Voting for Special Interest Groups is delayed at the different venues in Kampala following a delay in the distribution of Electoral materials. Today, different electoral colleges are participating in the election of councillors representing the youths, Persons with Disabilities, Workers and Older persons to district councils, across the country.
At Akamwesi gardens where youths are voting for their councillors, hundreds of them arrived at the venue by 7 a.m. However, there were no Electoral Commission Officials at the site. At around 8:30 a.m, security deployed at the venue and asked the youths to leave the ground and only access it after they have been cleared on the list of delegates.
The Electoral Commission officials arrived at 10 a.m. and started clearing delegates at 10; 30 a.m. for access to the venue. By 11 a.m., the process was still ongoing with the first list of delegates from the division of Kawempe yet to be completed. The youths protested the late delivery of materials and the heavy deployment by security which comprised of polling constables, the army, military police and Field Force Unit.
At Kyambogo Primary School, where workers are voting from, there was no activity by 10 a.m. Here, voters were standing in groups while waiting for polling materials.
Abdul Mulumba, a voter from Uganda Horticultural Industry Service Providers and Allied Workers’ Union said that most of them arrived at the polling station at 7:30 am and waited in vain for the arrival of election materials. He said an Electoral Commission official told them that they were delayed in the traffic jam. The election for Older Persons at Ntinda School of the Deaf was also yet to start by 11 a.m.
Nyende Francis Kizza, the Chairperson for elders in Kawempe division says the Electoral Commission only informed them about the polling venues last night.
The Electoral Commission Offices in Ntinda where voting for PWDs is planned had no activity by 10:30 a.m, although the polling materials and officials were already at the venue. According to the Presiding Officer, Joel Ssenoga, the delay is attributed to the slow arrival and assembly by the voters at the polling station.
“The law says that an election must start at 7:00 a.m. but should be evidenced by 10 voters. As you see now we don’t have the required number of voters and we shall wait until we make the minimum that is provided for in the law,” Ssenoga said.
He added that the voting shall wait until the number is raised to avoid any litigation that may arise. This prompted candidates and agents to begin making calls to the known voters to make it to the polling station for the exercise to commence.