After failing to hold the first round of consultation meetings in January this year, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has now resolved that he will resume the consultations next week in Kampala.
The musician turned politician who declared intentions of contesting for presidency in 2021, was in December last year, allowed by the Electoral Commission to start countrywide consultations in line with Article 103 of the constitution.
The Article allows a presidential aspirant to consult the electorate in preparation for nomination as a candidate 12 months before the date of nomination.
In a letter to the Inspector General of Police dated February 14, Bobi Wine says his first meeting will be held in Kampala on Monday February 24 and expects over 1,000 people to attend.
“I write to notify you of my intention to gold a consultative meeting in line with Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act. The meeting is to be held on Monday 24th February, 2020 between 9:00am and 5:00pm. The venue will be Pope Paul Memorial Centre, Ndeeba block 16, Plot 6869 Cardinal Nsubuga Road, Rubaga Division in Kampala,” reads Wine’s letter in parts.
“Accompanied herewith is a copy of the receipt of part payment of the venue charges. The expected number of the people at the said meeting is 1,200 including religious leaders, civil society leaders, political leaders and opinion leaders within the Kampala Metropolitan area,” he adds.
Police is yet to respond to his letter.
Bobi Wine was meant to kick off the first round off the first round of his consultation meetings on January 6 from his own constituency in Wakiso District and later in Gulu, Lira, Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua and Zombo but Police foiled them on grounds that the lawmaker did not meet all the requirements of the Public Order Management Act (POMA), a legislation that regulates public meetings.
Police, Electoral Commission and some presidential aspirants would later convene at the Commission’s headquarters to reach a common ground on how the aspirants should conduct their consultation meetings as provided for in the constitution without confrontations with security.
During the meeting, the parties agreed that there will be no processions during the consultations. Police also insisted that presidential aspirants should not hold political campaigns in the guise of consultations, as guided by the Commission.
According to the Electoral Commission’s Electoral Roadmap, campaigns for the various elective positions commence after the Commission has duly nominated candidates for the respective elective offices.
“Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, provides for aspirants to consult in
preparation for nominations. Consultations, however, should be distinguished from
campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, campaigns, holding rallies and
meetings and canvassing or soliciting for votes envisaged,” guided the EC.
In their guidelines, EC defines a consultation as an exchange of views in an attempt to reach a
decision. It states that the identified venue, mode and manner of the consultative meeting ought to facilitate the exchange of views between the aspirant and those being consulted.
“Aspirants are further urged to desist from holding rallies under the guise of conducting
consultative meetings,” further stated EC.
The commission further bars aspirants from conducting processions on public roads due to their disruptive nature.