KAMPALA – Dr. Patrick Wakida, the Executive Director of Research World International, has launched an impassioned defence of the latest political opinion poll conducted by his organization, saying the different political players are opposing it because it does not favour them.
The opinion poll, which is being published by Daily Monitor, indicates that slightly over half of Ugandan voters do not want President Museveni to seek re-election in 2021. Of the 2,042 respondents interviewed, 54 per cent said they do not want Mr Museveni back on the ballot.
Although NRM leaders have described the poll as a creation of the Opposition, Dr Wakida said the poll is a scientific investigation.
“Polling is a science most people don’t know. It’s not taught at undergraduate, it’s a science that is dependent on a sample,” Dr Wakida said while appearing on NBS TV morning show on Tuesday.
“A poll is a painful experience. This denial is cosmetic,” he added.
According to the poll findings, three in every 10 on the other hand told researchers that the incumbent should seek re-election while four per cent each responded “I don’t know” or declined to comment to the poll question: “Some people support the idea that President Museveni should contest again in 2021, others say he shouldn’t; what is your view?”
According to Dr. Wakida, when they asked people on who would be a good replacement for President Museveni if he retired, the responses were Rebecca Kadaga, Ruhakana Rugunda and Gen. Muhoozi.
“That’s not a politically illiterate population. Majority of these political actors have already requested for the report,” he said.
Dr Wakida urged all political parties to take the poll findings in good faith.
“Opinions shift, our report doesn’t say that’s how the final result is going to be. What is significant is that for the first time, we see population shifts. There are many youths and these have a lot of anger. If you want to know the population that has knowledge today, it’s not the urban population, it’s the rural person that is always listening to radio,” he said.
He also praised the government of registration of Ugandans for registration of people with National IDs.
“If there’s an achievement government should be congratulated upon, it is the registration of people with NIRA. We found that over 90% of the people had national identity cards. 54% of the people we interviewed said they belong to political parties. The poll was conducted in about two weeks,” Dr Wakida said.
However, the deputy executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, Col. Shaban Bantariza, said the poll managers have ill motives.
“Everybody has interests. Politically we know his (Dr. Wakida) motives, he isn’t a member of NRM,” he said.
“Political opinions are highly perishable, they have a short shelf life. Politics and governance is about people’s wellbeing and welfare. Opinion polls are not something we should throw away but we shouldn’t break our heads over them,” he added.