2020 in Review: Highlights of Stories that made headlines in Politics

Original Story by The New Vision

2020 has been undoubtedly such an unforgettable year, from the Covid-19 Pandemic to political unrest and elections, here is a summary of political highlights of the year.

January 07, 2020: Bobi Wine’s Gulu consultative meeting blocked. The Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, insisted that he wouldl carry on with consultations on his plan to stand for president next year after his Gulu meeting was cancelled by police.

January 13, 2020: New Ministers sworn in. The swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers appointed on December 14 2019 took place at State House, Entebbe. The new cabinet ministers that were sworn in include Rafael Magyezi (local government) and Judith Nabakooba (information communication technology and communications). State ministers are; Beatrice Anywar (environment) Hellen Adoa (fisheries) Robinah Nabbanja (health), Denis Obua (sports), Peter Ogwang (ICT and communications) as well as Molly Nawe Kamukama (economic monitoring).

January 13, 2020: Bobi’s men in trouble over hooliganism. The Police launched a probe into supporters of People Power, a political pressure group, for involvement in violence.

January 13, 2020: FDC fires back at Kyagulanyi’s utterance over coalition. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) expressed exception to comments by Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine that he was not interested in holding endless boardroom talks with other opposition forces to forge a coalition.

January 13, 2020: MP Ssekikubo charged, remanded. Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo was remanded at Masaka Prison after being charged with seven counts relating to the violence that marred National Resistance Mobvement (NRM) party primaries of Sembabule district in 2010.

January 13, 2020: Stop harassing Opposition, says Rwenzori bishop. The Bishop of Rwenzori Diocese, Reuben Kisembo, urged the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government to stop harassing other political parties. He said NRM ought to give a break to members of other political parties since they were citizens and contributed to the development of the country.

January 14, 2020: Muntu’s party to field presidential candidate. The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party announced plans to field candidates in all the elective positions in the 2021 general elections.

March 03, 2020: NRM mobilisers tipped on retaining power. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) coordinators were asked to work hard to ensure that the party retains power in 2021 general elections. NV030320pg06

March 04, 2020: Tumukunde declares interest in presidency. Former security minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde declared interest in running for president in 2021, describing his bid as support to “the fundamental change we promised Ugandans in the past and a peaceful transition from one generation to another”. NV040320pg06

March 05, 2020: NRM starts mass registration of members, update of register. Ahead of the forthcoming 2021 general elections, the secretary general of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Justine Kasule Lumumba, announced the process of registration of new members and update of the party register. NV050320pg03

March 05, 2020: NRM sweeps speakers’ slots in Kampala. Out of the 12 slots for speakers and their deputies, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party won nine, fending off competition from the Opposition. NV060320pg08

March 06, 2020: 2021 polls: Tumukunde’s 8 guards arrested. The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) arrested at least eight escorts belonging to former security minister Lt. Gen. (rtd) Henry Tumukunde. SV080320pg05

March 13, 2020: Lt. General Tumukunde arrested over treason. A joint security team comprising the Police and the Military intelligence arrested former security minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde. NV130320pg01&05

March 16, 2020: Lwengo NRM registration turns violentelections. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party registration exercise turned violent in Bukoto South Constituency, Lwengo district, after leaders disagreed over the process in which known Democratic Party (DP) members were purporting to cross to the NRM. NV160320pg07

March 19, 2020: Coronavirus: EC adjusts 2021 polls timetable. The Electoral Commission (EC) made adjustments to the 2021 general elections timetable in response to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world. NV200320pg01&03

August 03, 2020: ‘Akena faces tough task of uniting UPC factions’. Jimmy Akena was sworn in as Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) president for the second term. NV030820pg07

August 03, 2020: All election aspirants must be tested for covid-19, says Museveni. President Yoweri Museveni has directed the health ministry to test all political aspirants for COVID-19 before they engage in any form of campaigns. NV030820pg07

August 03, 2020: EC asks Bobi Wine party to stop using red. The Electoral Commission (EC) warned the National Unity Platform (NUP), led by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, against using the colour red, saying it was reserved by the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC). NV030820pg08

August 04, 2020: Five MPs join Kyagulanyi’s nuP Party. Five Members of Parliament joined the National Unity Platform (NUP) political party, headed by Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka Bobi Wine. They included John Baptist Nambeshe and Patrick Nsamba Oshabe of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), David Kalwanga, Francis Zaake and Latif Ssebaggala Ssengendo, all independent MPs. NV040820pg09

August 05, 2020: ANT, NUP seek recognition in parliament. The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) leadership asked Parliament to officially recognise its members that crossed the floor. NV050820pg07

August 11, 2020: NEW POLL PUTS MUSEVENI IN LEAD WITH 50.06%. If elections were held in March this year, President Yoweri Museveni would have held a significant lead over his opponents with more than half of the vote, a New Vision opinion poll revealed. NV110820pg01&03

