Ayub Ssendagire, 21, a cobbler in Kamwokya--Kampala who will be voting for the first in the coming election says he wants a president who will provide employment opportunities for young people.
The National Resistance
Movement (NRM) 2021-2026 manifesto mentions the youth 65, slightly above the Forum for Democratic
Change (FDC) which mentions them 63 times and the National Unity
Platform (NUP) manifesto which mentions youth 14 times.
First, presenting party
candidate, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as a Pan-Africanist who dedicated his,
“youthful years to Africa’s liberation struggles against oppressive regimes,”
the NRM manifesto highlights what the government has done to facilitate the creation of
jobs and aiding youth to access start-up capital.
refers to the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP), Operation Wealth
Creation (OWC), the Youth
Venture Capital Fund, and empowering youth in the political arena. The
manifesto’s key promise is rolling out a skilling programme for the
youth that was piloted in Kampala and has so far benefited 14,448
"Having registered commendable success in Kampala, NRM
is going to roll out the skilling project throughout the country through the
establishment of the zonal industrial hubs,” the manifesto says. Each centre
will have an intake capacity of between 200 and 300 with dormitories to
accommodate those coming from afar. Those living nearby will be day scholars.
Muhindo, the NRM Youth League Secretary-General says that the NRM
campaign theme; “Securing Youth Future,” means that the party is working
for the future of young
people through the establishment of industrial parks which will create
skilling youth who employ themselves and create jobs for their age
“so we have…
out...future is guaranteed.”//
argues that the president has emphasized that this election is not about
biology, it’s about ideology. “He has consistently said you can be young with
bad ideas and you can also be old with good ideas,” he says. With this message,
he forecasts that more than 70 per cent of young people will turn out and vote for
On the other hand, the NUP
manifesto articulates NRM failures in addressing youth issues such as
YLP funds and promises recovery of embezzled funds. Also cognizant that
vocational training and skilling of youth is a key therapy of the
unemployment question, the NUP manifesto says they “intend to review all
interventions to ensure that the percentage of youths joining skills
Meanwhile, the FDC in its manifesto makes charming pledges for the youth: one million youth
and women will be given capital to start their own businesses, creating
employment quotas for youth in all government and private sector jobs,
reserving at least 40 per cent of public procurement contracts for youth-led businesses
or businesses that employ the youth.
League chairperson, Mulindwa Walid Lubega who crafted the party’s manifesto
ideas for the youth says his team came up with four issues: unemployment,
renewing the fight against HIV/AIDS, investment in sports and creating more
governance opportunities for the youth.
instance, he says, the party plans to create a million jobs per year. But
the manifesto doesn’t explain how these jobs will be created. With the four issues
articulated in the manifesto, he says “youth are well catered for.”
“The big four…
out:...as young people.”//
how parties and their presidential candidates have pitched themselves to the
young voters. But at rallies, candidates haven’t spent much time articulating their
pledge to youth who are estimated to be the largest bloc of voters.
manifesto recognizes that “Uganda has the world’s second-youngest population,
behind Niger” and “over three-quarters of Ugandans are below 30 years.”
is no precise estimate of how many of these youth registered to vote. In the
past decade, 7.2 million voters were added on the voter register. These are
perhaps the youthful voters in their 20s and early 30s who will be a key voting bloc
if they vote.
Districts with high increase in new voters
when the voter register was updated, 2.3 million new voters were added to it.
Napak had a 31 per cent increase in voters from the 2015 figure—the highest in the
country. It’s followed by districts such as Wakiso, Luweero, Masaka (when
combined with the city which was one district in 2016), Butambala, Kampala and
Kyegegwa with over 25 per cent voter increase.
Ayub Ssendagire, 21, a
cobbler in Kamwokya--Kampala who will be voting for the first in the coming
election says he wants a president who will provide
employment opportunities for young people.
“my names I…
out...get a job.”//
Emmanuel, from Masaka, says he was encouraged by his parents to
register, but now believes that he holds the power to determine
the future leadership of the country.
"If a person chose a candidate, he benefits
because that candidate will be promoting what he believes in. And if a person
he votes doesn’t deliver, he can vote for another person in the next round of
Joseph, also from Masaka, says he registered to vote after the Kabaka
(King of Buganda) encouraged the youth to participate in elections.
Kasule says he
will be voting for a candidate who will improve education and health.
to Ssendagire, Kinaalwa Alex from Mawokota-Mpigi, a first-time voter
completed Senior Four last year but has
no prospects of finding a job or fees to continue with school after
COVID. He is optimistic that his destiny will change when he votes for a
“amanya Kinaalwa Alex…
out...empya nayo tugyagala.”//
Onesmus, a vendor in Kampala who will also be voting for the first time says he
will vote for Museveni because of the peace he ushered in Uganda. Onesmus says
his parents used to tell him horrific stories of the past regimes.
“amanya gange bampita…
out...mpe mzee akalulu.”//
Namata Gladys Ssimbwa, a statistics
lecturer at Kampala International University (KIU) who wrote a thesis of voting
patterns in Kampala Central more than a decade ago reckons that youth will
vote. When she conducted the study, old people were voting more than young
people but now, she reckons “young people are very, very interested” in
“old people vote…
out...up and vote.”//
Muhereza, the Center for Basic Research Executive Director argues that there
will be a high turnout of first-time voters because of “emotional attachment”
that comes with doing something for the first time.