Skip to content

Museveni May have Won this Round but Sentiment is Changing

It’s difficult for anyone to know exactly how much support Wine and his National Unity Platform command across the country. But what’s clear is that Museveni has been rejected in the capital. Wine’s party won nine of the 10 parliamentary seats in Kampala, with the 10th being retained by its incumbent, an independent MP. Museveni’s party also won just 8% of the mayoral votes cast in Kampala. Of the many challenges facing the president, the mobilisation of young people living in urban areas is one that clearly will not dissipate. Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with a median age of 17. Moreover, between 2015 and 2020 its urban growth rate was higher than any other country globally. Given that disaffected urban youth are so central to National Unity Platform’s support base, urban opposition is likely to fester and grow after this disputed election. On the one hand, Uganda finds itself in uncharted territory. The beaten opposition candidate is from the growing demographic of dissatisfied urbanites, and his party has swept the board in Kampala and surrounding districts like no other opposition party before. Researchers say Uganda is at a crossroads. It is clear that Museveni is running out of tactics, and business as usual is no longer going to be enough. Either the country’s young, urbanising population needs to be taken much more seriously by the regime, or Museveni takes the country down the road of all-out military dictatorship.