Big Loss: NRM’s Defeat in Masaka City Attributed to Lack of Campaign Funds, Internal Weakness

The delayed release and mismanagement of the party’s campaign resources have been blamed for the National Resistance Movement- NRM poor performance in last month’s general polls.

The NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni was defeated in Masaka City where he garnered the lowest percentage.

Museveni scored 21.655 in Masaka City. The other districts where Museveni registered poor performance are; Wakiso where he polled 21.82%, Kampala 23.92%, Butambala 25.63%, and Mukono where he polled 25.71%. These districts were won by the National Unity Platform-NUP Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi.

According to election results, 70,791 voters voted on January 14th in Masaka City. And only 14,992 people translating to 21.65% voted for Museveni against 53,444 votes accounting for 77.18% who voted for Robert Kyagulanyi.

The election tally sheet for Masaka City indicates that Museveni won at only five out of a total of 191 polling stations.  They are Masaka market triangle polling station where he polled 285 votes, representing 82 percent. The other polling stations won by Museveni are; Kisijjagirwa [N-Z] with 65% Kisijjagirwa [A-M] with 70%, Kisijjagirwa [N-Z] with 57% and Kisenyi Pri. Sch with 53%.

However, Museveni scored less than 20% at 91 polling stations.

Vincent Agaba, the NRM Chairperson for Kitovu Nnume Parish of Nyendo-Mukungwe division attributes the voting pattern to internal party weaknesses that contributed to their poor performance in the area.

He blames the NRM’s party Secretariat of failure to facilitate campaign activities through which they would have outperformed NUP which dominated the area. Agaba argues that even the inadequate funds that were released did not go beyond the district level, leaving the majority of the lower level mobilizers disgruntled.

He adds that unlike in the previous elections, they failed to cater for transportation of weaker persons to their respective polling station, yet their votes have usually counted for the NRM.

Agaba has also noted that the majority of the 30-people village committees of the NRM are no longer functional in many parts of Masaka city where some were even deceptive, adding that the existing vacuum also disadvantaged the party in terms of voluntary mobilization and real voting.

Faisal Sseruwagi, the NRM youth Chairperson for Masaka City who also coordinated Yoweri Museveni’s Votes Protection Units in the greater Masaka sub-region however, attributes the loss to intimidation against their supporters by the opposition vigilante groups that stayed at many polling stations on the voting day.

Over the weekend, the NRM Vice Chairperson in-charge of Buganda Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi commissioned an inquest into the factors that contributed to the NRM poor elections performance in the area. 

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