August 13, 2020: ELECTORAL COMMISSION ASSURES PWDS OF INCLUSIVITY IN 2021 ELECTIONS. Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama assured people with disabilities (PWDs) that they would not be deprived of their right to vote in the coming polls. NV130820pg09

August 13, 2020: WINNIE KIZZA QUITS FDC, JOINS MUNTU’S PARTY. The former leader of opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, crossed to the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), a party founded by her former boss, Maj. Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu. NV130820pg10

August 13, 2020: Tumukunde launches presidential bid. Former security minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde launched his presidential bid for the 2021 general elections, calling on the Opposition to collaborate and bring about a peaceful transfer of power. NV130820pg10

August 14, 2020: FDC nominates Lukwago for Kampala mayor. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party nominated incumbent Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago to contest for the same seat. NV140820pg12

August 14, 2020: WHAT NUP DEFECTIONS MEAN TO DP. A group of Democratic Party members, including eight Members of Parliament, joined the nascent National Unity Platform (NUP) party. NUP leader and presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine welcomed the group at his headquarters in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb. NV140820pg13

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August 17, 2020: NRM procures 68,000 bicycles for party village chairpersons. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) procured 68,000 bicycles for the party’s village chairpersons to help them during mobilization. NV170820pg01&05

August 18, 2020: NRM NEC ENDORSES MUSEVENI TO BE PARTY FLAG-BEARER. The NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) endorsed Museveni for both posts of National Chairman and party flag-bearer. NEC is the second-highest organ of the party. NV180820pg05

August 18, 2020: CHAOS MARS YOUTH COUNCIL ELECTIONS. The Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday conducted polls for village youth councils across 68,740 villages. A total of 7,846,373 youths registered for the polls. NV180820pg08

August 19, 2020: Mabirizi pays sh20,000 to access Bobi Wine’s academic papers. City lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi paid sh20,000, which the Electoral Commission (EC) had asked him to pay in order to access presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine’s academic papers. NV190820pg08

August 20, 2020: FDC NOMINATIONS: BESIGYE BOWS OUT. There was chaos between the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) youth and officials after the former tried to force Col Dr Kizza Besigye to pick nomination forms. NV200820pg07

August 20, 2020: NRM WINS YOUTH ELECTIONS WITH OVER 79%. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) took the lion’s share of the just concluded election of village youth councils, provisional results showed. NV200820pg09

August 21, 2020: HOW CEC ELECTIONS WERE CONDUCTED. Members of National Resistance Movement (NRM) delegates conference exercised their right to pick top party office bearers for a new term. NV210820pg06

August 24, 2020: NUP ENDORSES KYAGULANYI AS FLAG-BEARER. Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine was endorsed as the presidential flag-bearer for his National Unity Platform party. NV240820pg19

August 31, 2020: DEMARCATION OF CONSTITUENCIES STARTS. The Electoral Commission (EC) kicked off the demarcation of electoral areas and polling stations, including the more than 300 constituencies. NV310820pg10

October 05, 2020: DP Fronts Ssenkubuge Siasa for Kampala Lord Mayor seat. Former 2001 presidential candidate, Charles James Ssenkubuge aka Siasa was nominated to contest for Kampala Lord Mayor seat on the Democratic Party (DP) ticket. NV061020pg08

October 07, 2020: I will not disappoint you again — DP’s Ssenkubuge. The Democratic Party (DP) flag-bearer for the Kampala lord mayor seat, Charles Ssenkubuge, commonly known as Siasa, assured Kampala residents that he would not disappoint them this time around like he did in the 2001 presidential elections. NV071020pg10

October 08, 2020: Ssemogerere to lead opposition talks. Uganda’s opposition political actors yet again pledged to engage in dialogue aimed at seeing them unite to challenge President Yoweri Museveni. NV081020pg07

October 08, 2020: Govt rejects extending MPs’ nomination date. Government ruled out extending nomination dates for parliamentary and local council candidates as demanded by Parliament. NV081020pg08

October 08, 2020: All is set for FDC to pick Presidential flag-bearer. After 21 days of countrywide campaign meetings, the contest for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party presidential flag-bearer ended. NV081020pg10

October 12, 2020: Independents dominate Kampala LC slots race. Most of the candidates who were nominated to compete for the 27 Kampala LC5 councillor seats (directly elected) are independents. According to the list from the Electoral Commission (EC), out of the 352 candidates, 227 (64.4%) are independents. Political parties have 125 candidates. NV121020pg11

October 13, 2020: 87% NRM losers’ petitions dismissed, lack merit. Over 87% of election petitions lodged before the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party electoral commission were dismissed for lack of merit. NV131020pg08

