Entebbe: Voters Turn up With Old Voter's Cards

1322 Views Entebbe, Uganda

In short
Uganda Radio Network saw three people turned away after producing the old voters cards. The Electoral Commission replaced the old voters cards with the national identity cards.

Extension of voting time in Kampala and Wakiso districts may not be enough for some voters who were bounced at various polling stations after showing up with the discarded voter's cards instead of national identity cards (IDs) or voter location slips.
 
The Electoral Commission this afternoon extended polling time to 7pm for areas within Kampala and Wakiso districts where voting started late. EC Chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu announced the extension after numerous reports of delays in polling across the capital Kampala and parts of Wakiso.
 
Most polling centers in the two districts started voting more than 5 hours late, a situation that created uncertainty among voters.
 
In Entebbe, Uganda Radio Network saw three people turned away after producing the old voter's cards. The Electoral Commission replaced the old voter's cards with the national identity cards.
 
Robert Balongo, a voter at St. Joseph Katabi, said he never registered for an ID but was sure that his voter's card would enable him to vote.
 
//Cue in: I have only …
Cue out: … still using it.//
 
At the same polling station, Angela Mary Nyakecho showed up with her national ID only to find that her polling station is in Tororo, her home district.
 
//Cue in: They pushed me …
Cue out: … vote whatsoever.//
 
The presiding officer, Zacharia Owori, tried to explain Nyakecho's fate but to no avail.
 
//Cue in: If you're …
Cue out: … not from Entebbe.//
 
Meanwhile, a number of agents have expressed reservations at the way polling is being conducted. Of particular concern is why polling agents have been kept away from the first desk where voters are identified.
 
The Democratic Party supervisor for Entebbe A area, Joseph Ddembe, says polling agents were unable to verify who has been cleared to vote.
 
//Cue in: Can those people …
Cue out: … that is my issue.//
 
Moses Mabirizi, an agent of Entebbe Municipality parliamentary candidate Walusimbi, defended the arrangement thus.
 
//Cue in: Whenever a person …
Cue out: … will be two hundred.//
 
In some instances, voters found it hard to locate their polling stations, like Aisha Tiko of Kitoro.
 
//Cue in: Anti we're not …
Cue out: … problem I have.//
 
The presiding officers had to painstakingly clarify to the voters where their polling stations are. Godfrey Musinguzi is one of the presiding officers of St. Joseph Katabi, which has nine polling stations.
 
 
//Cue in: Listen attentively …
Cue out: … handling A to A.//
 
Uganda Radio Network was also able to see at least two seemingly under-aged voters who categorically denied that they are underage.
 
URN has also observed that voters are not bothered to ascertain whether one who has voted has been marked as so on the voters' roll.
 
As soon as voting started, those who were the first to cast their votes could not hide their joy.
 
//Cue in: How are you …
Cue out: … name is secret.//
 
Despite warnings by the Electoral Commission to those who have voted to stay at least 200 meters away, in all polling stations URN visited many stayed around monitoring the goings on. There have been no overt cases of violence in Entebbe. Even the presence of security forces is minimal, save for a few patrols of police officers.
 
The usually busy Kampala-Entebbe Road is so light as vehicles are simply trickling by. Although taxi operators have not hiked fares, they are, however, loading excess passengers.
 
In the early stages of voting, most business premises remained closed, but as the day progressed, a number of them opened. The townships are, however, not as vibrant as always.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."