There is skepticism among Members of the Opposition who have rejected a new opinion poll released on Wednesday that put President Yoweri Museveni in the lead of all prospective presidential aspirants ahead of the 2021 elections.
According to the opinion poll conducted by Research World International on behalf of Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies, 2,321 Ugandans from all regions were interviewed before the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
On Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer Research World International Patrick Wakida unveiled the report indicating that if elections were held in March, Ugandans would vote President Museveni with 46%, Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine would come second with 22% and former Forum for Democratic Change president Col Dr Kiiza Besigye would get only 17%.
Another 11% Ugandans were undecided on who to vote, 1% would vote Rtd Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu of Alliance for National Transformation, while 1% would vote Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao.
According to the report, Kyagulanyi has the highest chance of succeeding Museveni, followed by Besigye and then the first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Meanwhile, 49% of Ugandans were free to talk about politics, 26% were either not free or had no comment, 39% think the living conditions are bad and 39% of Ugandans are not confident in Government running the economy.
The poll also says 42 percent of Ugandans trust the Electoral Commission to conduct a free and fair election.
However, as soon as the poll was released, some members of the opposition alleged that it only favors the ruling NRM party and the company that conducted it had been bought off by the President.
National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi said the President always pays off “fake organizations to release polls favoring him.
“Museveni reading from the Dictators' Playbook yet again! Whenever we approach elections, he sponsors fake organizations to release fake opinion polls giving him an upper hand so as to pave way for his rigging machine. Mwe ba daawa musanze tulaba. We must remain ALERT. The signs are all over that the man is on the way out” Kyagulanyi said.
The Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament and FDC Spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda says the opinion poll rightfully indicates that the living conditions of Ugandans are bad, but it contradicts that Ugandans are happy with the current President.
He also questioned the timing of the poll and the trends that the opinion polls have been taking over time.
“Every time we are nearing the election, there are things that have become standard there will be a Newspaper in Uganda which will publish stories of who will be the next Vice President and they are going to pick Museveni’s new VP to create an impression that the Presidency is sorted. There will also be an opinion poll to say Museveni is leading. In my opinion, these figures are contradictory, you are asking people they say they are not free and then you tell us that this is what they said. You say they don’t like this presidency but they will vote the President” Nganda wondered.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) acting National Organizing Secretary, Alice Alaso says there are gaps in the report and inconsistency when the majority of the Ugandans said that they did not want the presidential age limit lifted and yet they are the same Ugandans who would vote for President Museveni in 2021.
However, Wakida says the opinion poll was independently done, and what people shared is based on what they feel, and what is on their mind.