The Democratic Alliance Candidates Selection Committee has rated former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, as the best aspirant to represent the alliance in the 2016 general elections according to a source.
According to URN, Mbabazi scored 46 percent, beating the Forum for Democratic Change candidate Kizza Besigye by one percent.
The alliance’s Candidates Selection Committee chaired by Livingstone Okello-Okello convened on Sunday in a retreat at Busabala Eco Lodge to rate the presidential aspirants and file a report to the TDA Summit.
Mbabazi who recently went independent after falling out with the National Resistance Movement was rated number one after providing the alliance with all the required information on the alliance’s joint presidential candidate nomination form.
According to the source, Mbabazi declared his criminal record where he stipulated his famous case on Temangalo land where he says he was cleared.
This was not the same case with Besigye who instead filled “not applicable” on criminal record.
Others rated include Pressure for National Unity (PNU) leader Gilbert Bukenya who was rated at 36 per cent, Democratic Party’s Nobert Mao at 45 per cent while Conservative Party’s Ssemusu Mugabo Nsonga not rated.
Ssemusu was not rated since his nomination form was not complete because it had not been endorsed by his party.
Earlier, Conservative Party president, John Ken Lukyamuzi wrote to the alliance clarifying that his party had not nominated anyone for presidency.
The Candidates Selection Committee meets again today Tuesday to finalise its report and send it to the TDA summit slated to go on retreat by Wednesday before announcing a joint presidential candidate on Friday.
Earlier, FDC warned the TDA to be as transparent as possible when choosing a candidate.
Fronting both Besigye and Mbabazi
Meanwhile, TDA is considering fronting both Mbabazi and Besigye to deny the incumbent President Museveni the required 51 percent hence forcing a rerun.
In a meeting attended yesterday by DP President Norbert Mao, Betty Olive Kamya of Uganda Federal Alliance, UPC’s Olara Otunnu, FDC’s Mugisha Muntu, Kizza Besigye, Go Forward Pressure Group leader Amama Mbabazi, Hope Mwesigye, TDA was tasked to explain why it had to bend its rules to have Mbabazi nominated a day after the deadline.
Others who attended the meeting were DP’s Brenda Nabukenya, Wasswa Biriggwa, Jeema President Asuman Basalirwa, Maria Matembe and Professor Gilbert Bukenya, the head of Pressure for National Unity (PNU).
Mbabazi returned his nomination forms at around 10pm on Friday last week past the 2pm deadline set by the summit.
He was expected to return his nomination forms at the TDA offices in Naguru at mid-day on Friday but he showed up after 2pm to pick new forms saying the earlier forms were wrong.
He was granted more time to return the new forms later on in the day but showed up past 10pm and was nominated thereafter after signing the TDA protocol.
The Democratic Alliance National Candidates Selection committee that sat on Sunday has also come up with a draft report rating all joint presidential candidates.
Meanwhile, FDC diehard, Prince Kahemba Babi, demanded that TDA officials Bishop Zac Niringiye and Godber Tumushabe step out of the alliance accusing them of making money and deals for their own benefit at the cost of suffering Ugandans who are yearning for change and democracy in their country.
“People have died, people are in exiles, people are in prisons, people have lost jobs and properties etc all in search for democracy,” Kahemba says in a charged statement.
“We all want a united opposition to over throw this dictatorship. We love Mbabazi, we love Besigye, we love Norbert Mao [DP president], we love Asuman Basalirwa [Jeema president], we love Olara Otunnu [former UPC president] and every other leader of democratic forces but on top of it all we love democracy and we want change.”
He added: “We shall not allow you people to disguise as eminent people then kill the struggle that is getting this ripe. Stop your games or go and play them in church or somewhere else not in this struggle where people are shedding blood.”
He was angry at the officials nominating someone [Mbabazi] at 10pm in the night, promising to officially petition them in less than 48 hours.
FDC members tells us they have now started a process of collecting signatures to have Besigye nominated as joint alliance candidate.
Sejusa group speaks
A statement issued by Vincent Magombe on behalf of Gen David Sejusa’s Free Uganda, advises FDC that in the current circumstances, the struggle for democracy, for elections that can be free and fair is supreme, far above any wishes of any one group or individual.
“This means that all Ugandans, working together, have only one immediate priority – to rid the nation of the barriers to a democratic dispensation and to a country where elections for leaders, including the President, can be totally unhindered”.
It says the priority, as Dr. KB and other FDC leaders have publically stated must be to mobilise and empower the masses to uproot Museveni’s regime “which is the biggest barrier to the achievement of a democratic Uganda”.
“Just remember how many times an FDC leader has been cheated of the chance to provide the ultimate leadership as president of Uganda. Remember what Gen Sejusa said of the last elections. Do we want that to repeat itself, as it will surely do if Ugandans abandon the struggle for reforms and political freedoms? No.”
According to Sejusa camp, Ugandans will rally behind opposition leaders if they chose the right path to freedom – i.e not just rushing into elections without reforms, but going forth to mobilise the masses to demand for reforms and for a free Uganda without undemocratic leaders such as Museveni.