NEWS FEATURE

SATURDAY VISION
November 22, 2014

7

DISTRICTS WITH HUGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE PRODUCE THE BIGGEST NUMBER OF VOTERS

Hot districts that will determine
winner of 2016 presidential polls
BY JOHN SEMAKULA
The provisional results of the 2014 population
census reveal districts, which are key in
the 2016 presidential election. Any aspiring
presidential candidate will have to perform
well in certain districts in order to win the
presidency.
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), which
released the provisional census results,
does not explain the link between the total
population and the number eligible to vote.
But, statistically, districts with large populations
produce the biggest number of voters compared
to those with smaller members.
The districts with big populations include
Wakiso, Kampala, Mubende, Mukono and
Rakai in Buganda region. Others are Iganga,
Arua, Kibaale, Kasese and Tororo. Their huge
populations give them the biggest number of
voters.
According to statistics at the Electoral
Commission, the total number of voters in every
district is almost half of its total population.
Of all the 112 districts of Uganda, Wakiso has
the biggest number of people, standing at two
million followed by Kampala with 1.5 million.
WAKISO, KAMPALA
In 2011, Wakiso voters who participated in the
Presidential elections were 356,000 posting a
47% turn up compared to the 501,000 voters
in Kampala, which was a 42%. The fact that
Besigye got a total of 421,077 votes in Kampala,
Wakiso and Mukono, nearly a quarter of the
2.06 million total votes he garnered across the
country, makes these districts very important.
So a presidential candidate, who loses or
performs poorly in Wakiso and Kampala,
will have to double his effort in several other
districts to bridge the gap lest victory eludes
him. Both the NRM and the opposition
compete favourably in Wakiso and Kampala.
A candidate, who loses in those two districts
must win in Butambala, which has 100,000
people; Buvuma with 89,000 people; Kiboga
with 148,000 people; Kalangala with 53,000
people and in several other districts to get
a half of the votes cast in either Wakiso or
Kampala.
However, Museveni has in the past lost votes
in Kampala and swept in almost all the other
rural districts to win the final victory. According
to the 2011 presidential election results,
Museveni scored 49%, followed by Besigye
with 42% in Wakiso district. And in Kampala,
Besigye had 46.86% while Museveni garnered
46.08%.
Despite suffering defeat in Kampala,
Museveni significantly changed his fortunes
by widening the gaps of his victories in rural
areas.
Richard Todwong, the Minister in Charge
of General Duties and Mobilisation in the

Determing factors

I

n eastern Uganda, there is no
district that posts a big margin of
voters, like the case is in the central
and west. But still, presidential
candidates will have to put focus on
some districts, which are endowed
with bigger populations such as
Iganga and Tororo.

Voter numbers

Districts rich with votes
RNK DISTRICT
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Wakiso
Kampala
Kibaale
Kasese
Mubende
Mukono
Arua
Tororo
Rakai
Iganga

A

POPULATION

7

2 million people
1.5 million people
788,000 people
702,000 people
688,819 people
599,817 people
785,000 people
526,378 people
518,000 people
506,000 people
4
Kasese

presidential candidate, who loses
or performs poorly in Wakiso
and Kampala, will have to double
his effort in several other districts
to bridge the gap lest victory
eludes him. Both the NRM and the
opposition compete favourably in
Wakiso and Kampala.

Arua

L. Albert

3
5

Kibaale

Mubende

1

2

6
Mukono

10
Iganga

8
Tororo

Kampala

Wakiso

L. George

L. Edward

opposition ahead of the 2011 general elections,
but the brutality in the evictions has taken us
several miles back,” Uhuru said.
But Todwong noted that in a bid to transform
Kampala into a better city, such setbacks had to
accompany the evictions.

