Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni scored 100% at 348 polling stations in the just concluded elections, a quite odd and suspicious statistic according to analysists of the polling data released by the Electoral Commission.
At these polling stations, in the western districts of Kiruhura, Kazo and Isingiro, Museveni polled 138,063 votes. The president scored 100 per cent at 143 polling stations in Kiruhura — his home district, 113 polling stations in Kazo district which was carved out of Kiruhura two years ago. He also scored 100 per cent at 92 polling stations in Isingiro district.
Museveni scoring 100 per cent at a polling station in Kiruhura isn’t unprecedented. But the magnitude this time is unmatched when compared to scores of the previous elections. For instance, in the 2016 election, Museveni scored 100 per cent at 141 polling stations, most of them were in Kiruhura, while others were in Nakaseke.
Tens of these polling stations also registered 100 per cent voter turnout; Kiruhura had 142 polling stations, Kazo 60 and Kiruhura 36.
Compared to previous statistics, Isingiro voter turnout is mind-boggling. In 2016, Museveni scored 100 per cent at just one polling station but he scored 100 per cent at 92 polling stations in January 14th election this year.
Previously, just one polling station registered 100 per cent voter turnout, but 142 polling stations had 100 per cent voter turnout in this month’s presidential election.
The 100 per cent voter turnout at so many polling stations is nearly miraculous as the voters register is updated a year before elections—for instance, the register used in the January 14th election was last updated in December 2019.
It means 13 months later, no one in the area died, no one has migrated, none was sick nor did a single person forego voting for any conceivable reason.
These aren’t the only districts where Museveni scored 100 per cent. There are polling stations in Sembabule, Nakaseke, Ibanda and Ntungamo districts where the president polled 100 per cent. Bernard Sabiti, a public policy and data analyst tweeted that the January 14th election results data is full of statistical impossibilities. He argued that an “independent, data literate court can overturn an election” based on these statistical impossibilities. Interestingly, even where invalid votes were registered, Museveni still scored 100 per cent.
In Kiruhura explanation of these nearly impossible voting patterns depend on who you ask. In November last year when a URN reporter visited Kiruhura and Kazo districts, Apollo Karega, who was contesting for Nyabushozi constituency seat on Alliance for National Transformation ticket claimed that “dead people vote and together those who stay too far away to come be around on polling day are usually always the first to vote”.
Last week, Nyakato (name changed) a voter in Isingiro, told The Observer that people from elsewhere should not be quick to claim people in western Ugandan ‘tribalistically’ voted for Museveni.
She said when she went at her polling station at Busingye pentecostal church at around 11 am, she was told she’d already voted yet she still had in her possession her voter location slip and National IDs, the two main documents that were being used for verification of voters on January 14.
“I thought I was the only one until when a boda boda rider also told me the same had happened to him at a nearby polling station. Later in the evening, we discovered that many people in the area had already been voted for,” Nyakato said.
But several NRM leaders in the districts of Kazo and Kiruhura dismissed “rigging” allegations as baseless. The Kazo NRM chairperson, Wilson Nkaija for instance argued that no over one has ever sued “people of Kiruhura for voting Museveni massively.” He argued that elections in the district as always free and fair.
Wilson Kajwengye, the Nyabushozi MP elect said all election petitions challenging Museveni’s win have been defeated.
“Nyabushozi people feel so proud that president Museveni who has performed above everybody’s expectations comes from Nyabushozi, and they always go out and vote for him,” Kajwengye said.
Other NRM supporters argued that election observers usually traverse Kiruhura on voting day, witnessing how people vote peacefully. They argue that no one has ever produced a report saying elections in Kiruhura are rigged.
© Uganda Radio Network