By Ashraf Kasirye
Former Presidential aspirant Charles Bbaale Lwanga who whose name was unfortunately ejected from the list of those to be nominated has re-invented himself with a new style as he gears up for the probable 2021 general elections.
Bbaale’s ejection from the nomination list at Namboole stadium led to dramatic scenes that made him even more popular than anyone would expect. First of all, it was issue of failing to meet requirements of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Secondly according to him, they accused him of not paying the then required Shs.20m yet he had presented a cheque, but according to the E.C the cheque had issues which he was required to deal with before it could be accepted.
He is the current president of the Ecological Party of Uganda (EPU) which he says it has managed to build structures and now ready to battle with all other existing political parties come 2021.
During an EPU stake holders’ training held at Florida hotel Zzana, Lwanga said that the 2016 ejection was a deliberate move by the then Engineer Badru Kiggundu and his team to block him from standing against the government he once worked for.
“You couldn’t be such easy for a person like me to get nominated looking at my back ground. I worked in security for more than 15 years and above all I worked in the technical wing of the Special Forces command (SFC)” Lwanga alleged.
However, before being rejected in the 2016 general elections, Lwanga was given a number of opportunities to correct his documentations and fulfil all requirements, his nomination time was even re-scheduled to allow him do the needful. This meant that the authorities openly expressed willingness to have him nominated like any other Ugandan but he couldn’t receive exceptional favours.
At that time, Eng. Kiggundu gave three reasons why he was turning Mr. Lwanga away such as failure to present an original bank statement to prove that he had paid the Shs20 million nomination fee, his papers had not been certified by a commissioner of oaths and that he had presented passport size photos instead of the required postcard ones.
Re-invention, Mission 2021
At the training, Lwanga and other EPU leaders revealed that apart from building party structures and getting support from the East African Greens Federation, funders from Denmark and elsewhere, they are determined to push for democratic electoral reforms to be implemented before 2021.
“Government has to reduce and limit (in the constitution) limit the amount of money to be spent during campaigns, big political parties take advantage of that to triumph over our small parties” He said. He added that they also want government to scrap the discriminative policy of only funding political parties with representatives in parliament.
Thirdly they intend to push for a ban on nomination of independent candidates who usually join the races as independents after losing party flags in party primaries.
“Such people should be restricted by the law. If they want to stand, they should choose between taking part in party primaries and going as independent candidates right away” Bbaale said.
He said they have already identified regional coordinators; they intend to organize a delegate’s conference in September this year.
Meanwhile the Secretary General of the East African Greens federation Thomas Kentos Bakyayita assured EPU that since they have allied themselves with values such as protecting the environment and fighting climate change, they will be supported by fellow green parties in east Africa and beyond.
“In the last elections, the Rwanda Green party managed to field MPs into parliament after they adopted the system of every vote counts and preached the gospel of fighting climate change” He said. He added that that EPU is the only party which can easily address the current situations of poverty, climate change, urbanization among others.
“As Greens we used to work as CSOs, but our main challenge was that the decision makers would ignore our proposals, shelve them indefinitely until we decided to join politics and take part in the influencing of decision making” He added.