The primaries turned chaotic over the involvement of underage youths, multiple voting and bribing youths with alcohol. The irregularities were witnessed at Wabinyonyi, Buruuli Quarter, Wakibombo, Kansiri and Nakasongola Central village in Nakasongola town.
Multiple voting, bribery and underage voting have marred the National Resistance Movement-NRM party Primaries in Nakasongola town council. On Wednesday, NRM supporters voted for candidates for the position of parish/ward Councillors and LC III Chairpersons across the country.
Unlike in rural areas, the turn up across polling stations in Nakasongola town was high. In Nakasongola town council, the race is between the incumbent LCIII Chairperson George William Kazibwe and Edward Mutimba Kigongo, a former of employee of Kampala City Council Authority-KCCA.
However, the primaries turned chaotic over the involvement of underage youths, multiple voting and bribing youths with alcohol. The irregularities were witnessed at Wabinyonyi, Buruuli Quarter, Wakibombo, Kansiri and Nakasongola Central village in Nakasongola town.
At Wabinyonyi Polling Station, the electoral officer Ismail Ssonko and policemen tried to eject children from the lines before elections but were overpowered by agents who insisted that these must be allowed to vote since they have been participating in past primaries.
According to the NRM Party constitution, eligible voters are supposed to be aged 18 years and above and resides in the village. Mike Lutaaya the Chairman LCI Wabinyonyi village says that some of the voters were below 16 years and other primary pupils but efforts to block them from participating in the exercise were futile.
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Some of the residents protested the results from the polling station saying the children determined the outcome. Kazibwe scored 88 votes whereas Mutimba got 77 votes at Wabinyonyi polling station.
The numbers of voters doubled in East Ward Parish councillor primaries after more children joined the lines resulting in Susan Nantaba the candidate to obtain 197 votes and her rival got 110 votes at the same polling station. At Buruuli Quarter Polling Station, the agents and voters for aspirant Edward Mutimba Kigongo withdrew from the polling station in protest over alleged multiple voting.
Sarah Naggayi, the agent for Mutimba say several voters had voted from other polling stations and later transported in taxi vote again which they couldn't accept. Naggayi and other supporters described the primaries as a sham before they walked out of the line ahead of the elections.
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But Isaac Kyeyune, the Election officer for Buruuli Quarters Polling station says that the agents for the two aspirants were given chance to screen the voters but they disagreed. Kyeyune added that he has since declared George William Kazibwe as the winner at the polling station after he polled 182 votes whereas Mutimba got zero.
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At other polling stations, youths and residents turned up drank to vote after before they were given free beers by aspirants to vote them.
Godfrey Kibi, the Nakasongola NRM District Administrative Secretary blamed the multiple voting and participation of children in elections on allowing all residents to vote without consideration of party registers.
On September 2, NRM Party Chairman Yoweri Museveni issued a statement allowing non-registered party supporters to vote in the primaries. According to Museveni statement, all party supporters can be added in the register if h/she was 18 years and the Village Executive verify him as a member.
By the time of compiling the story, several supporters of the incumbent LC III Chairperson George William Kazibwe had started to hold a procession in the town council in celebration of his early lead in vote counting.
In Nakasongola district, NRM flagbearers stand high chances to win generations since opposition parties are yet to make inroads in the area.