L. Kyogga

KEY

9
Rakai

L. Victoria

Water
Capital
Country
boundery

GRAPHIC BY BRIAN SSEKAMATTE

District
boundery

HOW WILL THE ELECTORATE CAST THEIR VOTE

NRM PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni

FORMER FDC president Kizza Besigye

NRM government, says they are aware of the
importance of the cosmopolitan areas such as
Wakiso and Kampala.
“We are preparing for them. You cannot
ignore those districts because they have the
elite and media attention,” Todwong said. “In
fact, NRM will soon unveil its plan for Wakiso
and Kampala.”
He also noted that the NRM government will
continue to deliver services in other parts of
the country because all votes are vital to give a
candidate victory.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
spokesperson, John Kikonyogo, said they
are fighting hard to consolidate their win in
Kampala and Wakiso because a 70% victory
in the two districts will give them a 20% score
across the country.
Kikonyogo added that the record of victories
the opposition has set in recent parliamentary
by-elections was proof that NRM is facing stiff
competition in 2016.
“We performed poorly in Kampala and
Wakiso in 2011 because of greed. However, we
learnt a lesson and we are now consolidating
our support ahead of 2016,” he said.

Wakiso has significantly changed and if the two
candidates were to go back in the race today,
the results could significantly portray a different
picture.
The factors like the eviction of street vendors
from the city streets in Kampala, rampant land
evictions in Wakiso and internal bickering
within the two parties where the candidates
hail from, can cause a significant change in the
results. These have affected many would-be
supporters of NRM and, as result, encroached
on the party’s power base ahead of the 2016
general elections.
In NRM, the bickering is between the party
chairman President Museveni and the secretary
general, Amama Mbabazi, who is reportedly
nursing presidential ambitions. But Besigye is
also on a disadvantage in Wakiso and Kampala
because having contested thrice unsuccessfully
against Museveni, his supporters seem to have
lost hope that he can unseat his former boss.
That means that a cross-section of voters, who
cast their votes for Besigye in 2011, may now
choose to support another candidate in 2016 or
boycott the elections.
NRM chairman for Kampala Central, Salim
Uhuru told Saturday Vision the way vendors
were evicted in Kampala will significantly affect
the party.
“We had captured Kampala from the

WHO IS STRONG?
But since the 2011 general elections ended,
the political environment in Kampala and

WESTERN
In western Uganda, a candidate will have to
win in Kasese, Kibaale, Kabale and Ntungamo
to have an upper hand over his rivals.
According to the census provisional results,
there are 702,000 people in Kasese alone and
788,000 in Kibaale.
For example, you need a total population of
voters in the four districts of Buhweju, Bulisa,
Ibanda and Bushenyi to get the same number
of voters in Kasese. There are 124,000 people
in Buhweju; 113,000 in Buliisa, 248,000 in
Ibanda and 235,000 in Bushenyi totalling to
720,000 people.
In 2011, Museveni garnered 52.98% votes
in Kasese and Besigye had 44.72%. However,
the recent insurrection in the Rwenzururu
Kingdom that left over 100 people dead is likely
to affect the performance of the ruling party.
Museveni swept Kibaale with 91.05 % of the
votes compared to Besigye, who was the closest
rival with a paltry 7.75%. And apart from
the power struggle in NRM, there is nothing
disadvantaging Museveni’s power base in
Kibaale. So a candidate, who loses significantly
in Kasese and Kibaale, will have to work hard
in many other districts to compensate the loss.
EASTERN
In eastern Uganda, there is no district that
posts a very big margin of voters, like the case
is in the central and west. But still, presidential
candidates will have to put focus on some
districts which are endowed with bigger
populations such as Iganga with 506,000 and
Tororo with 526,000.
In the previous election Museveni got 69.82%
in Iganga, while Besigye got 27.874%. The
difference is not likely to change much in 2016
because the area is still a stronghold of the
ruling party. The fact that the Government has
also addressed the region’s burning issue of the
Kyabazinga may even work in favour of NRM.
In Tororo district where in 2011 Museveni got
59.29% against Besigye’s 32.79%.
NORTHERN
In northern Uganda, the districts, which are
king-makers are Arua, Yumbe, Gulu and
Lira. Until the 2011 general elections, the
North was a stronghold of the opposition.
However, the peace ushered in the region by
the NRM government and the mushrooming
infrastructural developments in the area swung
the votes in NRM’s favour.
The census shows that the central region
remains the biggest single power-broker with its
huge population.