated as the NRM flag bearer unopposed.
“Now we have members of Parliament in waiting and the LCV. Therefore, we have a government already. What we are waiting for is [National Electoral Commission chairman] Justice Byabakama’s time and we translate this into percentages. We shall have 85 per cent,” said Dr Odoi.
For the new constituencies, aspirants in those areas have to wait until the Electoral Commission gazettes them before primaries are held. “Those who want to aspire, please hold your breath we shall give you a window and pick nominations but if you have already picked nominations and paid the two million for MP, keep the receipt and wait for the declaration then we shall simply shift you from one to another” added Dr Odoi.
According to the NRM Electoral Roadmap, on the 10th and 11th August, they will nominate MPs and Chairpersons from the Western region. On 12th and 13th, MPs and LCV from Northern West Nile and Karamoja will be nominated, on 14th and 15th, Dr Odoi’s commission will be handling aspirants from Central and Kampala regions while those of Eastern Uganda will be nominated on 17th and18th.
“On 19th and 20 we shall be doing residual nominations. Those who will have failed to find time for their region we shall find a cluster for you. Come with originals of your (education) certificates, if you have changed names carry those (certificates) also. Don’t carry nominators and seconders carry photocopies for their IDs,” said Dr Odoi.
From August 6 to 8th, the NRM will hold the Central Executive Committee and the National Executive Committee meetings to elect members that will sit on the highest policy Organ of the Party the CEC.