Former Security Minister and historical, Lt Gen. Henry Tumukunde has said President Museveni has never been supported by one third of the population and indeed statistics from previous elections indicates that since 1996 half of registered voters didn’t contribute to the latter’s successive victories.
Appearing on NTV On The Spot, on Thursday evening, few hours after ChimpReports exclusively breaking a story that he is eyeing presidency, Tumukunde said divergent views, and particularly those against Museveni, existed since the early days of the regime.
“He (Museveni) has never got or reached 80 percent of votes. Even in 1996 Ssemwogerere got almost 30 percent,” said Tumukunde.
In the 1996 president elections 27.4 percent of voters did not turn up for elections and out of the 72.6 percent who voted, 75.5 percent gave it to Museveni while 22.3 percent and 2.2 percent casted their votes for Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere and Mohamed Kibirige Mayanja respectively.
From the above statistics, a summation of those who did not turn up for elections and those who participated but did not vote for Museveni, stands at 51.9 percent.
In 2001, 30.3 percent of registered voters didn’t turn up and from the 69.7 percent who voted, Museveni got 69.4 percent. Museveni’s closest rival Dr. Kizza Besigye got 27.7 percent, Aggrey Awori 1.4 percent, Mohammed Kibirige 1.0 percent, Francis Bwengye 0.3 percent and Chapa Karuhanga 0.1 percent.
In 2006 30.8 percent of Ugandans registered to vote show up at the polls and Museveni got the lowest record win of 59.2 percent. Besigye got his highest unsuccessful attempt of 37.36 percent in 2006, Ssebaana Kizito 1.58 percent and Abed Bwanika and Miria Obote got less than 1 percent each.
In 2011 a record 40.71 percent percent of registered voters decided to stay away from the polls and out of the 59 percent who voted, Museveni got 68.38 percent. Besigye garnered 26.1 percent and the rest of the candidate managed 1 percent and below.
The summation of those who didn’t vote and the 30.62 percent who voted against Museveni stands at 71.3 percent meaning only 28.67 percent percent of registered voters chose him to lead Uganda at that particular time.
In 2016 32.41 percent of registered voters shunned polls and 60.62 percent of those who participated voted for Museveni. Besigye came second with 35.61 percent and the rest of the candidates, including Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, got 1 percent and below.
Tumukunde said that those who have not been voting for Museveni is a strong manifestation that divergent views exist and should be recognized and accommodated.
“The system, which includes leaders (Museveni), must accept and accommodate the views of other people,” added Tumukunde.
However, Museveni has in recent elections managed to eat into the opposition’s stronghold areas especially Northern Uganda and Karamoja.
By extending power and water lines to these areas and building tarmac roads, Museveni has been able to give hope to perform better in this region.
Currently, government is building industrial parks across the country, a move many say will create jobs for young people and create market for raw materials and agricultural products hence increasing household incomes for locals.
Meanwhile, Tumukunde emphasized that the political space is open and anyone is free to join but more importantly those occupying it should be conscious of the inevitable exit.
“Politics is like a lift. It opens for everyone to take you up. You must also know that there is coming down,” said Tumukunde.
The general, who led the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and also revolutionized the civil Internal Security Organization, said he has only served for 13 years in the 33 years of NRM existence in power and therefore should not be held to account for State mistakes.
“I have only served in this government for 13 years. People need to check records and honestly some of the questions should not be aimed at me,” Tumukunde calmly told the show moderator.
He, however, declined to comment if 2021 is the right time for Museveni to leave and instead said the question should be answered by Museveni.
On Parliament he said, the institution he served for 10 years as UPDF representative from 1995 to 2005, should write the right laws for the good of the nation.
On security he said UPDF and police must remain neutral and impartial giving example of America soldiers who individually make their choices to vote for either Republicans or Democrats.