By Rose Namayanja
Earlier this month young people of Uganda went into polls for their respective leadership. The stakes were high with some political parties some claiming to have total dominance over the youthful population of our motherland.
There was a lot of excitement as the day drew closer and indeed Local Council 1 youth elections were held peacefully save for a few pockets of violence, especially in Kampala and some other urban locations.
As the returns started flowing in, different political parties started claiming their popularity and strength among citizens in view of the gains from the youth elections.
The National Resistance Movement has for long had the support of most of the young people and dominates leadership from village to national level. The recent elections were not optional as the ruling party NRM massively won the ground-level polls by a landslide.
Apart from NRM that swept all regions of Uganda, what remained in different regions was won by NRM-leaning independents and other political parties with none having a nationwide haul apart from NRM and NRM leaning independents.
This has very direct and far-reaching political implications in the forthcoming elections and the general political landscape of our motherland since it was targeting the most populated voters’ category and one of the highly enthusiastic population categories.
Since it was at village level, all young people of voting age had a chance to participate in the same and indeed were massively mobilised by the National Electoral Commission via all media stations and the respective political parties some of whom boasted that they enjoy nationwide approval of the youth. However, from the returns it is evident that the National Resistance Movement emerged as the only political party with not only majority support, but national appeal.
Out of the 68,733 villages in Uganda, the National Resistance Movement secured 48,211 representing 79.11%, followed by the independents with 9,064 (14.87%), in the third position was National Unity Platform limping with 1,438 village chairpersons (2.36%), followed by Forum for Democratic Change with 1,134 (1.86%), DP and UPC nearly tying in the fifth position with 536 (0.88%) and 537 (0.88%) respectively.
Alliance for National transformation came in the seventh position with 15 village chairpersons (0.02%) and in the last position were PPP and JEEMA tying with five village chairpersons (0.01%). However, more interestingly the different regions of Uganda voted differently apart from the leading NRM, other parties emerged stronger than others and none had a consistent lead throughout the regions of Uganda. For instance, in northern region (13,465 villages) NRM took the lion’s share of 9,842 (73.09%), independents 2,834 (21.05%). UPC trounced other opposition political parties securing itself 530 village chairpersons representing 3.09%, followed by FDC with 214 (1.59%), NUP in the fifth position with 22 village chairpersons (0.16), DP 17 (0.13%), PPP 5 (0.04%) and JEEMA 0 (0.00%).
The eastern region out of 21,404 villages maintained the ruling NRM party in the lead with a whopping 82.86% representing 17,735 village chairpersons, followed by independents with 14.48% (3,099 villages). Here FDC trounced the other opposition players with a meagre 1.86% (398 village chairpersons), followed by NUP in the fourth position with 0.69% (148 village chairpersons). ANT came fifth with 0.05% (11 villages), UPC was sixth with 0.03% (seven villages), DP came seventh with 0.02 (five villages), in second-last position was JEEMA with one village chairperson and PPP with none came last.
The National Resistance Movement maintained its top position in the Buganda region, with 5,950 out of 9,548 village chairpersons (62.32%), followed by the independents with 1,793 (18.78%) In third place was NUP with 1,255 village chairpersons (13.14%) while DP come fourth with 514 village chairpersons (5.38%). FDC was fifth place with 32 village chairpersons (0.34%), JEEMA sixth with four village chairpersons (0.04%) while the rest won nothing in Buganda.
Just like the others, the western region endorsed NRM with a massive share of village chairperson positions (11,037), representing 89.48% of the 12,335 chairperson positions as the independents a number of whom are NRM-leaning occupied the second position, taking 806 village chairperson positions (6.53%). FDC defeated other opposition parties by coming in third place with 483 village chairpersons, representing 3.92% followed by NUP that got only six village chairpersons here. ANT trailed with three village chairperson positions (0.02%) while, the other parties secured none.
In conclusion, when you add the victories of those on the NRM ticket to those of the independents, you then know what makes the NRM stronger for we insist on organising at the most critical level of our society which is the village level.
In my opinion, these youth, PWDs and older persons elections, coupled with overwhelming wins in the last LC1 and women council elections expose the lies perpetuated by opposition politicians that presidential elections are always rigged.