Rain delays voting in Jinja by-election

Voting is underway across 47 polling stations for a new Jinja East Member of Parliament.

About 28,000 voters are expected to vote in the poll that has attracted eight candidates including Mr Nathan Igeme Nabeta (NRM), Paul Mwiru (FDC), Mr Faisal Mayemba, Eng Francis Wakabi, Ms Christine Monica Abuze, Mr Paul Mugaya, Mr Richard Nyanzi and Mr Hatim Isabirye Mugendi – all Independents.

However, voting across most polling stations has been delayed due to an early morning downpour.

At Main Street Polling Station, voting started at 8:30am, according to Goretti Twebaze, the Presiding Officer. She explained that out of 820 registered voters only 35 had turned up by 10:00am.

“So far we haven’t encountered any problems. Everything is calm, security is available. There is no problem. Out of 820 voters, only 35 have turned up. We were delayed by rain and I am sure this it has kept some people away,” she said.

At Walukuba-Masese Boys’ Primary School polling Station, voting was delayed by 30 minutes due to rain; however the voters managed to brave the rain using umbrellas.

Edirisa Kigundu, a resident of Alidina Village who voted from Main Street Primary School, said: “The voting is so far going on well despite the presence of many patrol vehicles which almost made me not to come and vote. Despite the rain, there has been no problem.”

At Iganga Road Polling Station, one Fauzi Kawooma, purpoting to be a supporter of the NRM candidate, Nathan Igeme Nabeta was arrested with 20 pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of the NRM candidate.

Kiira region police spokesperson, Diana Nandaula has confirmed the arrest of the suspect but she was still digging up for more facts by press time.

At Lions Club Polling Station, an unidentified agent of FDC candidate, Paul Mwiru, was arrested by Kayunga District NRM Chairperson, Moses Kalangwa Kalisa for unknown reasons by press time.

At Spire Road Polling Station, military police had to be called in after supporters of FDC candidate allegedly chased away an unidentified person who is said to have been brought from neighouring areas of Jinja to vote.

Mwiru’s supporters had keenly observed that those people had been kept at the NRM candidate’s Hotel called C Sand Suite and were being released one-by-one to vote yet they were not Jinja East residents.

NRM flag bearer was expected to vote from Main Street Primary School 10am while FDC’s Mwiru is expected to vote from Walukuba-Masese at noon.

The Jinja-East MP seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal in Kampala nullified Nabeta’s February 2016 victory in January on grounds that he connived with the Electoral Commission (EC) to alter results at Danida A-D polling station which put him at an advantage.

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