Uganda’s opposition sceptical of opinion poll putting Museveni ahead of rivals


Members of the Opposition have rejected an opinion poll that puts President Yoweri Museveni ahead of all prospective presidential aspirants ahead of the 2021 elections.

The opinion poll conducted by Research World International on behalf of Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies interviewed 2,321 Ugandans from all regions before the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

The report that was on Wednesday unveiled by the Chief Executive Officer Research World International Patrick Wakida indicates that if elections were held in March, Ugandans would vote President Museveni with 46 per cent while Kyagulanyi Ssentamu also known alias Bobi Wine would come second with 22 per cent, while Forum for Democratic Change’s Kiiza Besigye would get 17 per cent.

11 per cent of Ugandans were undecided on who to vote, while 1 per cent would vote Alliance for National Transformation’s Mugisha Muntu and 1 per cent would also vote Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao.

The report also indicates that Kyagulanyi has a chance of succeeding Museveni, followed by Besigye and then President Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

Among other things, the poll also indicates that 49 per cent of Ugandans were free to talk about politics, while 26 per cent were either not free or had no comment. It also shows that 39 per cent of the Ugandans think the living conditions are bad. It also shows that 39 per cent of Ugandans are not confident in Government running the economy.

The poll also says 42 per cent of Ugandans trust the Electoral Commission to conduct a free and fair election.

However, some opposition members note that the poll favours the ruling NRM party.

Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament, says that the opinion poll rightfully indicates that the living conditions of Ugandans are bad, but it contradicts that Ugandans are happy with the current President.

He also questioned the timing of the poll and the trends that the opinion polls have been taking over time.

Alliance for National Transformation (ANT’s) acting National Organizing Secretary, Alice Alaso says that there are gaps in the report. Alaso says that she finds it inconsistent when the majority of the Ugandans said that they did not want the presidential age limit lifted and yet they are the same Ugandans who would vote for President Museveni in 2021. In the Opinion poll, 60 per cent of Ugandans didn’t want age limit lifted.

She, however, says that the opposition should use the opinion to improve on their ratings.

Winifred Kiiza, the former Leader of Opposition and Kasese Woman MP says that it is unfortunate that the report indicates that Ugandans are confident and could elect the incumbent because of Security.

Kiiza says that it is time for Ugandans to also realize that they have rights to education and health.

Wakida says the opinion poll was independently done, and what the people shared is based on what they feel, and what is on their mind. He says for instance many Ugandans might not vote Museveni for the economy but might vote him for security.

This article was published by Dispatch.

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