By Farooq Kasule and Betty Amamukirori
Kazo-Angola polling station in Kawempe division was closed for about an hour after a scuffle broke out between LC3 woman councilors, their agents and the local presiding officer over ballot papers.
Sarah Namyalo was told that two of the three ballot booklets were exhausted by 9:00am in the morning. She suspected foul play and stormed the assistant district registrar's office in Mpererwe, accusing them of allowing her opponents to rig the votes.
Wailing loudly, Namyalo said that her opponents connived with the presiding officers to rig the votes by pre-ticking the ballot papers prior to voting kickoff time.
"They have cheated me, how can all the two booklets be done barely two hours from the starting time?" she asked amid sobs.
After failing to access the registrar, she and her agents stormed Kazo-Angola polling station and created a dramatic scene. She accused the presiding officers of vote rigging, prompting the exercise to stop.
Her agents joined in the scuffle and pointed fingers at the presiding officers, accusing them of giving some voters more than one ballot paper.
Explanations by the presiding officers fell on deaf ears as her supporters and agents turned rowdy, threatening to destroy the poll equipment.
The electoral police constables were forced to call the Kawempe District Police Commander (DPC) Hashim Kasinga to come to rescue the situation.
He came to the polling station immediately before the situation could turn worse and was able to calm everyone.
The presiding officer only identified as Annet informed Kasinga in the presence of some aspirants and their agents that most of the people had refused to vote for woman councilors and only picked one ballot paper instead of two as required of every voter.
"Most of the voters refused to vote for woman councilors. We cannot force everyone to vote since it is their choice," She explained.
Kasinga then implored them to remain peaceful because there was no vote rigging as it was alleged by the agents.
"Let the process go on. I want to assure you nobody will rig your votes" Kasinga said
The presiding officer asked the aspirants and their agents to seek explanations from her about any query arising instead of misleading the public.
However, sources from the polling station who preferred anonymity, said that the problem was caused due to lack of civic education about the voting process.
Generally, the elections across Kawempe division were peaceful and the voter turnout was moderate.
Eight people are vying for Kawempe Mayor including the incumbent deputy mayor and the NRM candidate Ibrahim Mirembe Kamihanda.
Others are former Mayor and DP candidate Nasser Kibirige, FDC candidate Abdullah Kizza Bakasambe, Yahaya Musoke, Muhammad Mutazindwa, and Emmanuel Sserunjogi popularly known as Oweddembe. Others are go forward candidate Abdul Kalim Lukoda and Muhammad Bisaso.
According to most of the voters in the area, stiff competition is expected to between Emmanuel Sserunjogi (indep), NRM's Ibrahim Kamihanda, FDC's Abdullah Bakasambe and DP's Nasser Kibirige.
The final results will be announced by the Kawempe division returning officer after tallying results from the different polling stations in the division.