Ugandans Worried About Political Instability Ahead of Polls

Published By UNNGOF |  January 25, 2016

As the country prepares for the 2016 general elections, Ugandans across the country are worried about the high prospects political instability during and after the elections. This is according to the poll conducted by a domestic research firm, Research World International and launched on Wednesday the 20th of January 2016 at Protea Hotel.

The poll which was commissioned by the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform reveals that 44% of the people interviewed fear that there will be political instability. According to the poll report, when respondents were asked what their main fears are regarding the forthcoming elections, the voters mostly mentioned political instability; vote rigging and intimidation by security forces.

This revelation comes at a time when Civil Society actors have expressed concerns over the spiraling numbers of militia groups and high levels of brutality by security agencies towards opposition activists.

It is also imperative to note that while Uganda’s history is characterized by violent transfers of power from one leader to another, according to the reports, 41% of Ugandans still believe that that it is not possible for Uganda to have a peaceful transfer of power while 47% do not trust the electoral commission.

Speaking at the debate which brought together representatives of Political Parties, journalists, Civil Society Leaders and activists from diverse social economic and political backgrounds, Bishop Zac Niringiye, a Civil Society Activist said: “the decline in the confidence of the Electoral Commission is a representation of loss of confidence in the government led by Mr. Museveni”.

Other findings indicate that president Museveni, the NRM Presidential Candidate maintains the lead at 51% followed by Dr. Kiza Besigye and Hon. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi at 32% and 12 % respectively.

Mr. Ofwono Opondo, the NRM Deputy Spokes Person who represented the NRM at the launch expressed a feeling of happiness that the poll is consistent in general terms that president Museveni is the leading candidate. However, this is contrary to what Mr. Gawaya Tegulle who represented the FDC described as declining support for the incumbent. “The poll result is an indication that Mr. Museveni has lost ground while the opposition has gained ground” Mr. Tegulle said.

This poll study was commissioned and conducted between December 19th 2015 and January 10th 2016 as part of Uganda National NGO Forum’s governance work to check on the preparedness of the citizenry for the 2016 general elections as well as acquire an understanding of the choices that Ugandans are thinking of in terms of voting the choices available.