By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Uganda’s president and NRM Candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is having one of the most uneventful campaigns for the first time in over thirty years resorted to a campaign while “seated”.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has confined him to a scientific campaign, which by the way is not with his closest competitors in National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC’s) Patrick Oboi Amuriat.
While delivering his national address on the sidelines of the campaigns on Sunday 29th November, Museveni bragged about how he has ignored the mammoth crowds showing up to welcome him in different locations.
He said: “I simply remain in my car, and wave at them and using signs, advise them to wear masks and social distance.”
Museveni, in the same address, asked his media team to splash a legion of pictures as evidence to back his claims and he continued to wax lyrical in the background.
This was the third week of the campaigns, which Museveni has done mostly seated, only getting up to speak at meetings with leaders, kick a ball, or receive gifts.
One may be keen to ask; Why is Museveni stuck to meeting a handful of leaders in different regions while his competitors go about making processions and addressing massive rallies?
Museveni has been around for long enough to determine where he needs to get the required 50 percent especially while the competition is mostly newcomers.
Dr. Besigye had started eating into Museveni because he would take his campaign trail to places deeper in the countryside, Besigye’s expectations of Museveni were high and he used this to build a formidable campaign against Museveni and government machinery.
Now Besigye is out and Bobi Wine is in, he is making processions from town to town, attracting a good crowd, but why does Museveni seem unperturbed?
The NRM handed in at least 5 million signatures to back the candidature of President Museveni. If the five million all can translate to votes (which they arguably will), it means before even he started the campaign trail, Museveni was assured of over 29.4% of the votes (5million out of 17 million voters).
This means that Museveni needs another 21% and he will be back to State House, this translates to around a 3.5million or slightly above.
With 5 million in the bag and NRM will make this case in the future, Museveni is running around chasing about 4million votes.
NRM has 30 members in their leadership structures per village, according to the EC, we have 70, 626 villages in Uganda, this is around 2,118, 780 people, anyone is allowed to use this information the way they deem worthy.
The number above does not consider the fact that NRM has different leagues per village, for instance, there are 11 members of the youth league and 11 members of the main league per village. This is about 22 members per village which translate to 1.5million people.
So NRM can still after 2021 bring the argument that they were endorsed by 5 million voters and voted by their structures which are robust enough.
Let us imagine that the other politicians are doing much to sway the numbers, Museveni is only on the bench waiting for NRM structures o hand him at least 7millin voters, and his mechanics could do a top-up maybe!