constituencies across the country have attracted more than nine parliamentary
candidates. Analysis of statistics obtained from the Electoral Commission
indicates that Jinja North Division has the highest number of contestants with
17 candidates struggling to woo voters on their side.
Samia Bugwe North and Kigulu County North are also crowded with 14 candidates
each. Other constituencies with many candidates include Rubaga South and Laroo
Pece Division with 13 followed by Bbaale County, Lira West Division and Busia
Municipality with 12 candidates each.
created Mbale and Jinja cities have the highest number of women parliamentary candidates
with 12 each. The two are followed by Soroti City with 11 candidates. Our
reporters visited some of the crowded constituencies in Kampala Metropolitan
area and Jinja city only to find that some of the contestants are unknown to
voters in some of the areas.
is complicated further by the fact that some of the candidates are yet to pin-up campaign posters to stamp their presence.
Some of the
voters interviewed by our reporters were surprised to learn that their
constituencies had attracted a huge number of contestants. Alex Katoora, a
resident of Ntinda in Nakawa Division West told URN that he only knows three
out of the 14 nominated parliamentary candidates in his area.
“I think there like three people,” he replied when asked when he knows the
number of parliamentary candidates in his constituency. When told by URN that
there are 14 people vying for the Nakawa Division West parliamentary seat, Katoora
seemed very surprised. “Did you say 14? Where
did the others come from and who are they?” he asked.
Adding that “at
least I would have seen their posters,” Katoora said. Vincent Matovu, a voter
in Rubaga South says he is aware that the race is crowded given the fact that
he heard on the news that they are about 12 people seeking to replace the incumbent,
Paul Kato Lubwama.
Despite this, Matovu,
says only a few of the candidates have pinned up their posters but two are vigorously
“naye abamu tetunabakubala...
Cue out...kutusaba kalulu.”//
Denis Isabirye, resident of Bugembe in Jinja North Division notes that the
known candidates are those running on party tickets.
He says given the nature of
the scientific campaigns, some of the candidates lack money to buy air space
yet they are unknown to voters.
“Ekibuga ekyeyidinda eyamaninanina....
Cue out...ne bibiina ebindi.”//
another resident of Jinja North wonders where the seventeen candidates are
coming from. To him, the number points to the fact that vying for a
parliamentary seat is becoming a joke.
Cue out...muntu bukalamu,”//
are crowded due to the surge in the number of independents. For instance, Jinja
North division alone has got 12 independents followed by Samia Bugwe County
North with 11 independents and Kigulu County South with 10 Independents.
County, Nakawa West and Kigulu North have nine independent candidates each. Several political analysts blame the huge number of independents on the failure
of internal party democracy mostly in the National Resistance Movement-NRM and
National Unity Platform.
Veteran politician Ken Lukyamuzi, who is also caught up in the crowded Rubaga
south parliamentary race, says that in some areas the crowds reflect the dare
need for change as different candidates feel that the incumbent might be
lacking and therefore come to take charge.
“I am not saying this focusing on Rubaga south. A strong incumbent, the one
whom people think is playing his or role well, will never have a crowded race
as a few people will rise to put up a challenge. It is directly opposite to the
weaker one, everyone would want to replace him thus the crowded race,”
Lukyamuzi told Uganda Radio Network.
Felix Kafuuma, the Programs Officer Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) links
the crowded races to the perceived profitability of politics in Uganda. Kafuuma
says even when the cost of running campaigns is increasing, more people are
seeking political offices with the hope of reaching the serving