October 14, 2020: NRM rallies Kampala youth. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) rallied youth in Kampala to support President Yoweri Museveni and other party flag-bearers ahead of the 2021 elections. NV14102020pg08

October 14, 2020: NUP to finance 400 MP flag-bearers. The National Unity platform (NUP) spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, said the party endorsed 427 aspirants to contest for parliamentary seats, but not all of could sponsor themselves fully. NV141020pg08

October 14, 2020: DP secures sh800m for its flag-bearers. The Democratic Party (DP) said it had secured over sh800m to support its flag-bearers during the parliamentary elections. NV141020pg08

October 14, 2020: Kyambogo University to host Presidential Nominations. The Electoral Commission (EC) picked Kyambogo University cricket grounds as the venue for presidential nominations for November 2-3, ahead of the 2021 elections. NV141020pg09

October 15, 2020: Security raids NUP offices, city seize prohibited gear. There was tension at the National Unity Platform (NUP) offices as a contingent of army, Police, Local Defence Unit personnel, and the Police fire brigade raided the NUP offices. Besides the NUP offices, the operation also extended to the city centre. NV151020pg08

November 02, 2020: MUSEVENI NOMINATED, WARNS ON CHAOS. The Independent Electoral Commission (EC) declared President Yoweri Museveni the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate for next year’s presidential election on the first day of the nominations at Kyambogo University Cricket Grounds in Kampala. NV031120pg03

November 02, 2020: GEN. TUMUKUNDE NOMINATED AFTER HICCUP. Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde was among the three presidential candidates nominated on the first day of the exercise held at the Kyambogo University cricket grounds. However, there was a hiccup before the former security minister was declared a presidential candidate. NV031120pg06

November 02, 2020: NOMINATION: MUNTU CHALLENGES EC ON FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. Shortly after he was successfully nominated as a presidential candidate, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) flag-bearer, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu urged the Electoral Commission to conduct free and fair elections, without fearing those in authority. NV031120pg07

November 02, 2020: TWO PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS NOT NOMINATED OVER FEES.  The Independent Electoral Commission (EC) declined to nominate John Katumba and Nancy Kalembe Linda as candidates for the 2021 presidential election, over failing to adduce proof of having paid the nonrefundable sh20m fee. NV031120pg08

November 03, 2020: I’m a solution to Uganda’s problems, says 24-year old candidate. John Katumba, a 24-year-old graduate, nominated to contest for presidency in next year’s general election. NV041120pg03

November 03, 2020: Security whisk away Kyagulanyi after nomination. The nomination of Robert Kyagulanyi as presidential candidate was marred by arrests, tear gas and clashes between his supporters and security officers. NV041120pg05

November 03, 2020: Bobi Wine’s manifesto launch flops. The launch of the manifesto of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi flopped, after he was whisked to his home shortly after his nomination. NV041120pg05

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November 03, 2020: FDC’S AMURIAT WHISKED TO NOMINATION CENTRE SHOELESS. Without an entourage, Amuriat appeared at the nomination venue in Kyambogo without shoes and his well-pressed jacket falling over his shoulders, an hour before his scheduled time meaning that, something had gone amiss. NV041120pg04

November 03, 2020: Mwesigye roots for a God-fearing Uganda. Fred Mwesigye, a born-again pastor said God is the only solution to Uganda’s problems. NV041120pg04

November 03, 2020: DP’S MAO NOMINATED, VOWS TO RECOVER PRIVATISED ASSETS.  At long last, Democratic Party’s presidential flag-bearer Norbert Mao was nominated as presidential candidate in the next year’s general election. NV041120pg06

November 03, 2020: Kabuleta promises financial liberation. “If you want to have money in your wallet, vote for me. Money in people’s pockets is the reason I am standing for president of this country,” Joseph Kabuleta said after nomination. NV041120pg06

November 03, 2020: UGANDA IS READY FOR FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT — KALEMBE.  The only female presidential candidate in the 2021 race, Nancy Linda Kalembe was nominated, on her second attempt. NV041120pg07

November 03, 2020: Mayambala promises to improve agriculture after nomination. Independent presidential candidate Willy Mayambala committed to reviving Uganda’s agricultural sector once voted into office in the 2021 general election. NV041120pg07

November 03, 2020: TEARGAS, ARRESTS GREET CITY ON FINAL DAY OF NOMINATIONS. Nominations of presidential candidates came to a close, amid teargas and live bullets in different parts of Kampala. NV041120pg08

November 04, 2020: PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS KICK OFF ON MONDAY, POLLING DAY SET. The electoral commission set January 14, 2021, as the day Ugandans will go to the polls to choose their next president. The campaigns will run for 60 days up to January 12, according to the roadmap. NV051120pg05

