At Victorious primary school polling station in Rubaga North, polling agents and officials rushed to the nearby shops for shelter as they waited for the rain to stop. Some ballot papers fell in stagnant water as the officials rushed for shelter.
A deserted polling station during the rain
rains that started at 8 a.m. disrupted voting in different parts of Kampala
and Entebbe as several polling officials, agents and voters rushed to take
shelter in nearby shops, schools and churches. At St. Mbaaga Primary School polling station in Kiwatule where voting stated around 8:00 am heavy
rains forced the exercise to stop at 8:30 a.m.
Polling officials covered ballot papers with black polythene bags and turned
transparent boxes turned upside down to prevent water from spoiling the ballots
already cast. Although the polling stations are located on the school compound,
the classrooms are closed. The polling officers and voters remained
stranded with ballot boxes on the verandahs.
At Batalazi’s building at Kasana stage in Kisasi with four polling stations,
elections also stopped as polling agents and officials took shelter in the
nearby buildings. The situation was the same in Rubaga division where
voting had started early. At Victorious primary school polling station in
Rubaga North, polling agents and officials rushed to the nearby shops for
shelter as they waited for the rain to stop.
Some ballot papers fell in stagnant water as the officials rushed for shelter. The
Presiding Officer, Joshua Wasswa told URN that the ballot papers are still
reusable because they were quickly picked before they were completely soaked by
water. “The exercise has been affected and it’s almost now an hour of raining
and people have also stopped coming for now,” Waswa said.
At St Lule Church polling station in Kabuusu, polling agents and voters have
converged on the verandas of the church because of the rain. At Ndejje
University parking polling station, the agents carried the voting materials to
the University verandahs to prevent them from rain. At Makerere university Nsibirwa polling station, voting had
to be moved inside the hall because of the rain. An attempt to ensure that
voting continues by use of umbrellas and polythene bags didn’t work.
Rain equally disrupted voting at different polling stations in Kampala Central
Division. Voters who had arrived at City House polling station dispersed to
take shelter in the nearby business premises. Officials at polling stations like at National Theatre, Railway grounds were
seen making use of umbrellas in order to keep watch of the voting materials. At
Kamwokya Community polling station, voters were seen in the line with umbrellas
going ahead with the voting process.
At Jambula Polling station located at Bugolobi market, voting stopped at 8:55
am after only two people cast their votes. Marvin Kashija, the presiding
officer at Jambula Polling station, says they stopped voting to protect the
ballots from the heavy rain. "If the ballots get wet it might affect the ink used. So we have stopped
until it stops raining," he said.
At Kawempe Mbogo Zone, voting at five Polling stations was also interrupted.
Voters braved the rain to cast their ballot. A few voters who had carried their
umbrellas pulled them out and offered shelter to others. Polling assistants
also used the few umbrellas available at the polling stations and tarpaulin to
shield themselves against the rain.
Saidat Sebulime, a voter says some of the ballots were getting damaged after
getting wet. She says voting should have been stopped earlier so that it can resume
after the rain has stopped.
//Cue in; "Enkuba etuyisizza...
Cue out...kyetwandibadde tukola."//
In Entebbe, rain equally disrupted elections. Some polling officials
proposed that Electoral Commission plans for the rains next time by either
getting umbrellas, tents or even securing Government buildings for the voting
exercise. Sam Katerega, a polling assistant at A-M Polling station in
Bunonko-Misoli Village Kigungu Parish, says the Electoral Commission should
have provided tents due to the looming rains.
In Makindye division polling started late amidst delayed
delivery of ballot papers and the rains. The most affected are voting area like
St. Paul Primary School with 16 polling station, St. Dennis SSS with 11 and
Mubarak with 5. Ivan Munanura, the Makindye Division Elections Administrator,
says voting delayed to start at some polling stations because of the early
Hassim Abubaker, the
presiding officer at Green Hill parking yard polling station, says voting was
delayed by the rain. Open place, Kibuye primary school, hospital grounds A, St.
Augustine & Mubiru at Golden Angels primary school, Valley at Munyonyo,
Central A-C at St. Peter's Secondary school and Serwadda at Buziga Hill primary
school are some of the few polling stations that opened early.
Darius Barigye is the presiding officer at Mugwanya Ntuuse
polling station a St. Paul Primary School in Makindye west Kampala district. He
said voters who turned up early for voting were delayed by the rain as the
polling station would not be set in the rain. At institution polling station
A-M in Makindye East the voting process was also disrupted by the heavy
The presiding officer Godwine Guma, said by 7 am the
materials were ready but the rain hampered the setting up of the polling
station, which made them delay. "As you see we are just arranging to start
now and it's half past 8 am," Guma said. In Wabigalo parish Project zone polling
station A-Z over 50 people had already cast their vote despite the
interruptions by rains.
officer, Abubakari Hashim, said despite the rains voters were determined to
cast their votes. "They're determined as you can see them, it's drizzling
but they are voting," Hashim said.
Senior Staff Reporter
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.