Vote counting at Rukungiri town council poling station in Eastern division. Deus Kasibayo of FDC polled 39 votes while David Tumwesigye of NRM got 43 for the post of chairperson
Polling in Entebbe cancelled
By Andrew Ssenyonga.
Polling in the two divisions of Entebbe municipality Wakiso district has been canceled, according to the district returning officer Hajjat Sarah Bukirwa.
Bukirwa said she was forced to cancel the exercise after seals on some of the boxes containing the ballot papers were found broken.
“By the time our materials were delivered the Entebbe Police Station, eight of the boxes had their seals broken. This prompted us call parties involved in the exercise for a solution but we failed to reach a consensus.
This forced me to cancel the exercise in the divisions of Entebbe A and B,” she explained. The returning officer blamed the poor roads in the area that led to breakage of the seals on the ballot boxes.
She added that canceled exercise includes the division chairpersons, directly elected councilors and the women councilors.
Twaha Ssempala (NRM) LC3 chairperson candidate Division B said they could not allow the polling to on because the seals were broken.
“We think this has been the trend in Entebbe where by ballot boxes have been delivered with broken seals. The electoral Commission (EC) has to explain more,” he said.
“We have invested a lot of time, energy and money in this exercise, so we call upon the EC to come out with a binding reason for this confusion,” Sarah Nakito, a woman councillor candidate in Entebbe requested.
Meanwhile polling in the other 25 sub-counties of Wakiso district went on smoothly though registering a low turn up.
“The district is made of 27 sub-counties. Voting in the 25 sub-counties was conducted as usual and voters have been seen coming to polling stations. Except the challenges we encountered in Entebbe, other parts of the district have been okay,” she said.
She noted that they will wait for the orders from the Electoral Commission boss for the dates of the exercises.
The situation was calmed down as the deployment was heavy in parts of Entebbe and Wakiso district to quell the violence from the rioters and those who are not contented with the development.
The district Police Chief Benard Katwalo explained that, “The situation is calm in Entebbe and Wakiso and it has been easy for us to deploy in those areas where elections are taking place.”
Others wise unlike the excitement and enthusiasm in the past polls in Uganda yesterday’s sub county and municipal division elections registered very low turn up in Wakiso district as many areas started polling late due to the early morning drizzle.
In some polling stations, the EC personnel waited for over hours after 6am before they could register the mandatory five voters to start the exercise.
And even where the five were got, the mood was low as voters were coming one by one as and when they pleased. “As long as we elected the president and members of parliament, even if I do not vote, I am not bothered,” Muareen Akello a resident of Entebbe.
Agents of candidates and poll official were just as relaxed and could be seen lounging on tables and chairs.
Turn out good in Nansana
By Ashraf Kasirye
The turn out of voters for LC3 elections in Nansana municipality, Wakiso district was slightly higher than the previous LC5 elections.
By 8:00am, voters were already in the line ready to vote their candidates.
Rainfall delays LC3 elections in Katakwi
By Emmanuel Alomu
Elections of the Local Council three chairpersons and directly elected councilors and female councillors havebeen marred by heavy downpour in several sub-counties in Katakwi district.
Polling officers had taken shelter together with the voting materials under trees while Some polling stations located in churches and learning institutions were lucky to take shelter inside the buildings in their premises.
In Ongongoja Sub County, the rain started at around 10:50am and was still on by half past midday. Naboth Oduc the LC5 Councillor for Ongongoja sub-county said people were willing to vote but were blocked by rain.
There are three people contesting for LC3 Chairperson Ongongoja and they include; the NRM'sJohn Imalingat, Charles Modo (IND) and John Peter Omeke also Independent. The incumbent George Okitoi did not contest saying the two terms are enough for him.
“If the rain stops, I will win these elections but if it continues, I don’t know what will happen,” Modo said after casting his vote in Okocho primary school polling station by 9:30am.
In Okuliak polling station still in Ongongoja, people ran to take shelter in the classes. Despite the low turn up registered in Acanga polling station in Ngariam Sub County, the rain worsened the situation after it started raining from 9am and was still on by 11:00am.
The NRM’s John Francis Otude one of the LC3 candidates for Ngariam sub-county, who finished casting his vote at 9:48 moved in rain up to his polling station (Acanga).
Julius Otim (NRM) and the former LC3 chairperson Katakwi town council had to hurry to Baptist Church polling station to cast his vote at 11am. Immediately after casting his vote, the rain blocked him before reaching home.
