Some members of main opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s camp have binned Patrick Wakida’s Research World International (RWI) opinion poll putting President Yoweri Museveni ahead of his challengers for the 2021 election.
The poll gave Museveni 47 per cent of the votes and a joint opposition candidate 39 per cent.
The pollsters imagined a situation where opposition politicians — Dr Besigye, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP), and Mugisha Muntu of Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) — would agree on one of them to stand against Museveni.
But according to Besigye’s aide Ronald Muhinda, the pollsters were biased in favour of Museveni.
“When you put questions to yourself and answer them yourself, it becomes an OPINION and not a POLL. So Godber Tumushabe and [Patrick] Wakida [of RWI[ are publishing their opinions as polls,” wrote Muhinda.
Muhinda further claimed that “Wakida tried to withdraw (pull out) his Opinion and they threatened him.”
He suspects the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is using Wakida to market the idea of a joint opposition candidate to weaken Museveni’s opposition.
“Both Tumushabe and Wakida are entitled to their Opinions that Museveni is strong but also try to create a weak non-existent candidate called Joint Opposition,” he further noted.
“The intention is to lead the candidate into a slaughter house where, once the joint Candidate enters, there is no way back: you get slaughtered.
“But if you want to understand these people well and contexualise the struggle, invite them to fight Museveni through non-violent struggle, they start speaking English.”
In the 2016 election, Wakida and his RWI touted former prime minister Amama Mbabazi as being in a tight race with Museveni, and claimed he had eclipsed Dr Besigye.
But Mbabazi polled less than five per cent, and has since gone on a political sabbatical, once in a while appearing with Museveni — sparking off rumors that he will return to government.
Also, five years ago, Besigye pulled out of a joint opposition coalition after those pushing for a united push against Museveni agreed that Besigye, who had stood three times then, rally behind Mbabazi as the main candidate.
Mbabazi’s silence, and rumored return to Museveni’s fold, seem to have vindicated Besigye and his supporters.
Besigye recently admitted that attempts at opposition unity remain “a nightmare.”