Ugandan politicians rush to realign names ahead of the 2021 elections

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Kampala, Uganda | URN | More than 140 politicians have applied for a change in names to correspond with their academic papers ahead of the 2021 elections.

Some of those rushing to realign their names are Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu, the president of the National Unity Platform (NUP), Gen Mugisha Muntu, the Alliance for National Transformation president and former security Minister General Henry Tumukunde.

This is in line with volume 58 of the Uganda gazette published on October 2, 2020.

Others changing their names according to the gazette are; Idah Nantaba, the Kayunga Woman MP, Kassanda County MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe and Masindi Woman MP Jalia Bintu.

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is realigning his name from Kyagulanyi Ssentamu R, Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi and Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Roberts to Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert.

ANT president Mugisha Muntu who has been using the name Mugisha Greggson and Mugisha Gregory Muntu Oyera has now started a process of realigning his name to Mugisha Muntu Gregg to match his academic transcripts. General Tumukunde meanwhile seeks to add Kakurugu to his name to read Henry Tumukunde Kakurugu from Tumukunde Henry BK and Henry Brian Kakurugu among others.

The move follows an announcement by the Electoral Commission (EC) that aspirants with different names other than those in their academic documents will not be nominated.

The decision stems from a 2017 court ruling in which Taban Amin’s victory as Kibanda North MP was annulled for having varying names from Taban Amin Tampo Jegejege, Taban Amin Tampo as indicated in the National Voters Register and ID, Taban Idi Amin on the nomination form and academic documents and Idi Taban Amin as indicated on his passport.

Although parliament is trying to amend the Registration of Persons Act to resolve this, the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi said the amendment is specifically for married women whose names changed after marriage when they abandoned their maiden name.

Muntu says he started the process two weeks ago and hopefully it will all be finished by next week. He says that as a young man in the early days, he had called himself Gregg from the full name Gregory because it was then fashionable and that is what is in his academic transcripts, but he says he later decided to use Gregory which however would make him a different person from his academic record.

He says he has now undertaken a deed poll which is a legal deed made and executed by someone, especially to formalize a change of a person’s name. He says he had to go back to the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) for the second time since they didn’t allow the use of initials like M for Muntu.

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Muntu adds that although he has done it, he thinks the court ruling and decision on candidates who change names is not right since it presupposes that one person is not the other without adequate verification. He says what mattered most was if someone could swear an affidavit.

As of now, after processing and filing documents from National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), one has to post legal notices in newspapers to announce the name change upon acceptance of the application by the Commissioner of Oaths. The registrar upon being satisfied that the requirements have been met then amends the register accordingly.