The incumbent Ambrose Okwii (FDC) did his voting early morning before the rain started. Others vying for Chairperson Katakwi town council are; Zadok Akutu (Ind) James Koluo (IND), Joseph Morulem (IND) and Ojur Charles Apuda (UPC).
Meanwhile, the turn up of voters in most polling stations was low compared to the previous elections. Only 63 out of 176 had voted by 10:50am in Baptist church polling station.
“I expect over 100 to have voted by 4pm,” Simon Peter Imanut the presiding officer Baptist Church polling station in Katakwi Town Council said.
The turn up of voters in Apuuton primary school polling station was worse where only 17 out of 173 had voted by 10:20am.
“I wonder whether the number of voters will reach 50 people this time unlike the last elections where we received 63 total voters. The problem here is that most of the voters registered are working class and they take time doing their own work,” Betty Iumat the presiding officer of Apuuton P/S polling station said.
In Toroma Sub County, of the 718 registered voters in the sub county headquarters polling station, only 83 had voted by 10am.
Petua Amuge the presiding officer of this polling station said some voters are disappointed that their candidates lost in the previous elections and therefore there was no need to vote again.
Three people want to be elected as the sub county chairperson for Toroma after the incumbent, Silver Obetel went through as the district councilor representing the same Sub County. They include; Richard Opesen (IND), Ben Obwalinga (Ind) and Charles Otubeny Acen (IND).
Election was still going on amidst rain drizzles in Ariet primary school polling stations in Kapujan Sub County. “We shall run to the classes if the rain increases,” Michael Ediangu the presiding officer said at midday.
Kapujan Sub County had several people turning up in most of the polling stations. “Over 130 people have so far voted by 9:17am out of 743 registered voters in this polling station,” said Ediangu.
Michael Engeru the incumbent LC-3 Chairperson Kapujan sub county cast his vote at Kelim-Kapujan polling station at 8:16am.
Like in most polling stations election started in time even in Adodoi Primary school polling station still in the same sub county.
“We opened the polling station at 7am and so far 85 out of the 886 registered voters have voted by 8:30am,” the presiding officer Michael Otiira said.
Three people are struggling for the position of LC 3 Chairperson Kapujan Sub County and they include; the incumbent Michael Engeru (IND), Iremaut Michael Apule (IND) and the NRM’s Martin Okello (former LC 3 Chairperson).
Open ballot boxes cause confusion
By Ismael Kasooha
Open ballot boxes caused delays in Muhorro town council Kibaale district after the NRM flag-bearer suspected malpractice.
Godfrey Nangonza said that when the ballot boxes were delivered at Muhorro police post at around 10:00pm on Tuesday night, seals on two boxes had broken which suspected that some people could have tampered with the materials.
“We had received prior information that some election officials were planning to connive with our competitor to rig the election,” said Nangonza.
The situation became tense when hundreds of Nangonza supporters stormed Muhorro police post to protect the voting materials and to ensure that they are verified first before voting could start.
Nangonza is accusing his rival and incumbent LC III chairman Muhorro town council Balijuka Ngoragora of planning to rig the election.
The situation warranted the district returning officer Kibaale Eric Gimei to rush to Muhorro to sort out the anomaly before voting could start.
On arrival at Muhorro police Gimei held a brief meeting with the two candidates and agreed that all the 21 ballot boxes be opened and verified before they are dispatched to the various polling stations.
In the presence of the district police commander all the ballot boxes were opened and verified and re-sealed before being sent to the polling stations.
After opening the ballot boxes all the materials were found safe except some hard been wet by rain. “I want to ensure that all the parties in these elections are satisfied with the process that is why we decided to open all the boxes for verification,” said Gimei.
The opening of the ballot boxes started a few minutes after 11:00am and by 11:40am all had been verified and re-sealed and sent to the polling stations. Voting at the nearest polling station started at 11:50am at Muhorro Muslim primary school.
But Gimei said that despite of the delay there will be no extension on the voting period and asked all presiding officers to close at the stipulated time of 4:00pm.
He said however all voters who will be in the queue by 4:00pm will be allowed to vote until the last person. Gimei said that this election has been tense unlike in the past presidential and parliamentary elections where calm prevailed in most parts of the district.
He said some of the hot spots in the district include Kyenzige sub-county where NRM’s Francis Byamukama is competing with Habib Rukyalekere and independent.
Elsewhere in the district, some people pulled out pangas as they protested the voting of some people they suspected are from the neighbouring district of Hoima.
