The 2021 presidential election will with no doubt be the most exciting and unique contest in Uganda’s political history for quite a number of reasons.
Apart from the fact that it has attracted the biggest number of contenders, there are other reasons such as the absence of four time contender Col Kizza Besigye, and Dr Abed Bwanika.
The contest also sees the hugely scaring advent of a ghetto gladiator Bobi Wine into the the race to unseat a military General Yoweri Museveni in what has been massively termed as the David-Goliath affair in Uganda.
Besides all that, the presence of 24 year old John Katumba on the presidential ballot is what has become a landmark so far.
It’s not his age surprisingly that has caught the attention of the public but rather his general conduct.
Right from the day of nominations on Monday 2, the youngest presidential hopeful started his drama and it doesn’t seem like it will be ending any time before Jan 14 next year.
When his car got a flat tyre on his way to be nominated and he opted to go at it on foot, the stunned public thought they had seen it all. Surprisingly, a lot more was still to follow.
On arrival however, he was humiliatingly refused to be nominated after it was discovered that he had not yet deposited the required nomination fee to the bank. In his explanation, he said the bankers had refused to receive the money on account of lacking a Tax Identification Number [TIN].
He was thus ordered to go back and return the following day. On 3,he got nominated along with ten others among whom Ugandans will be casting their vote to choose their next leader for the next five years.
And the real drama began instantly.
Before the campaigns kicked off officially, Katumba who argued against the mere two month allocated for the campaigns opted to start early so as not to be caught up. As such, he instantly began his in Kampala.
To the amusement of the enthusiastic Ugandans, the young big dreamer was seem on the streets of Kampala trotting from the field, waving to a handful of his excited supporters.
In explanation, Katumba said he had opted to foot because he had not yet procured a car to use for his campaigns. He as such faulted the government for failing to provide him with an official car to help him traverse the country for votes even after paying a whopping Shs20 million in nomination fees. He however vowed to reach each all the corners of the country even if he gets there on foot.
“They gave me the car and yet they insist I can’t sit in it. Then why do those soldiers sit in mine? I have no alternative but to walk there on foot, ” he was heard complaining.
We have since learnt that City Celebrity Pastor Mondo Mugisha has since donated the cash stricken next president with a supper custom and his nationwide tour has since gone on unhindered.
Unlike other Presidential candidates who have held rallies and meetings, for Katumba it’s been a bit unique. He gets to urban centres, foots through markets and other busy points waving and receiving monetary donations before he heads to the next stop over.
In Nakasongola where his campaigns kicked off on 9th November, he is said to have collected some cash donations from his excited (over what no one knows) fans. He was later hosted on a local radio station where he pledged to change the lives of the people and also improve on the road network.
But to many Ugandans, Katumba reminds them a lot about the 2016 general elections. Besides the age contrast, he is very much like Elton Joseph Mabirizi who attempted to kick out President Museveni out of power then.
Financially handicapped like his kinsman in the current race, Mabirizi was forced to go some weeks without campaigning for lack of fuel. He would however team up with fellow financially problematic candidate Maureen Kyalya to conduct a joint campaign, something which had never been heard or seen in the history of the country if not the entire world.
The real drama would however unfold during the presidential debate. The presidential candidate couldn’t answer, let alone understand questions directed to him by the moderator!
The mediocrity with which Mabirizi fared at the debate, the country had indeed seen and heard a contest to remember and no one ever expected Mabirizi would get a match so soon like this.
Good luck Mr Katumba. I can’t wait to see and hear you articulate issues at the next Presidential debate my youngest President.
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