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Voting Materials Delivered Late at Polling Stations

At least 1,423 boxes of ballot papers, basins and lamps were dispatched from the designated centre in Nakawa at 10:30 pm on Wednesday evening from where it was driven to holding centres in constituencies. The material was then supposed to be delivered to the different polling station by 6:20 am this morning.

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There was late delivery of voting materials at in different parts of Kampala for the presidential and parliamentary elections. According to the Electoral Commission, the voting material was supposed to be delivered at polling stations as early as 6:20 am. 

At least 1,423 boxes of ballot papers, basins and lamps were dispatched from the designated centre in Nakawa at 10:30 pm on Wednesday evening from where it was driven to holding centres in constituencies. The material was then supposed to be delivered to the different polling station by 6:20 am this morning. 

Fredrick Muwaya Tinakuno, the Kampala Regional Election Officer told URN that they decided to dispatch the voting materials at night to avoid late delivery. 

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However, some polling stations in Nakawa East were yet to receive voting material by 6:40 am on voting day. No voting material had been delivered at Kiswa Primary School, Mbuya 1, Kiswa Health Center, Butabiika Hospital, Kilombe Zone 2, Murchison Bay Prison and Kinawataka road by 6:50 am. 

Despite the late delivery of the voting material, Muwaya said voting would still start on time. “We are still within the allocated time. Voting is supposed to start at 8:00 am and for now, we believe that will be the case across Kampala,” he said.  

In a related incident, voting delayed starting at various polling stations in Mbale city due to faulty Biometrics Voter Verification machines and late delivery of voting materials.

Voting was yet to start by 9:00 am at a number of polling stations sampled by our reporter.  Some of the affected included NSSF Cathedral, NSSF Republic, Amber Store, Akamba polling stations all in Industrial City Division. Voters turned up by 6:00 AM but only to find no polling official at the stations.  

This was the same scenario at Nkoma High School, IUIU Primary School and Bujoroto Primary School polling station in Northern City Division. Voters forcefully opened the gate at Nkoma High School, which was still closed by 8:00 a.m. The school hosts a number of polling stations.   Robert Magomu, a voter at Amber Store B polling station told URN that he arrived at the polling station as early as 7:00 a.m.but no voting material had been delivered by 9 a.m.

Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, the Mbale District Woman Member of Parliament who voted from Lions park polling station was disappointed by the fact that polling started late. She said that polling officials told her that they started late because of the faulty biometric machines. She, however, dismissed their explanation, saying they had all the time to check the machines.

In Jinja city voters also complained of late delivery of voting materials at the different polling stations. Some polling stations didn’t receive voting materials until after 10 am.   Samuel Mufumbiro, a voter from Rippon Garden asked EC to prioritize timely delivery of voting materials in urban centres to enable voters to cast their ballot and return to their businesses. 

Yusuf Ndejjo, a voter at Spire Road West polling station, said that by 10:30 a.m, says that polling officials hadn’t shown up at the polling station, which raised questions on whether or not the elections would take place. Julius Mugabi, a voter at Main Street West polling station, said it was unfair to contestants for EC delays to deliver voting materials late, saying some voters could opt out of the polling process.

Emmanuel Mastiko, the Kiira Region Election Officer attributed the delayed delivery of voting materials to transport challenges due to the limited number of vehicles available.