Museveni, rivals to face off in maiden general election debate

ALLIES-TURNED-FOES: Amama Mbabazi and President Museveni

ALLIES-TURNED-FOES: Amama Mbabazi and President Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and seven other presidential candidates are due to take part in the first ever general election televised presidential debate on January 15, 2016.

The Inter–Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) says Museveni and his challengers have all welcomed the idea of a live televised showdown.

“The debate will fill in the gaps that cannot be filled in the drama, in the hype and the hoopla of the ordinary political rallies, which the general public is treated to by each [presidential] candidate,” Justice James Ogoola, of the Elders Forum told reporters in Kampala.

The debate is slated to take place at Serena Hotel in the Ugandan capital.

The development comes as main opposition presidential candidates in the East African nation have been  challenging incumbent Yoweri Museveni to agree to a live televised debate so voters can get informed about the candidate’ policy proposals and visions.

Both top tier opposition candidates Former premier Amama Mbabazi of The Democratic Alliance (TDA) and three time presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have publicly dared Museveni, the longest serving leader of Uganda to debate them anytime anywhere. And

This August, IRCU organised a televised debate between Kizza Besigye and his rival Gen. Mugisha Muntu as the duo tussled it out for the party’s nomination.

If the debate goes on as expected, Uganda will be the second country in East Africa to have a live televised debate as presidential hopefuls spar on issues of national concern.

In 2013, voters in neighbouring Kenya were treated to the first televised presidential debate in which then candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and seven other aspirants took part in a three and a half discussion before Kenyan voters.