Rain Delays Polling in Entebbe, Mubende, Makindye, Mukono and Lugazi

Mark Muganzi Mayanja the Mukono Returning Officer notes that deliveries had started but since they operate in open space, it would not make any sense to deliver them under heavy rains.
25 Jan 2021 10:16

    Heavy rain that started this morning at around 5am has disrupted smooth delivery of election voting materials in parts of Mukono and Lugazi Municipalities.  

Unlike in the presidential and local government elections where materials have been reaching at polling stations before 6am, this time the electoral commission has started dispatching materials at stations located in the Central Division such as CAOs building, St Dunstan, Kikooza, Mukono headquarters and general hospital at 8am.  

However, no voters had turned up even after the late delivery. In most parts of Ggoma division, materials were yet to be delivered after 08.00 following the persistent heavy heavy rains.   

Mark Muganzi Mayanja the Mukono Returning Officer-RO notes that deliveries had started but since they operate in open space, it would not make any sense to deliver them in heavy rains. 

He nonetheless says they are in touch with their electoral officers, instructing them to find their way to the polling stations to so as to expedite the exercise.  

At Lugazi Municipality persistent heavy rains were still failing delivery of materials to any polling station by eight o'clock. Ann Mary Tusingirwe the Buikwe RO appeals to residents turn up for elections immediately it stops raining. 

"The good thing materials were delivered to the division headquarters by yesterday. Reaching polling stations is not going to take us time." Tusingirwe says.     In Mubende, agents of some of the candidates in the municipality mayoral elections are worried about the delay of the polling materials reaching their polling stations, claiming that it may be done with ill intentions.

Marion Mulice an agent at Kasaana Ward polling station A-M says that it is unfortunate to find that towards 8.00am, the materials had not reached her polling station.  She says that when the materials are delayed it worries her and when they are delivered too early before the agents turn up it is also disadvantageous.    

// “cue in: twakafunawo just ..

Cue out: .. bulina okutuukira wamu,” //  

But Natumanya Dancan the presiding officer at the same polling station says that they are delayed by unavoidable circumstances.  

// “cue in: dakiika ntono nnyo ..

Cue out: .. peace is all we need,” //  

At Kasenyi Church of Uganda polling station also in Mubende municipality, all the necessary polling materials had been delivered by 6.40 am but the presiding officer Namubiru Dino says that they were being delayed by the voters who by 8.15am had not turned up for the commission officers to start the exercise.  

// “cue in: ebikozesebwa byonna ..

Cue out: .. zonna tuzifunye,” //  

Three people are contesting for Mubende Municipality mayoral seat and these include Independent Geoffrey Natigo, Kakinda Matovu for NUP, Rutashoroora Geoffrey (independent) and Innocent Ssekiziyivu for NRM.    In Entebbe and Makindye-Ssabagabo municipalities, heavy rain delayed the start of the polling.   

Voters were supposed to elect municipality mayors and councilors today from 7am to 4pm. However, none of the polling stations were open by 7 am due to the rains.  

The rains which started after 5am, became somewhat lighter at 6:30am but all the same continued falling in both municipalities.  

In Entebbe, 30 voters and over sixty polling agents for the National Unity Platform-NUP and Democratic Party-DP had turned up by 6:40am at Katabi-Busambaga playground. The playground has nine polling stations and over 18,000 voters.  

One of the voters, John Mujuni, says he came early in order to vote by 7:30am and thereafter proceed for work at a construction site in Kiwafu.  

Raymond Walungama, the NUP supervisor at Katabi-Busambaga playground says he arrived at 6:20am with 30 polling agents and they all stayed in their vehicles during the rains.  

While, Andrew Wani, DP Supervisor at the same polling station says he arrived with also over 30 polling agents at exactly 6am.  He adds that the team however braved the rains because "there were rumours that some candidates wanted to ballot stuff between 5am and 6:30am. So we had to arrive at the polling stations early."

Katabi Town Council playground in Kitubulu, Mayor's Garden, Entebbe Comprehensive SSS and other polling stations had also not opened by 7:30am because polling officials and materials arrived after 7am.

The officials found at least 20 voters and polling agents taking cover in the nearby homes and shops.  

However, polling started by 8am at Mayor's Garden with the polling officials using large polyethylene bags to shield the ballot papers and umbrellas to shield the voting booths.

  In Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality, polling had also not started yet by 7:30am at Masajja B polling station, Lubugumu Umea Primary School playground, NSSF playground, Seguku Central and Nazziba polling station.

Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality and Entebbe municipality have a total of 165,376 and 55,515 registered voters respectively.