UPC fiddled with constituency boundaries in 1980 elections


Dear Ugandans at Heart,

1/6:  I am seeing UPC supporters telling you that, “…the constituency demarcations that were used in 1980 were the ones which had been designed for use in the 1971 elections..” .  I wonder where they derive that perception from.  What we know is, that apart from obstructing and terrosizing prospective candidates, UPC rigged the electoral process by gerrymandering: fiddling with constituency boundaries to shortchange other parties.

2/6:  A meeting between representatives of all parties agreed on 126 constituencies each with a population quota of 100,000 (+/- 10,000).  This would have allowed the EC a margin of 20,000 people between the maximum and minimum to manoeuvre in demarcating boundaries, i.e., between 90,000 and 110,000.

3/6 : UPC/Paulo Muwanga/KMS Kikira instead opted for an arbitrary figure of 95,000 (+/- 25,000), thus instead giving the Kikira chaired EC a margin for massive gerrymandering.  UPC then got themselves the range of 70,000 to 120,000 for what runed out to be selective demarcation of constituency boundaries.  Selective in that, in areas where UPC was strong, the lower range of 70,000 applied in order to give a maximum number of constituencies while in DP strongholds, the maximum range of 120,000 applied, to deny DP representation.  For example, if an area with 700,000 people was a UPC stronghold, Mr Kikira demarcated it into 10 constituencies where as a DP stronghold with the same population would be demarcated into 6 constituencies, thus crippling DP right from the start.

4/6 : To illustrate this point, Kampala then with a population of 458,000 should have been demarcated into 5 constituencies with an average of 100,000.  Mr Kikira instead gave Kampala 4 constituencies with 114,606 people.  Likewise, Mpigi with a population of 659,225 should have been demarcated into 7 constituencies.  Mr Kikira gave them 6 with 109,871 people.  Those two were DP strongholds so a constituency had to be shaved off each one of them.  On the contrary, Kitgum with a population fo 307,594 should have had 3 constituencies of 100,000 people.  Since it was supposedly a UPC stronghold, it was given 4, each with 76,899 people.  UPC carried out similar manipulation in Bushenyi, and Mbale.

5/6:  May be UPC supporters from Bushenyi can help us here.  The constituency of Bushenyi North is based on Bunyaruguru county which at the time had a population of 52,161.  To give it the a population quota that was close to the 100,000 otpimum, the logical arrangement was to add to it nearby Kyamuhunga, and Nyabubare (a direct neighbour of Kyamuhunga).  Those two were to come from Igara to give Bushenyi North a population of 103,756 which fell within the stipulated range.  What UPC did was to get far-off Bitereko subcounty with no communication with Bunyaruguru because of an impenetrable forest.  This reduced the population to 101,381 in UPC’c favour.  Bitereko should have been in Bushenyi West with Bumbaire, Mitooma and Kabira with a total of 117,444 people but instead, UPC concoted another arrangement that retained Mitooma and Kabira, but smuggled in Shuuku and Kitagata to reduce the population by over 6,000 to 111,221 etc etc.

6/6:  That fiddling was another level of rigging that UPCs want to distract us from.  So, UPC supporters  should not be telling us about anything to do with constituency integrity because UPC compromised it severely in order to buttress its fraud.  Of course, by such brazen uyaye, they were spoiling for a fight.

I had forgotten to mention to you how, in Mbarara West, the UPC candidate Abass Balinda conceded defeat to DP’s Francis Mwebesa.  He even stated that he stood no chances right from the start.  DP led by just over 3,000 votes.

Come 12 December 1980 after AM Obote and P Muwanga had sequestered themselves with the results in some house in Kololo, Abaas Balinda was declared the winner.

OTTO PATRICK

UAH forumist

Comments

One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Bishop Kugaba,

    Hello members, I think you are looking at today’s problem in the eye and have not found a valid solution. You are only promoting it. The problem of blaming people of their mistakes and not finding a solution to the problems they have caused.

    Yes, UPC cheated in the election but so did the current government. Probably cheating in election is something that cannot be avoided easily until such a time when measures are in place to ‘reduce’ (not remove) the cheating. Besides, if people were being served rightly, why care about the cheting to greater length of war. In the West, I do not think there are civil wars that are likely to come so soon. Do you want to tell me they do not cheat in their elections?

    My dear friend, one should start thinking of things such as fedralism, education, good but timely remmuneration to civil servants and better spread of resources, then we can start thinking about rigging of elections. Because some believe that besides POVERTY, lack of these things and the basic human need is one way that breed wars.

    So, how do we get out of this trap?

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