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Voting Delayed in Kampala City Centre

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At City House Polling Station, voters were already lining up by 6:45 a.m., but these did not cast their vote until after 8 a.m. due to the slow inspection of voting materials by election officers and candidate agents.
14 Jan 2021 12:52
A voter bends into the basin to select his choice of President at City House Polling Station in Kampala Central Division. Photo by Olive Nakatudde
Polling at the various election centres in Kampala started late despite an early arrival of voting materials. Elections were scheduled to start at 7 a.m., according to guidelines issued earlier by the Electoral Commission. 

By 6:30 am, our reporters witnessed the early arrival of voting materials at different polling stations in the city centre under the observance of area voters, international observers, candidate agents, election officers, and security personnel, among others.

The delays in many places were caused by the new procedure of conducting voter education at each polling station and integrating the COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The  affected centres include the National Theatre Polling Station, Crested Towers Polling Station, People Plazzer Lane, City House Polling Station, Pioneer Mall Parking and others, in the Kampala Central Business District.

At City House Polling Station, voters were already lining up by 6:45 a.m., but these did not cast their vote until after 8 a.m. due to the slow inspection of voting materials by election officers and candidate agents.   The other polling stations in Kamwokya are Community (A-L), Community M-NAM Polling station, TLC Leisure Centre (NAL- O), KCC Primary School (MUH-Z) and TLC Leisure Centre (P-Z). 

At all the centres, voters lined up as early as 6 a.m. and waited as polling officials sorted out materials to be used in the process. These were seen inspecting the voter register, counting the ballots, pens and other materials dispatched to polling stations by the Electoral Commission. 

The East Africa Community (EAC) Observer Mission headed by the former Burundian President Domitien Ndayizeye keenly followed the process from the polling station at Crested Towers. Here, election officers cordoned off the boundaries at 7 a.m. and set up the polling centre

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development -IGAD Observer Mission was at National Theatre Polling Station by 6:57 a.m. observing the arrival and setting up of voting materials.  James Kakooza, the Chairman of Church area Kamwokya said the materials were delivered early, but the Electoral Commission officials faced a challenge in sorting them, leading to a delay. 

At KCCA Primary School, Emmanuel Semalulu, a voter who was at the polling station by 7 a.m. said that although he came early, the Electoral Commission officials were slow.

Emmanuel Kalwemanya, another voter at Market Area Polling Station suspected poor preparation on the side of electoral officials in handling the whole exercise.  

“Some of us were here by 7 a.m. and now they are still trying to sort the materials and organizing the polling station… this is bad,” he said, in an interview conducted moments after 8 a.m. 

Kampala Central Division has 126 polling stations. Besides electing a president, the voters will choose their next Member of Parliament from the four candidates contesting for the seat. These include the incumbent Muhammad Nsereko, National Unity Platform’s Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate Cedric Babu Ndilima and Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) candidate Ronald Mukasa Ssenkubuge .  

The voters are also voting for the Woman Member of Parliament.

There are about 34,684 Polling Stations in Uganda at which 18,103,603 are expected to vote.

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