by Ronald Ssekandi, Samuel Egadu
The two, Kiiza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister, have held several frantic meetings both in the country and abroad.
According to their umbrella organization, The Democratic Alliance (TDA), the two met in London under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation.
“We have held a two-day meeting in London, UK to continue the discussions previously held in Nairobi, Kenya… We have made substantial progress in preparations for the 2016 general elections in Uganda,” the TDA press statement read in part.
The two leaders argue that once they agree on one candidate, they will win next year’s much anticipated general elections.
As the opposition readies itself, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is also set to hold its delegates conference to elect top party officials and also endorse Museveni as the party’s flag bearer in the elections.
The conference attracting over 15,000 delegates across the country is slated for Oct. 30.
As the delegates gather, the NRM on Tuesday is slated to hold its primaries to elect official flag bearers for the parliamentary, local and municipal council seats in the 2016 polls.
“We have asked the police to deploy and tighten security in the hot spot areas we have identified throughout the country. We want to ensure the elections are peaceful, fair and free,” Ofwono Opondo, the party’s spokesperson told Xinhua by telephone.
The NRM party primaries have been characterized by violence especially fighting among rival supporters and burning of the party offices.
Police has already issued a warning to all political parties against forming rival gangs to destabilize the election process.
In order to prepare for the elections, police has trained thousands of crime preventers across the country. The crime preventers are supposed to detect any crime and report to the nearest police station.
Observers argue that next year’s elections are slated to be the most contested elections as Museveni will tussle it out with Mbabazi who has been his close ally for over 40 years.
Museveni fired Mbabazi last year and the latter said he fell out with his former boss noting that the country needed a new leader to manage the transition from Museveni.
“I encourage all supporters of Go Forward to remain patient and calm as our team prepares us for nomination. I am truly looking forward to launching the campaign and engaging voters across the country,” Mbabazi said in a recent statement.
Museveni has been in power for close to 30 years. He took power in 1986 after leading a five-year rebellion. In 1996, he stood for election and has subsequently won the following ones.
Uganda’s electoral body will conduct the nominations for the presidential candidates on Nov. 3-4. The elections are slated for early next year. Enditem