NUP collects a huge number signatures in two days after police raid

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine Sunday said he had collected 33,000 signatures from 109 districts of Uganda in two days, endorsing his presidential bid ahead of nomination.

Mr Kyagulanyi on Wednesday accused security operatives of seizing his nomination forms with seven million signatures endorsing him for presidency during the raid in which police said it was meant to recover police and military stores.

“For two months we had been collecting millions of signatures until Wednesday this week when the military and police raided us and stole them!” he said.

The deadline for submission of signatures to the Electoral Commission was Saturday (October 17, 2020) but Bobi says he wrote asking for an extension of time.

“But also worked hard for two days to get fresh signatures. We activated our structures countrywide and collected a fresh batch of signatures. Thankfully, there were a few districts whose signatures were still in the field by the time of the raid. Yesterday (Saturday), a team from our secretariat was able to submit 33,000 signatures from 109 districts of Uganda,” he said in a statement on his social media platforms.

The number of signatures required for presidential nomination is 9,800 (100 signatures from 98 districts).

The electoral commission will begin its nomination of presidential candidates on November 2.

Bobi Wine also accused the police and army of stealing some Shs23 million donated by citizens for the nomination of his National Unity Platform (NUP) parliamentary candidates.

However, police spokesman, mR Fred Enanga denied this, saying “no money was taken from the offices.”

Army spokeswoman, Brig. Gen Flavia Byekwaso said Wednesday that the purpose of the raid was to seize outfits and berets worn by Bobi Wine’s supporters, that they argue are military wear.

Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on September last year designated the red beret and tunic which have become Bobi Wine’s signature as official military clothing, imposing a punishment of up to five years in prison for any civilian found wearing it. 

Bobi Wine has defied the directive and urged his supporters to keep wearing the party colours.

Security forces also raided shops manufacturing and selling clothing similar to that worn by Bobi Wine’s supporters and arrested several people.

On Friday, 41 Bobi Wine supporters were charged at City Hall Court in Kampala and remanded for allegedly wearing the red berets and holding unlawful gatherings.

Bobi Wine has become a popular figure among the youth in a country where the median age is less than 16. 

Since becoming an MP in 2017, he has been routinely arrested and put under house arrest, his concerts banned and public rallies dispersed with teargas.

After more than 30 years in power, the 76-year-old Museveni is the only president most have known.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, had the constitution amended for a second time to allow him to run a sixth time in 2021.

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