In most of the areas visited by our reporters in Nabweru and Nansana divisions, there was a misallocation of ballots papers for both female and directly elected councilors as several polling station got ballot with featuring candidates of other electoral areas. However the error had not been noticed on different polling station for almost one and half hours.
Majid Kukulakweta, parish election supervisor Nansana East Ward, checking the switched ballots at St Joseph Catholic Church as polling assistants look on
Voting has been halted at various polling stations within
Nansana Municipality in Wakiso district because of a mix-up in polling kits. There
was a mix-up of the ballot papers both female and directly elected councillors at
several polling stations visited by our reporter in Nabweru and Nansana
However, it took close to one and half hour for the polling
officials to notice the error. At Katangawuzi polling station in 7/8 Ochieng
zone, more than twenty voters had already cast their votes before the error was
identified by one of the keen voters who realised that the names of the
candidates were alien him. A similar incident was recorded at St. Joseph
Catholic Church N-NAM polling station when Isaac Kamya, one of the voters
returned the ballot.
At first the polling constable wanted to arrest him, saying
that he was taking away the ballot paper instead of casting it in the ballot
box. “I explained to him that I was going to consult the presiding officer on
the names of people on the ballot. I didn’t know them as candidates in our
area,” said Kamya.
The presiding officer, Josephine Kyomuhendo realized that the directly elected councillor's ballot papers were for another electoral area. “We didn’t see that after opening the polling
kit in the morning, we removed the ballots and counted them but didn’t take the
trouble to look out at the candidate's details on the ballot papers as the box
was clearly named N-NAM and even the ballot was labelled directly elected councillors” said Kyomuhendo.
Some of the voters who had already cast their vote told URN
that they didn’t read the names of candidates. “I have been ticking those with
an umbrella as their symbol; I didn’t check the picture or read names. I only
needed to identify the symbol that is all,” one the voters who declined to
reveal her name said.
After the incident at N-NAM polling station, presiding officers of different
polling stations at the church premises decided to check the ballot papers at
their respective polling station only to find that they had a similar problem. Polling
stations in Lugoba, Muganzilwaza and Kazo had the same experience.
Majid Kukulakwetta, the Nansana East Ward parish election supervisor wondered what could
have caused the problem, saying he picked the right polling kits. However,
after calling his counterparts in different wards, they were also reporting the
“It’s a widespread challenge in the entire municipality and
voting has been halted in all places where it happened,” Kukulakwetta said
moments after calling his colleagues. Tolbert Musinguzi, the Wakiso Returning Officer, says that they have realised
that there was a packing error but they are trying to resolve it by identifying
the right polling stations where each polling kit should be.
“That is simple,
we will identify where the box must be and then voting resumes,” Musinguzi
said. The error is likely to have a
great impact on the voter turn up. For instance, several people who braved the
Monday morning drizzle had to leave the polling stations without casting their