Luweero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Voters at Polling Stations in Luwero district where President Yoweri Museveni scored the least votes say that they voted against him over frustration as a result of poor service delivery.
According to Presidential results for Luwero, Museveni obtained only 41,166 votes (27.94 per cent) while his main challenger Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu scored 103,782 votes (70.45 per cent) out of 151,964 votes cast in the district. An analysis of tally sheets from Luwero district shows that Museveni scored less than 20 per cent in 113 out of 471 polling stations.
Museveni scored least votes from Nakasero O-Z polling station in Wobulenzi town where he scored only 14 votes. Kyagulanyi got 185 votes out of the 201 valid votes cast at the polling station. The others are Gulama Primary School where Museveni scored 22 votes against Kyagulanyi’s 246 votes and Kasoma zone-Norah polling station where Museveni got 46 votes against the 360 votes that Kyagulanyi scored.
The area was one of those where President Yoweri Museveni enjoyed mass support over the years, having hosted his liberation struggle between 1981 and 1986. To the NRM, Luwero was a haven, one that the party has always been proud of. Museveni scored 79.2 per cent of the votes in the area in 2006, while Kizza Besigye got 17.2 per cent.
Although the support dwindled slightly in 2011, Museveni still had an edge over his opponents with 67.83 per cent of the votes while Besigye scored 27.54 per cent. In 2016, Museveni was still able to score 55.78 per cent, while Besigye scored 41.1 per cent in Luwero district. The tide changed in the January 14, vote giving Museveni a minority score, this time against Kyagulanyi.
Area voters have accused Museveni’s government of poor service delivery and failing to tackle rampant land grabbing leaving them homeless.
Noordeen Kiwanuka, the LC 1 Chairman of Nakasero zone explains that the area does not have a single government school, no health facility and no tarmacked roads, and for this, he adds, the residents found no reason to continue voting for Museveni.
Regina Nantambi, a resident of Nakasero zone says that the unfulfilled pledge of tarmacking Zirobwe-Bamunanika road that passes through the area and the mismanagement of the wealth creation programmes were other factors that forced locals to vote against Museveni.
At Gembe village, the voters decried lack of access to clean water, poor health services and land grabbing as the factors driving the desire for change. Residents that include Abdul Bogere, Cyrus Ofumbi and John Obayi say they lost trust in Museveni after failing to improve their living conditions.
Joyce Nankabirwa, another voter at Gembe polling station said they lost 11 out of their 14 acres of land to grabbers, the Museveni administration did nothing to save them.
At Buyuki village, Annet Mwesige the Vice-Chairperson said the results took them by surprise but blamed it on youths unemployment in the area. Mwesige says that unlike before, the youths turn up was high at the polling station and they all voted for their fellow youth hoping for a change in their status.
Namugera Nkokonyole, the NRM Village Chairperson of Kakokoolo village says that even the chairpersons who could have campaigned and explained Museveni’s achievements were demoralized after the district party officials embezzled their transport allowances.
During campaigns, the National Resistance Movement-NRM Party disbursed 300,000 Shillings and donated a bicycle to each NRM Village chairperson to canvass support for Museveni.
Hassan Kirumira, the MP-elect for Katikamu South Constituency says that the residents sent a message to Museveni that they were tired of his empty promises.
Kirumira accused Museveni of neglecting the area that supported and contributed to his guerrilla war of 1981-1986.