Ugandans shun local government elections

Ugandans shun local government elections

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By Solomon Muleyi

During last week’s presidential elections, a complaint that prevailed country wide indicated that voting materials at Polling stations, especially around Kampala were delivered late. Yet that didn’t prevent voters from casting their votes. Today however, the voting materials were put in place a day before, and the day has been declared a public holiday, yet the turn up for the district leaders elections is worryingly low. A stance that has many of the candidates worried of failure to hit their number of targeted votes.

Most of the polling stations are filled with candidates, their handful of fans and family. Not even distant relatives and friends have come to vote for them. Candidates like Erias Lukwago are wondering where all the people that vowed to vote him out of sympathy after all those hard months of teargas are. While musician, Daniel Kazibwe alias Ragga Dee was sighted at his polling station, constantly scratching his head and wondering where the mammoth crowd that showed up at his very first rally in Katwe are. The rate at which he was nodding his head was worrying, for either he should be tested for the nodding disease, or his head was working its way out of a very perplexing conundrum. But chances are, the musician in him will compose a song about the transpirations at his polling station and the results.

Daniel Kazibwe, aka Ragga Dee an NRM flag bearer for Lord Mayor casts his vote at LC Meeting Place polling station in Makindye Division, Kampala.  Feb 24,2016 Photo by Eddie Ssejjoba
Daniel Kazibwe, aka Ragga Dee an NRM flag bearer for Lord Mayor casts his vote at LC Meeting Place polling station in Makindye Division, Kampala. Feb 24,2016
Photo by Eddie Ssejjoba

At one polling station in Rubaga Division, polling officials were found chilling and playing match critics to the Arsenal versus Barcelona game because they had no voters to attend to. Erick Mukwaya, an agent of Kampala Lord Mayor Candidate Erias Lukwago found at Kyengooge polling station, said different candidates are likely not to reach their target votes due to the decline in voter response.

He said that at his polling station, they are expecting 300 voters but they have not reached even 100 – with three hours left. The situation is the same at Younger Playground as an attendant there said they are expecting 1,000 voters but they had not received even half that number by midday.

A voter casts her ballot at LC Meeting Place Polling Station in Kizungu zone in Makindye division, Feb 24,2016 Photo by Eddie Ssejjoba
A voter casts her ballot at LC Meeting Place Polling Station in Kizungu zone in Makindye division, Feb 24,2016
Photo by Eddie Ssejjoba

At V-Cross (also in Rubaga), a polling assistant said they have 785 voters registered the station had received a lowly 160 voters. Edward Kizza, a voter in Rubaga, said most of the people are not actively participating in today’s elections because they are working – despite it being a public holiday – to compensate for the time they spend taking part in the just concluded presidential elections.

While Hamis Lwebuga, a voter in Makindye says most of the people expected all of the voting to be on the same day.

 

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