409 Polling Stations had 100% Voter Turnout, Giving Museveni 95.8%

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A voters register is compiled a year before election, but 409 polling stations had 100 percent voter turnout in the January 14th presidential election according to the analysis of results released by the Electoral Commission. 

Though president Museveni polled 161,864 votes at these polling stations representing 95.8 percent of votes cast, all other candidates at least got votes. With 14 votes, Willy Mayambala got the least number of votes from these polling stations. They had 1,354 invalid votes. 

Except at three, Museveni won all the polling stations.National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine won one of these polling stations: Namaitsu Primary Primary School in Budada district where he polled 311 votes, representing 73% of cast votes. 

These polling stations are spread in 29 districts. Isingiro district had the highest number of polling stations—145— recording 100 percent voter turnout. It is followed by Kiruhura with 68 polling stations and Kazo with 43 pollingstations having 100% voter turnout. These three districts have more than half of polling stations that had 100 percent voter turnout.   

That not a single voter died, was sick, was away from home or decided not to votes at these polling stations, experts say raises questions that beg to be probed. Such voter turnout, election observers argue, isn’t normal. 

Before election, Independent Election Observer Crispy Kaheru says Electoral Commission informed them that they would only flag polling stations that returned more than 100 percent turnout. Indeed, Daily Monitor reported that a polling station in Ssembabule returned more than 100 percent voters turnout.

The Electoral Commission nullified results of 83 polling stations for a number of reasons, including where “total votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters for the polling stations.” But it did not explain how many polling stations returned more votes cast than registered voters.

Kaheru argues that any polling station that returned more 90 percent voter turnout should be flagged and questioned. Given that a voters register is compiled a year before election, he argues that its surprising that a polling station can register 100 percent voter turnout a year later.

This view is shared by Charity Ahimbisibwe of Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU). “It’s not normal,” she says, adding that 100 percent voter turnout should be studied critically by actors in the electoral democracy arena. 

The question that need to be asked to the Electoral Commission, Charity says is, for instance of a copy of voters register of people who voted at that polling station.  “You can go to these places; you can go to Kazo; you can go to Kiruhura, meet people themselves and ask if they showed up and voted.”

Isingiro District Returning Officer Mukundane David advised URN to seek comment from EC Spokesperson Paul Bukenya. But Bukenya has not responded to several questions sent to him over the past two weeks.  

Benjamin Muhanguzi who runs a civil society organization in Isingiro says people never voted. “It’s the army that voted in many parts of the district. So, the fact is Isingiro people did not speak with their voice on voting day.”

Previously, Annie Nkutu, an Election Observer with Uganda Women Situation Room who went to Isingiro, said she cannot talk about the figures. “Most of the observations we made were in the early hours of the morning when voting was just beginning, we did not go back in the evening,” she said. “It’s hard to me for me to make a fair comment on figures.”

Nicholas Atuhairwe, who was a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer in Isingiro North says, “rigging was too much and could not be hidden.” 

At some polling stations, Atuhairwe claims the “number of votes were more than registered voters, but since there were no agents of other candidates, I think they sat and ensured that things balance.” 


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