Spike in New Voters in Buganda is Due to Location -Experts

Napak is number one in terms of new voter percentage increase with 31 percent. It is followed by several Buganda districts of Wakiso, Luweero, Masaka, Butambala plus Kampala with more than 25 percent increase.
05 Jan 2021 12:36
Districts with high increase in new voters

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 Five Buganda districts—Wakiso, Luweero, Masaka, Butambala and Kampala—are among districts that have had a substantial percentage increase in the number of new voters, analysis of Electoral Commission voter data reveals. And experts mostly attribute this to Buganda’s strategic location.


Napak is number one in terms of new voter percentage increase with 31 percent. It is followed by the mentioned Buganda districts with more than 25 percent increase. In this analysis, districts created after 2016 general elections such as Masaka city are combined with its mother district—Masaka. 


Peter Bogere of Uganda Project Implementation and Management Centre (UPIMAC), an organization that conducts voter education, says more people are coming to settle in Buganda districts such as Kampala and Wakiso.


On the political perspective, he says the Buganda nationalism catalyzed by pop-star turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine—the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate cannot be underestimated. When EC was updating voter register, Bobi encouraged youth to register and vote.


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The view that migration has fueld the voter increase in Buganda is also shared by political scientist, Dr Goloba Mutebi who say people tend to migrate to more developed areas. Buganda is the seat of the capital city. And Wakiso district that is second to Napak in terms new voter percentage increase encircles Kampala. Goloba also says Buganda has the best academic institutions that attract learners who end up registering to vote in the area. 


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But Goloba differs with the argument that Bobi Wine could have been a factor in catalyzing people to register and vote. “If Bobi Wine has excited young Baganda to register, that would be quit new because historically Baganda don’t vote for Baganda just because they happen to be Baganda” he says. 


Goloba says Bobi Wine has been attracting large crowds of youth outside Buganda meaning that he would have inspired youth to also register in those areas.


Paul Mukungu the LC III Chairperson of Luweero Town Council says that an increase in voters is due to population explosion as a result of urbanization. Mukungu adds that in 2016, there were only three town councils in the Luweero district but these have since increased to eight town councils. 


Mukungu says that more people have migrated from nearby rural districts and settled in town councils to tap into several opportunities there. As result, Mukungu says several people have registered to vote there. 


Also, Mukungu argues that the campaign by NUP Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi calling for people to register is partly the cause for the increase. 


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Joseph Kigongo, an Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) leader in Luwero says that the district has registered an influx of refugees especially from South Sudan whom he suspects to have registered to vote. This claim is something that URN cannot independently verify.    



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