The Prime Minister and leader of Government business in Parliament, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has expressed optimism that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party will, in a short time, win over Buganda region, again.
Rugunda, who was appearing on NBS TV on Sunday, was responding to NRM’s poor performance in Buganda region in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.
This was a day after the Electoral Commission declared results of the presidential elections won by NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who, on the contrary, performed poorly in Buganda.
The people of Buganda massively voted for Museveni’s strongest rival, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine who garnered 34.8% of the valid votes cast against Museveni’s 58.64%.
At the presidential level, the NRM scored 33.6% in Buganda region, NUP scored 61%, and in Kampala, President Museveni scored 24% of the valid votes cast while Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine scored 72%.
Despite the above defeat, NRM managed to register wins in some districts in Buganda including; Rakai, Sembabule, Mubende, Kyankwanzi, Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Lyantonde and Kiboga.
Out of the 498 Parliamentary areas in the just concluded election, NRM took a lion’s share by winning 316 slots.
In Buganda region where there are 105 electoral areas, NRM won only 31 while it’s closet rival NUP scooped 53 slots. FDC got 3, Democratic Party (DP) 7 and the Independents are 7.
In the Kampala Metropolitan area, the NRM got zero, NUP got 16, FDC 1, DP got zero and the Independents are 2.
Ministers hailing from Buganda, including Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Amelia Kyambadde of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja of Agriculture, Betty Kamya of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba of ICT and National Guidance, Ronald Kibuule, the Minister of State for Water and Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa, all lost their Parliamentary seats after they were voted out by the electorate.
Other Ministers from Buganda who lost their Parliamentary seats include; John Chrysestom Muyingo, the Minister of State for Higher Education, the Minister of State for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo, the Minister of State for Luweero Triangle Ssozi Galabuzi, the State Minister for Primary Education Rosemary Nansubuga Sseninde, the Minister of State for Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi among others.
Most of the above Ministers were defeated by candidates leaning to Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP).
It is not only Ministers who were voted out in Buganda but also NRM flag bearers.
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said that the decision by the people of Buganda to vote out NRM candidates and Ministers was not a protest vote, and expressed optimism that NRM will soon takeover Buganda again.
“Buganda has always been and is actually a historical base of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and National Resistance Movement (NRM). Buganda will remain. There is a temporary narrow wave that has swept the region. Movement is going to come and recapture its historical area,” said Rugunda.
This however, is not the first time NRM is losing in Buganda region especially Kampala where Uganda’s Capital sits.
In 2016, Kampala massively voted for the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) against NRM.
Rugunda did not attribute NRM loss in Buganda to poor service delivery, saying that the region has been served better than all other regions in the country.
“In terms of services, Buganda has received very good services like any other part of the country. In fact, even more than many other parts of the country. So, it is not a question of services. We therefore think there are other factors. We are just at the end of the election. Give us time to look at issues in more detail. We will take corrective steps in case we have erred anywhere,” said Rugunda.