Bosco Arop, the district police commander said that there are reports in Rugashari sub county that some people from Hoima have crossed to Kibaale to vote. “We have deployed more police personnel in the area to avert any bloodshed,” said Arop.
Kihiihi town council LC3 election cancelled
By Patson Baraire
The Electoral Commission Returning officer Kanungu Ferdinand Mulekezi has announced the cancellation of the election of LC3 chairman and councillors in Kihiihi town council after pre ticked ballot papers were discovered at some polling stations.
Kihihi town council is being contested by Zepher Mugisha the incumbent, Deus Tugume the NRM flag bearer and Denis Tweheyo of FDC.
Mulekezi said that the impasse started after it was discovered that there was massive rigging after pre ticked ballot papers in favor of Tugume were discovered.
"Yes I have cancelled the voting exercise in the town council of Kihiihi because of some irregularities that were discovered" Mulekezi said while waving a document that was signed by all candidates agreeing to the cancellation.
Zepher Mugisha the incumbent LC3 told New Vision that he was informed in the early morning hours that there were stuffed ballot boxes and together with the police they discovered them at Kihiihi Town council polling station and alerted the Electoral Commission which came in and stopped the exercise.
Mugisha is contesting as an independent after he was expelled from NRM for allegedly being a supporter of Amama Mbabazi go Forward.
When contacted the NRM candidate Tugume denied being involved in rigging. Mulekezi said that he is going to contact the EC headquarters in Kampala to find the way forward for the affected area.
Elsewhere in the district the election exercise for local council elections has gone on uninterrupted.
Open ballot boxes cause confusion in Hoima
Pictures by Ismael Kasooha
Voting in Namugongo starts at 8:00am
By Joyce Nakato
Voting for chairpersons and councilors of sub counties and town councils has experienced a low voter turnout today.
At Kyaliwajjala UMEA primary school polling center L-NAL,Nakamya Stella the presiding officer of polling station L-NAL notes that only 48 voters out of the 784 registered voters have turned up so far for the election.
Nsimbe Moses the presiding officer of polling station A-K says that they were forced to start at 08:00am due to the absence of 5 voters as required by law.
At Uganda martyrs shrine Namugongo polling station, Dennis Sebugwawo, the presiding officer of polling station A-J notes that only 58 out 886 voters have so far turned up.
Three women are vying for the woman councillor seat and these include Luyiga Catherine Hilda of NRM,Nakakakembo Agnes of DP and Namukasa Bashira of FDC .
Meanwhile those vying for the subcounty chairperson include Magumba Willy of FDC, Mayanja Fred an independent, David Mugalya of NRM and Mukasa Ernest of DP.
Those vying for the directly elected councillor seat Buwembo Robert of NRM, Nsubuga Nasir Yusuf of DP and Zizinga Abdul Hamid of FDC.
Low voter turn up in Kasese LC3 polls
By Wilson Asiimwe
There has been low turn up of voters in the local council elections in most of the areas of Kasese Municipality even though the polling officials were ready by 7:00am.
At Bus Park polling station in central division by 10:00am nobody had turned up for the exercise and the polling assistants were alone at the polling station.
“By 7:00am we were already at the polling station and everything was ready but it’s now 10:00am we have not registered any voter hope they will come in the afternoon,” said Musiime Gorret the presiding officer.
In Kizungu market polling station Nyamwamba division, polling assistants were at the polling station by 7:00 am but the first voter casted his voter at 9:00am two hours after the exercise had started.
By 10:00am only eight voters had casted their votes out of 765 registered voters at the polling station according to Emily Nyakato the presiding officer.
“During the presidential and parliamentary elections last week by 10:00am over 200 voters had voted but now the trend is changing voters are not tuning up and yet we carried out mobilization and informed them that today they would elect for their district leaders,” said Emily.
At Railway primary school the situation was not different as ever busy polling station was empty when the New Vision reporter visited the place.
The polling assistants there had by 9:00am registered only 11 voters who had casted their ballots and the rest were yet to cast theirs.
At Rwenzori Square polling station by midday only 15 out 650 voters at the polling station had casted their ballots and the polling officials were idol at the polling station.
Less people vote in Masindi
By Priscillar Nyamahunge
Elections of municipal division and subcounty chairpersons along with their councilors have been marred by low turn up at most polling stations in Masindi.
By 7:00am, Miracle centre polling station had already been set up, but with no voters available. At Masindi Public Primary School, less than 50 voters had cast their vote by 11:00am.
