Late Delivery of Polling Materials, Absence of Voters Delays Voting in Kampala

In some polling stations visited by URN by 7:00am, materials like basins, registers, furniture, ballots, biometric Voter Verification Kits (BVVK) were yet to be delivered.

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The late delivery of polling materials and absence of voters has delayed voting in the local council elections in some parts of Kampala.

In Makindye West, polling materials were delivered late. In some polling stations visited by URN reporter, by 7:00 am, basins, registers, furniture, ballots, biometric Voter Verification Kits (BVVK) were yet to be delivered.

Ivan Munanura, the Makindye Division Returning Officer, says the slow delivery of voting materials and machines at some polling stations, could affect voters who had earlier turned up to cast their ballots. He attributed the late delivery to lack of transport.

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Darius Barigye, the Presiding Officer at Mugwanya Ntuuse polling station, says voters turned up early for voting but the materials were yet to be delivered to the polling station.

Alice Rose Langa, a voter says that she will not leave the polling station without voting.

“This is a very important moment for us Ugandans to elect our leaders, but I am going to stay here under the sun until it is my turn to vote.

In Nakawa South, the voting materials had been delivered as early as 6:20 am in several polling stations, but there were no voters.

Unlike last week during the presidential and parliamentary elections where voters began lining up to cast their vote as early as 6:30 am, this time, there were no long queues.

Paul Olweny, the polling agent at Kinawataka road market says that by 7:30 am, last week during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the queue of voters were long.

The situation was not different at Zone 2 Bina polling station. Annet Mulindwa the polling agent attributed the low turn up so far to lack of interest from the voters. 

"The voters look to have lost interest in voting. They are just walking past here. They are not interested in voting. Many look like they are going to work," she said.

At Makerere Business School polling station, by 7:20 am voting had not yet started. Alfred Kasirye, the polling agent told URN they were stuck and could not even begin opening the boxes.

“We came here as early as 6:30 am but have been waiting for voters to come. There are no voters. We cannot even open these boxes," he said.

At many of the polling stations that we visited, voting begun at 8:00 am but even then, not more than 10 voters had queued up.

At Kisaasi Muslim Secondary School in Kyanja Parish, in Nakawa Division polling materials were delivered by 6:30a.m, but by 8:00 am most polling stations were deserted due to lack of voters.

At Polling station, NAKI-NSH, where there are 1,126 voters, by 7:30, am they had not raised the number of 10 voters required to witness the opening of the ballot boxes.

Sunday Kibowa, an agent, says they came early but there are no voters at the polling station.  

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At Holy medical centre which hosts 11 polling stations in Ganda, Busiro East constituency, polling materials arrived by 6: 30 am, but there were no voters but a handful of agents of candidates.

Voting also delayed in Bukoto over missing registers and lack of voting materials which include the ink or markers.

At Late Ssemwogerere N-Z polling station in Bukoto, where there are 900 registered voters, there was no ink to mark the voters according to the presiding officer Betty Nalwoga.

At Mukalazi Polling Station A-M, the Presiding Officer Martha Tumwebaze said that they are considering sharing the ink from a nearby polling station to avoid multiple voting.

She added that they had also not received sanitisers and aprons for proper identification.

At Kawempe Mbogo, Hormisdallen Primary School and Keti Falawo polling stations in Kawempe North, voting was yet to start by 8:45 a.m.

 At Hormisdallen Primary School where there are six polling stations, polling officials were still setting up the polling stations. Unlike last week, when there were hundreds of voters, this time there were not more than 30 voters. The covid-19 standard operating procedures have also been flouted.

There are no handwashing facilities and voters who are desperately waiting in lines are standing shoulder to shoulder, with some not wearing masks.