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OPINION: Tova Ku Main 2026 as the campaign slogan; Museveni could still appear on the ballot



By Lukanga Samuel 
The decision-making process of a voter is tied to their perception and desires. It is often not a logical path of judgment about who is the right person but rather guided by their impression of a candidate. Naturally, political campaigns have to use that to create a candidate profile that appeals to voters.
This is done through the use of voter communication material like speeches, literature, mail and texts addressed to the voter. All these election campaign communication methods have to stick to a single message. It’s the message which contains the candidate’s ideas and is to be shared with the voters.
At 38 years of his presidency, TovaKuMain2026 can better justify why Museveni is still the best presidential contender that majority of Ugandans should yearn to vote for.
Summarized political campaign slogans like TovaKuMain2026 have always reflected the times. The way to create a political campaign message the plays into the voter’s perceptions and helps them choose your candidate like ONC did it for Museveni, is to make it relevant and appealing to their core human values and needs.
Just like TovaKuMain2026, in 2008, Obama debuted the campaign slogan “Yes We Can” to great effect. From the adoring crowds chanting it at rallies, it was clear that among the best election campaign messages from that election cycle.
The slogan appealed to personal responsibility. It asked supporters to stop waiting for change to happen and instead be proponents of it. It served as inspiration for people to get involved in the campaign and make a difference. And it was uniquely suited to his base. So political marketing at its finest.
Finding the best election campaign slogan involves getting the measure of your audience and finding what would work for them.
A campaign slogan like TovaKuMain2026 is not just about stating why the candidate is better than the opponents. The voter does not objectively make comparisons to choose who to vote for. Instead in its packaging, it shows that Museveni shares their values, wants to solve issues that affect these values and is qualified to do so through experience and ideology.
For a person like Museveni running for re-election, there’s always a need to shift the focus of the messaging to the progress made in the previous term and the need to continue that momentum.
The voter cares less about the candidate than what the candidate is going to do for them. If the message does not tell them that, it will fail to grab their attention. TovaKuMain2026’s messaging is addressing what Museveni has done and doing to bring about positive change as it relates to voters.
It is persuading the voter, not just educating them with new information.
ONC should in the same way know that having the best election sloganeering messages might not assure you a win. But, political campaign messages are what it must offer the voter to position its candidate. It is the reason that it must present before the voter to choose its candidate over the opponents.
ONC must also consult with the right people and choose a message that makes the decision-making process easier for the voter. That way, it can win over more supporters and be on its way to a win like it always tells the media.
It’s safe to say that even excellent campaign slogans that resonates with people won’t help you if you can’t deliver it to them.
For in 2012, one of the most impressive aspects of Obama’s re-election campaign was the way his team managed to vary and deliver his political campaign slogans across various channels.
His campaign’s use of social media and text messaging connected with voters, old and young—got them to the polls.
The greatest advantages of political slogans and messages are that they are immediate, personalized, unintrusive and flexible.
The best election campaign slogans ensure voters have a clear idea of the core message of the campaign. The campaign communication strategy is all about steering important discussions towards the message. Every communication the slogan has with a voter has to anchor in the message.
The way ONC’s TovaKuMain2026 has got voters instantly recognize its message and associate it with its candidate is by constantly reminding them what it is.
Voters will forget what a candidate says in a speech. They will not recall specific policies or the candidate’s background and the way they all tie together. They will, however, remember how you made them feel.
There’s an awkward gray area between legitimate questions about a person’s health and ageism. For example, Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley got some early attention for her presidential campaign when she suggested a mental competency test for politicians over 75.
It was ageist, constitutionally dubious and savvy politics all at the same time.
Unlike TovaKuMain2026 from which the message is directing Museveni to contest in the next presidential elections, democrats are perpetually on defense about President Joe Biden’s age and acuity. Republicans have turned attacks against Biden, 80, into an art form, with viral videos to highlight his frequent verbal miscues. But Museveni who will be 81 years old in 2026, could still appear on the ballot.
TovaKuMain2026 has sparked a dispute among NRM supporters claiming its creation, the ‘Tova Ku Main’ slogan gained popularity in late 2022 and is upto now frequently used at NRM functions and events where President Yoweri Museveni has been endorsed for extending his rule beyond 2026.
The complete version of the slogan is ‘Omalako Jajja Tova Ku main; Tova Ku Ballot’. We command you to stand again in 2026 and Beyond ushered by Bazzukulu ba Museveni under their ChiefMuzzukulu who is also the Senior Presidential Advisor at ONC.
In addition to the current ONC efforts, a nationwide network of district commissioners loyal to the president has been crucial to his stay in power since 1986.
Tibuhaburwa’s big political tent has continued to swell to accommodate many people who have been loyal to him. Districts have increased from 33 in 1986 to 146 today with a RDC, and in many cases, a deputy, required for each.
When Ugandans next head to the polls in 2026, Yoweri Museveni as the NRM National Chairman will have been at the helm for exactly 40 years. But Museveni who will be 81 years old in 2026, could still appear on the ballot.
The writer is a social development enthusiast and an ambassador of humanity.

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