Esther Abiria, a polling assistant at Masindi Junior polling station said, " we do not know why people are not turning up. This exercise has been so dull compared to all the previous elections." Masindi Stadium, which has two polling centres, had the poorest turn up by 11 am where less than 40 people had turned up.
Catherine Kusemererwa, a voter at St. Kizito Vocational polling station said, "it seems some people were disappointed by the previous elections. But we hope they will turn up because as citizens, we need to exercise our constitutional rights."
Last week, the district registrar Ibrahim Salim Kizindo appealed to the public to embrace elections having cited a poor turn up during the LC5 elections.
By Paul Watala
Two people have sustained serious injuries after supporters of Kamadi Walusansa (NRM) and Jonadavu Cake (Independent) contesting for LC3 chairperson seat in Namanyonyi sub-county in Mbale district got involved in a fight.
The two people cut were rushed to nearby clinic for treatment while bleeding heavily after sustaining serious injuries on their heads.
The victims were identified as Mubarak Mabonga and George Mukhale all supporters of Kamadi Walusansa contesting for LC3 seat in Namanyonyi sub-county on NRM ticket.
Eye witnesses told the New Vision that visited the scene that the two groups clashed at Namanyonyi trading Centre after developing argument.
“Suspected supporters of Cake armed with pangs and sticks developed argument with Walusansa supporters and started abusing each other, leading to a scuffle,” Muzamiru Wangolo said.
He said that fight lasted for over 5 minutes, adding that stones more so the bricks that were in vicinity were seen flying the entire place as the two groups exchanged blows and sharp objects.
Resident of the trading centre more so the children and women scattered into hiding as the way of saving their lives.
He said that police was called in to bring calm the situation, but found when the fight had ended with two people bleeding.
Mubarak Mabonga victim accused Cake supporters of provoking them, using abusive language against that sparked off the fight.
No arrests have so far been made as the suspected culprits fled the scene of crime into the Banana plantations and hills towards Busamaga in Sironko district. Kamadi Walusansa NRM candidate accused his opponent of sending supporters to way lay his supporters and start cutting them.
“It’s unfortunate that people who want to become leaders can be at the forefront in inciting violence during elections. We have reported the case to police and believe they are doing what it takes to bring the culprits to book,” Walusansa said.
“Cake has forgotten that I also have murder supporters whom I could tell to attack and they do so. Beat up my voters can never be the solution to challenges of Namanyonyi,” Walusansa said.
However Jonadavu Cake independent refuted to allegations, adding that Walusansa was trying to cause a scene in order to get sympathy vote. “I am not even aware of the fight, the people who got involved in the fight and those are not my supporters,” Cake said.
Meanwhile voting exercise in Mbale municipality has been marred by trading accusation from candidates.
Abdu Magola NRM contesting as LC3 chairperson has accused Musa Mansa FDC of bribing voters and intimidating his supporters by beating them “Mansa and his group of over 60 Kanyama are beating up my supporters and intimidating pother not to vote for me. But we have reported the case to police,” Magola said
However Musa Mansa has denied the allegations, adding that those are baseless allegation intended to tarnish his name against the security and electoral commission.
In Northern division Mbale municipality Bishop Andrew Mutengu of ward of worship contesting on NRM ticket said that election were marred by bribery of voters, adding that some of his opponents are openly giving out money to voters before they cast their votes.
“I have alerted the police and electoral commission about the matter and believe serious punishment will be taken against them,” Mutengu said.
Low turnout mars Kasese elections
By John B. Thawite
Despite early arrival of elections materials in most parts of Kasese district. voter turn-up was low in the morning.
At nearly all the stations sampled by New Vision between 7 and 9.30 a.m, there were more polling officials, party agents and containers than the voters themselves.
"Even the few that were eager to go and vote were disrupted by a drizzle of rain," James Katarikawe, a resident in Bugoye sub-county, said on phone.
By Benedict Okethwengu
A combination of heavy down pour and voter’s apathy has severely affected the Wednesday’s local council three elections in Nebbi district. A number of voters opted to go their garden following, a heavy down pour on Tuesdays’ afternoon than going to cast their votes.
“I find solace in my garden because I will get something out of it, than going to vote for these fellows who are just looking for jobs,” said Alex Okello, a voter as he tilts his garden.
