Governance Poll attracts mixed messages from political protagonists

Published By UNNGOF |  June 4, 2014

Hardly a month after the Grand Citizens’ debate, Ugandans were treated to yet another menu of issues for public debate. The Governance opinion poll commissioned by the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform, Monitor Publications Limited, and conducted by Research World International presents some conflicting findings. While for instance Education and Health are listed as the major achievements of the NRM, the same issues are listed as those whose improvement would inform the choice of candidate for the 2016 elections.

Launched at a public debate in the WBS Auditorium on Monday 26th May 2014, the poll findings attracted mixed reactions from protagonists.

With an overwhelming 77% in support of restoration of Presidential Term Limits, one would be surprised as to how 54% of the respondents would again prefer that President Yoweri Museveni contests for re-election in 2016. More interesting is the fact that when put against other potential candidates, President Museveni would score not less than 60%.

While presenting the summary of the results, Dr. Patrick Wakida emphasised that the different political actors should take a critical look at the findings as opposed to dismissing the report. He elaborated on the methodology and assured the debaters that it was one of the most robust world-over.

Bishop Zac Niringiye appreciated the results but differed on some portrayals where the poll said leadership can be changed through an election because Uganda’s history does not agree to the poll results. He added that the results were a reflection that people are living in fear and therefore did not indulge information easily because they did not want to be arrested for their honest opinion.

“We have people portraying the President as one of the candidates suitable for the 2016 election because they believe if they objected to the President contesting in the next election, they will be teargased,” said Bishop Zac Niringiye.

Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi added his voice saying numbers do not lie but people are afraid of answering queries that might jeopardise their security and therefore he advised caution on the results while laying emphasis on the aspect of the poll being more representative of responses from NRM supporters.

Dr. Wakida emphasised and added that if people were not honest with their poll responses and only answered out of fear, then it means that the same attitudes translate on the ballot paper as a result of fear.

Ms Helena Okiring of Uganda Youth Network says the post-1986 generation does not have much comparison of leaders because for the last 3 decades, they have only witnessed one leader, therefore their responses in the opinion poll would be biased as well.

Ms Sheila Kawamara also added that the political atmosphere during which the poll was conducted could have influenced the responses that supported the NRM government.

“The Kyankwanzi motion is being popularised to different districts with a money aspect to it, therefore respondents could have thought the survey was related to the Anite-Kyankwanzi motion,” said Ms Kawamara. She also added that the poll highlights the Women in Politics agenda by bringing on Board women who are potential presidential candidates for 2016 election.

Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga received a 13% lead for favourable female candidate followed by Mrs. Museveni at 9%.

Results indicate Corruption as the Government’s biggest failure [66%], followed by unemployment [59%], poor health sector [41%], poor roads [40%] and election rigging [32%].

Monitor Publications Limited & Uganda Governance Monitoring platform commissioned RWI to conduct a national representative opinion poll in April 2014 with the aim of assessing the opinions and attitudes of voting-age Ugandans two years to 2016 general elections.

In 117 parishes, 89 districts with a total sample of 2142 of voting age. Results are given with a +/-3% margin of error at a 97% confidence level. The report is given by region, age group, gender, social economic background, and in some cases political and religious and tribal affiliation.

For more information look up report on link below: