Enthusiastic residents of Nwoya were left disappointed on Tuesday after independent Presidential candidate John Katumba failed to turn up for his campaigns in the District.
According to the campaign schedule drawn by the Electoral Commission, Katumba was scheduled to campaign in Kiryandongo and Oyam Districts before proceeding to Nwoya. Several residents who included bodaboda riders and market vendors waited on the roads, to have a glimpse of a 24-year-old, seeking to unseat president Yoweri Museveni.
Journalists from different media houses equally camped in Anaka Town Council as early as 8 a.m. to cover the youngest Presidential candidate’s campaigns. Until the close of business, there was no sign that the candidate would set foot in the area.
Katumba’s aide, Silas Wanjala who was called for an inquiry about his whereabouts told journalists that the campaign entourage could not deliver the candidate to Nwoya due to inescapable challenges. Katumba also confirmed that he was unable to be in Nwoya as scheduled to canvas for votes ahead of 2021 general election because of reasons he declined to disclose.
Katumba also asked journalists to deliver his message to the people of Acholi despite his failure to physically travel to the area for campaigns. He explained during a phone interview that once elected, his government will build more schools, health centres and an Urban City for the Acholi community.
Josephine Atim, a voter who appended her signature to endorse Katumba’s nomination expressed disappointment saying the Presidential hopeful is full of drama that may demoralize his supporters.
However, Amuru Resident District Commissioner Geoffrey Osborn Oceng says that Katumba has shown the courage to other youth that there is a good environment for thriving democracy and governance in the country that allows them to compete.
Katumba officially started canvassing votes on Monday from Nakasongola where he was warmly welcomed. Well-wishers contributed cash and food for him towards supporting his nationwide campaigns and later campaigned in Luweero and Masindi Districts.
On Wednesday, Katumba is expected to campaign in Nebbi, Zombo and Arua districts. But he remained sceptical on whether he will be able to travel to the three districts. Each of the 11 presidential candidates is expected to traverse 146 districts across Uganda.