Polling stations delay to open as Ruhaama votes in by-elections

Polling stations delay to open as Ruhaama votes in by-elections
Although the official time to commence voting was 7:00am, this vehicle is still delivering polling materials

Voting delayed to start at several polling stations in the ongoing Ruhaama county MP by-elections despite the timely delivery of voting materials.

Our reporters witnessed delays at numerous polling stations in Rweikiniro, Ntungamo, Nyakyera and Itojo Sub counties.

Voting started at 8:30am at Kahunga polling station in Ntungamo Sub County despite the fact that the voting materials were in place by 5:30am.

The presiding officer, Ronald Turyatemba attributed the delay to the late arrival of some polling officials. The story wasn’t any different at Nyakibigi primary school polling station where voting start any hour late.

The presiding officer, Moses Turinawe blamed the delay on the late arrival of the crime preventer assigned to man security at the polling station. Other polling stations that opened late include Karegyeya, Irenga, Mutanoga, Nyarubungo and Kyangara.

At Ruhanga boy’s primary school in Ntungamo Sub County, the voting materials arrived at 6:00am. However, both the polling officials and constables were not on site to receive the materials. A similar story was replicated in Nyakyera Sub County.

At Bituntu polling station, voting didn’t start until after 9:00am due to late arrival of candidate’s agents. Voting also started at around 9am at Kirungu, Kiziba, Nyakyera Primary school, Nyakyera sub county headquarters and Rwenyonyizi polling stations. Crispin Kaheru, the Coordinator Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) told this publication that the delay to open polling stations may affect voting since the officials were taking a lot of time to set up polling stations.

He faulted the polling officials deployed to handle the voting process at respective stations for arriving late yet they were aware that voting starts was scheduled to start at 7:00am. Robert Beine, the Ntungamo District Returning Officer told this publication that the exercise was progressing well and didn’t anticipate any major challenges.

Voting is taking place in 199 polling stations in 8 sub counties and three town councils. There are116, 883 registered voters in the constituency. The Ruhaama county MP seat fell vacant on November 4th, 2017 following the death of the incumbent legislator, William Beijukye Zinkuratire.

The race has attracted four candidate’s including NRM’s Moses Mugabe Kahima, Engineer Jackson Mubangizi, Dr. Penninah Bainomugisha and Vastine Orishaba, all independents.