Poll Delays Reported as Mayoral Elections Kick Off

2497 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Voting in the rescheduled Kampala mayoral elections delayed by late delivery of ballot papers and ballot boxes.

Elections for the new Mayor of Kampala have been delayed by the late delivery of voting materials. By 7:00am this morning most of the 1,440 polling stations in the five divisions of Kampala had not opened. In Nakawa division, polling did not begin at 7:00m. By 8:00am polling stations in Rubaga division had not yet received any election materials, although the polling officers turned up on time. Fred Matovu, the Electoral Commission area supervisor, says the Electoral Commission physically monitored the delivery of voting materials to ensure that ballot papers and ballot boxes were not stolen. He says the logistical details involved caused the delays. The theft of election materials and rigging led to the suspension of the mayoral elections on February 23rd. This time, it appears, the Electoral Commission wants to guarantee the safety of the vote. In Kampala central division where considerable violence occured last month, the majority of the polling stations are under tight security. By 7:45am, police officers accompanied by the sniffer dogs were seen patrolling Bat Vallye polling station. Other problem areas in the February 23rd electiosn like the Railway Grounds, the National Theatre and the National Public Library on Buganda Road were empty with no sign of polling arrangements. Six candidates are in the mayoral race. They are Peter Ssematimba of the National Resistance Movement, independent candidate Erias Lukwago, Francis Babu and Sandra Katebalirwe Ngabo, as well as Michael Mabikke of the Social Democratic Party and Emmanuel Tumusiime of the Forum for Integrity in Leadership. ###