November 04, 2020: NRM BLAMES OPPOSITION FOR NOMINATION VIOLENCE. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) blamed the violence that marred the last day of presidential nominations on the Opposition. NV051120pg11

November 05, 2020: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TABLE DEMANDS. Opposition and independent presidential candidates made several demands to the Electoral Commission (EC) in order to enable them carry out their campaigns smoothly ahead of the 2021 elections. NV061120pg07

November 07, 2020: LAUNCH MANIFESTO WITH NO RALLY, POLICE TELLS KYAGULANYI. Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Abbas Byakagaba, the director of counter terrorism, pitched camp in Mbarara city to heighten security ahead of the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential manifesto launch. NV071120pg02

November 09, 2020: I WILL FOCUS ON SECURITY, WELFARE — KYAGULANYI. Robert Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, successfully launched his manifesto in Mbarara. NV091120pg11

November 09, 2020: WHY MUSEVENI LAUNCHED CAMPAIGN AT KAWUMU. It was fanfare, dance and music as President Yoweri Museveni kick-started his re-election campaign trail at the Kawumu Presidential Demonstration Farm in Luwero district. NV101120pg04

November 09, 2020: SUPPORTERS WELCOME AMURIAT TO SOROTI CAMPAIGN LAUNCH. Hundreds of supporters of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party flag-bearer Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat painted the new Soroti city blue, as the candidate launched his bid for the presidency in next year’s elections. NV101120pg08

November 09, 2020: MUNTU LAUNCHES CAMPAIGNS. Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential candidate, launched his campaign at the Gogonya grounds in Nsambya, Makindye Division in Kampala. NV101120pg09

November 10, 2020: KYAGULANYI PROMISES TO REVAMP RAILWAY IN WEST NILE. The National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate started his campaigns in West Nile where he promised to revamp railway transport if elected president. NV111120pg07

November 10, 2020: KABULETA PROMISES TO OVERHAUL GOVERNMENT. Presidential hopeful Joseph Kabuleta assured Ugandans that if elected, he will carry out a complete overhaul of the government. NV111120pg14

November 12, 2020: Choose ideas, not age, Museveni tells NRM leaders in West Nile. President Yoweri Museveni, also the National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate, kicked off his scientific campaigns in West Nile sub-region with a message to leaders, focus on ideas, not identity. NV131120pg05

November 13, 2020: Kalembe launches campaign manifesto in Jinja. Independent presidential contender Nancy Kalembe launched her campaign manifesto in Jinja city amidst tight restrictions from security. NV131120pg12

November 15, 2020: NRM RELEASES OVER SH24B FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGNS. The NRM secretary general said each village branch would receive sh300,000, parish sh100,000, sub-county sh300,000, municipality/city division sh3m, district and city sh5m. NV161120pg01&12

November 16, 2020: KYAGULANYI PROMISES BUSOGA INDUSTRIES. National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi pledged to revive factories in Busoga region to foster employment opportunities and development of the region. NV171120pg10

November 18, 2020: EC awards sh200b ballot tender to foreign firms. The Electoral Commission (EC) awarded the tender to print ballot papers to five foreign firms ahead of next year’s general election. NV191120pg04

November 18, 2020: POLICE ARREST KYAGULANYI AT LUUKA RALLY. His arrest, however, did not come easily as his security detail put up a stiff resistance for several minutes, before he was pulled out of his car. After being subdued, Kyagulanyi was forced into a mobile Police cell, which was waiting nearby. The operation was commanded by Frank Mwesigwa, the commander of the Tourism Police. NV191120pg01&13

November 23, 2020: WE ARE NOT FUNDED BY FOREIGNERS, SAYS KYAGULANYI. National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential flag-bearer Robert Kyagulanyi said NUP was not being funded by foreigners. NV241120pg11

November 25, 2020: EC GETS TRUCKS FOR VOTER EDUCATION. The Electoral Commission (EC) flagged off 15 trucks and two double-decker buses which will be going around the country sensitising voters on the electoral processes. NV261120pg10

November 26, 2020: NRM, OPPOSITION SIGN DEAL FOR PEACEFUL ELECTION. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and other parties in the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) signed a deal committing to promote a peaceful and nonviolent electoral process. NV271120pg04

November 28, 2020: BESIGYE ATTENDS AMURIAT’S MANIFESTO LAUNCH IN HOIMA. Former party leader and four-time presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye and other party stalwarts attended the launch of the FDC Manifesto, which took place at the FDC party offices at Duhaga roundabout cell in Hoima city. NV281120pg07

November 29, 2020: MUNTU CAMPAIGNS FOR FDC IN KASESE. In a paradoxical move, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential candidate, Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, asked the people of Kasese to vote for his party and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidates. NV301120pg06

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