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Over Shs 100, 000 per Vote: Inside UPC’s by-election winning strategy

By Simon Komakech

In the just-concluded Dokolo (Woman) Member of Parliament (MP) by-election, there were reports of voter bribery.

In fact, on polling day, March 21, 2024, Oyam Woman MP Santa Alum Ogwang was arrested over allegations of voter bribery.

However, this particular article will not address Ogwang’s arrest.

For nearly a year now, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has resurrected in Lango.

First, it was in the Oyam North by-election. In that election, their candidate, Eunice, defeated NRM’s Engola Jr.

In Dokolo last week, the UPC miserably defeated the FDC’s Rosemary Alwoch.

Although some sources we have spoken to speak to the fact that Lango is tired of the ruling party and its unfulfilled promises, other sources say that UPC’s strategy is working.

A well-placed source tells the Kampala Gazette that in the two by-elections, the UPC has been spending more than Shs 100,000 per vote in some cases.

This particular money was going to voters registered in Dokolo who, for whatever reason, were out of the district or constituency at the time of the election.

For instance, the UPC provided buses to Makerere University students hailing from Dokolo. The students left Kampala on Wednesday evening, voted on Thursday, and returned to Kampala that evening. Although the buses were free, the students pocketed a “voting allowance” of not less than Shs 100, 000.

It remains to be seen if the same tactic will work for the UPC in the 2026 general elections.

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