A mini-survey by the New Vision in most of the polling station in Nebbi town council and the neighboring sub-counties also a painted a gloomy picture about the elections. Most of the polling officials were seen yawning, and those who have smartphones would swiping them, while other busy telling stories.
Gloria Anirwoth, the presiding officer at Jukia primary school N- Z, said the turn up for the local council elections has turned out to be worse than all recently concluded elections.
She doubts, whether, she would be able to register about one voters out the 459 voters in that polling stations. “We had 325 voters in presidential elections, 187 in the LC.5 elections, but I doubt whether we shall have 100 voters this time out of the 459 total voters at this polling stations,” Anirwoth said.
Raymond Kisaarale, the Nebbi district returning officer also attributed the low turn to rain and apathy. He, was, however, quick to observe that such scenario are always expected, especially those, their candidates lost in the previous elections.
Rain disrupts elections in Lira
By Bonney Odongo
Heavy morning downpour on Wednesday interrupted voting for Local Council three chairpersons and councilors in Lira creating fear that there could be many cases of votes rigging.
The rainfall that started as a drizzle at around 8:00am intensified after about one hour and swept across most parts of Lira district.
The turn up by people going to cast their ballots were very poor in most polling stations as voters remained indoor waiting for rain to dwindle. Polling officials remained at the verandah taking shelter from the heaving.
At Junior Quarters polling station, Ballot boxes were seen abandoned at the verandah with very meager ballots in them as official took shelter in the neighboring buildings.
In other areas, Police officers proving security at the polling stations used plastic chairs as umbrella to shelter themselves from the abrupt rainfall.
Since last year, Lango sub region has been experiencing severe aridity with temperatures going beyond expected degrees. This is the first time in so many months the region is receiving a heavy rain like this.
Elections in Rukungiri delayed in most polling centres after mixing up the boxes. At Rukungiri town council polling station, they received materials for the last elections of Mayors and Municipality councilors after rectifying the error voting started at 7:52am however some voters were confused after they found no pictures on the ballot papers of councilors both directly elected and woman councillor.
Kayunga returning officer withdraws from conducting LC3 elections
By Charles Jjuuko
Kayunga district returning officer, Ruth Nakachwa Kibuuka, has withdrawn from conducting the LC3 elections in the district following the concluded LC5 election exercise which turned chaotic after four losers who contested for the district chairperson attacked her and blocked the process of declaring the winner, Tom Sserwanga (Independent) whom they accused of involving in election malpractices.
Nakachwa’s withdrawal forced the Electoral Commission chairman, Eng. Badru Kiggundu to rush to Kayunga and hold a closed door meeting with leaders of political parties in the district and elected Members of Parliament at Hotel Katikomu on Tuesday to forge away forward.
Eng. Kiggundu announced the new returning officer, Henry Makabayi in the meeting, which lasted for about four hours and he will be responsible for conducting the LC3 elections.
The electoral commission public relations officer, Jotham Taremwa told journalists after the meeting that the main purpose of the meeting was to solve disagreements between leaders in the district that arose after the LC5 election exercise.
“Some people filed a petition against one of our staff, accusing her of taking sides and as a commission we had to come in to solve the problem,” Taremwa said, urging people of Kayunga to be calm and peaceful in the election period.
“I asked my bosses to withdraw from conducting the remaining electoral circle after being attacked as I declared results of the LC5 chairperson and they accepted my proposal,” Nakachwa said during an interview with New Vision, adding that the move was intended to give a chance to her critics to have someone else who will conduct the remaining elections.
Nakachwa denied allegations that she resigned from her position as the district registrar saying the allegations were baseless.
“There is a difference between withdrawing and resigning. During the meeting, the EC chairman Eng. Kiggundu made it clear that I still remain the district registrar though I am not going to perform the duty of the returning officer,” Nakachwa clarified scoffing at those behind the rumors that she is still in office.
The NRM district chairman, Moses Karangwa thanked the electoral commission for the changes made they are now assured that LC3 elections are going to be conducted in a free and fair election.
“We are now happy that the electoral commission has respected our petition because Nakachwa has been taking sides while executing her duties.” Karangwa said
However, state minister for Lands Idah Nantaba pleaded for Nakachwa said those against her do it because she is a straight forward person who does things in the right manner.
Rains disrupt voting in Mbale
By Paul Watala
Heavy clouds in the sky just after it had just stopped raining in Mbale town that lead to the delay in distribution of electoral materials.
Meanwhile, heavily armed police officers and army patrolling Mbale town as election for LC3 chairpersons are underway in Mbale.