Uganda Electoral Commission chooses dates for the nomination of presidential and parliamentary candidates

The Uganda Electoral Commission has gazetted 25th and 26th October 2010 as the dates for the nomination of presidential and parliamentary candidates.

By George Katongole (Uganda) –Engineer Dr. Badru Kiggundu, the embattled commission head, while announcing the dates at the Electoral Commission head offices in Kampala urged stakeholders to cooperate.

Kiggundu explains that aspiring candidates for various elective positions would acquire nomination forms starting Wednesday 8th September 2010.

Nomination dates for the lower positions at the subcounties, are slated for 27th until 29th October while municipality and district nominations would be held on 4th and 5th November.

At the same function, Kiggundu denied any foul play over non-inclusion of voter’s photographs on the on-line register. The web based register was donated by the American government through USAID.

Kiggundu explains that “there is no ulterior motive because the National Voters’ Register posted on the website is a text-only version, which does not include voters’ photographs”.

“The National Voters’ Register, which has been on display throughout August (for a cleaning exercise), has fifteen million (15,002,720) voters,and having their photographs would slow the downloading process,” adds Kiggundu.

This brings down the curtain to the much awaited 2011 polls where the incumbent, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is likely to fae off with the Inter Party Cooperation’s (IPC) Rtd. Col. Kiiza Besigye, Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao, Uganda People’s Congress’ Olara Otunnu and Uganda Federal Alliance’s Betty Olive Kamya Namisango.

The opposition had for a long time wanted to front a single candidate but, procedural issues have divided them. Early this year, when the Democratic Party announced withdrawal from the coalition, they cited disappearance of their identity as their major fear.

On Tuesday, Olara Otunnu of the Uganda Peoples Congress decided to withdraw from a united opposition. Otunnu in a speech he dubbed ‘a fork in the road’, remarked that the IPC’s position to accept a Badru Kiggundu led Electoral Commision was ‘blinding’.

Undoubtedly the doyenne of the events is Jazz on the Lake which has become a highlight of the year for music fans throughout the city who eagerly embrace a day of quality music in a distinctly family setting – at no cost!

Taking place on Sunday September 5th at Zoo Lake, this year’s Jazz on the Lake delivers a superb live line-up that features veteran South African musician Caiphus Semenya, top-selling, award-winner Lira, Afrikaans pop superstar Kurt Darren, soulful newcomer, Auriol Hays and her accomplished live band, jazz outfit Afro’traction and highly-regarded Indian cross-genre band, Mrigya.

As is the case every year, the Joburg Arts Alive International Festival team is already at work preparing the road closures, parking areas, security and other details that turn Jazz on the Lake into a success, so that those wanting to attend should watch the press for relevant information closer to the time.

A real highlight of this year’s Joburg Arts Alive International Festival is renowned Portuguese artist, Katia Guerreiro who will be performing on Heritage Day at The Teatro Montecasino. Katia is a celebrated exponent of FADO music and will be using a traditional Portuguese guitar to help flesh out this emotionally charged, urban folk music. She was born in Johannesburg and the 2010 Joburg Arts Alive International Festival looks forward to welcoming her back.

Showcasing a diverse line-up of African music is Africa Unites presented by Moshito and Arts Alive and taking place in a covered venue at Mary Fitzgerald Square on September 3rd. It features Ali Keita, Nezio Tembe, Vuyo Tyolo and Friends of Gito Baloi, which this time around comprises Dave Reynolds, Steve Newman and Pedro Da Silva Pinto from 340ml.

Urban music fans are well catered for during Joburg Arts Alive International Festival with several events based around hip-hop and dance. One of these is Hip Hop Mudaland – Kwani Experience & Friends, a free concert taking place at the Alexsan Kopano Centre in Alexandra on September 4th from 16h00. Another is Freedom to Dance at The Alex in Braamfontein on September 10th and featuring the likes of Kent, Liquideep, Vinny Da Vinci and Culoe de Song with YFM’s Mpho Maboi acting as MC for a stunning night of urban dance music. Hip Hop Comes Alive (at Carfax on September 11th) and the Arts Alive Heritage Concert at The Alex on September 23rd (featuring superstar DJ Adam Freeland of the legendary London club, Fabric and a host of local talent) complete the youth music line-up.

Jazz’s central position in Africa comes to life through several live events – from Ethiopia’s Mulatu Astatke’s performance on September 10th at the Wits Great Hall to a performance by the Msawawa Jazz Orchestra at the True North Bar in Mondeor on September 17th and 18th and finally the Eldos Jazz Festival on Sunday September 19th. This family favourite offers a free day out at Kremetart Park and boasts a strong line-up that includes Auriol Hays, Sakhula, Giovanca, Dafunc and the African Breeze Childrens’ Band. Regular Monday Blues sessions at Ko’Spotong in Newtown add to the month-long music on offer during the festival.

Classical music fans are also in for a treat when the Swiss Arts Agency, ‘Pro Helvetia’ in partnership with Arts Alive, presents renowned Swiss pianist Petra Ronner in Concert on September 12th at Arts on Main in downtown Jozi. An exciting component of this performance will be collaboration between Petra Ronner and South Africa’s own Jill Richards. Also for classical fans is a performance of the mass Stabat Mater, conducted by Karl Jenkins at the Joburg City Hall over two nights (September 7th and 8th) as well as the Classic FM Soiree on September 5th at Summer Place Hyde Park.

This exquisite night out features an ensemble from Buenos Aires in an “Evening of Tangos”. Prokofiev’s ‘PETER & THE WOLF with full orchestra will introduce Joburg’s young audience to the instruments of the orchestra. Under the skilled baton of Kutlwano Masote with narration by Robert Whitehead and further brought to life by the Johannesburg Youth Ballet these performances on the 11th and 12th September at The Bandstand at the Joburg Zoo will make for wonderful family entertainment.