11:18 pm
20 October 2016

Museveni Blames Party Disunity for Weakening Support

Lira — President Museveni has used his campaign rally in Lira District to explain to why his performance during the last three general elections has been dwindling.

He said those who are ‘old enough’ and the young people who have a knack for reading or researching know his support has decreased from 75 per cent in 1996 to 68.38 per cent in 2011.

“That was because of disunity [in the NRM],” Mr Museveni told the crowd at Agweny Primary School in Ogur Sub-county, Lira District on Wednesday.

Mr Museveni, who peppered his speech with Luo words, however, did not delve further into the subject.

In some fora, Mr Museveni was accustomed to attribute the declining support to his long time ally and former secretary general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Mr Amama Mbabazi (now a presidential candidate), who he said did not organise the party adequately.

That, however, would not explain why in 1996 Mr Mbabazi managed to pull off a 75 per cent win for the NRM.

According to his critics, his share of votes during the elections have been decreasing because he has not failed to fulfill most of the pledges he makes during campaigns for re-election.

The critics say many young voters have cannot appreciate his messages since they are hardly surviving thanks to alarming levels of employment.

Mr Museveni has in the previous rallies refuted this; he reeled off the number of jobs he says have been created over the years.

Waving his 2016-2021 manifesto, which indicates over the last five years the NRM government created 2.5 million casual, contractual as well as permanent jobs, he said those who refute his achievement either do not have eyes or have ears but do not hear.

Yet other critics attribute his declining support to increased awareness among some voters, resisting intimidation and due to entry of formidable challengers in the contests.

The president has since said his party, whose secretariat in now managed by young people, is now better-organised.

The same secretariat, however, recently oversaw the chaotic NRM primaries, which resulted in the destruction of some party offices in various places of the country.