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Bribery claims hit Soroti, Jinja elections

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd March 2011 03:00 AM

THE voter turn-up for the municipality and local council polls in the northern and eastern regions was generally low. There were also claims of some candiadtes ferrying voters from one station to another to cast votes in their favour.

THE voter turn-up for the municipality and local council polls in the northern and eastern regions was generally low. There were also claims of some candiadtes ferrying voters from one station to another to cast votes in their favour.

By VISION REPORTERS

THE voter turn-up for the municipality and local council polls in the northern and eastern regions was generally low. There were also claims of some candiadtes ferrying voters from one station to another to cast votes in their favour.

Low voter turn-up in Iganga
At Kasokoso polling centre, the voting exercise started at 7.00am but only 10 voters had voted by midday.

A total of 60 voters had cast their ballots at St. Peters Church polling centre by midday. David Kitende, a polling agent at the station, attributed low voter turn-up to the afternoon heavy downpour.

Ayub Sebidde, the LC I chairman for Kasokoso village, said voters in the area had a tendency of rushing to vote at the last minute.

The main contenders in the mayoral race are the incumbent, Siraji Katono (NRM), and Alex Kiwanuka (DP).

FDC candidate tops in Mbale
Provisional results from the Mbale municipality mayoral race yesterday showed that FDC’s Mutwalibi Zandya was leading.

By 8:00pm, results put Zandya ahead of Hajjat Jamila Naleba, the NRM flag-bearer, and independent candidate Alfred Magomu.

FDC supporters celebrated on Mbale streets, as the Electoral Commision (EC) officials tallied the results.

Earlier during the voting exercise, there was confusion as voters demanded that the tallying exercise start. Voting was delayed for over an hour at lorry park A, B and C centres. Polling officials told voters that they could not start the exercise since they had no seats.

However, the voters insisted on starting the exercise, which brought about chaos. There was heavy deployment by the Police who patrolled the streets and areas neighbouring polling stations.

Jacob Opolot, the district Police commander, said the deployment was to prevent people from disrupting the polls.

Voting in other parts of the dsitrict, reportedly started at 7:30am. A low voter turn-up was observed at most pollingcentres in the municipality.

Voter bribery in Soroti
Polling centres registered a low voter turn-up, compared to the parliamentary polls.

Some of the candidates’ agents were not present at polling stations, because they were reportedly not facilitated.

Charles Oribo, a presiding officer at Agip polling station, said there were no agents for the independent mayoral candidates at the centre.

George Eibu, the presiding officer at Kigandani Omaria road station, said agents for three of the candidates were present.

Charles Okol, an aspirant for the Kengere ward Councilor seat in Eastern Division, said that some candidates had ferried voters from onepolling station to another.

James Okodi (UPC), a FUFA delegate and independents; David Okurut, James Peter Olupot, a teacher and Crispin Ocen also contested in the race.

Selman Etegu , the independent mayoral candidate for the Soroti municipality seat, said he was worried he would not win due to greed of his opponents.

“There is greed for power, especially from the NRM and FDC flag-bearers, who think they must win this race,” Selman said in an interview with New Vision at Moruapesur Primary School.

He said the election was not free and fair because his opponents were using motorcycles and taxis to ferry voters to vote at various polling stations. Two arrested in Jinja The Police in Jinja yesterday arrested a taxi driver and his conductor for allegedly bribing voters with food items.

Ivan Kimalyo, the district criminal investigations chief, declined to reveal the identity of the suspects but confirmed that two people were arrested on Tuesday over voter bribery.

The voting exercise was generally peaceful. There was a low voter turnup at most polling stations, although the voting materials were delivered in time.

A total of 38 people had cast their votes at Narambhai primary school an hour after the voting exercise started.

At Jinja Main Street Primary School, 123 voters from the four polling centres at the school had voted by 8:15am. Majority of those who turned up to vote were women.

At Kakindu stadium, 52 people had voted by 8:39 am with majority of the voters being women. Flavia Mujulizi, the district returning officer, said the outcome would be announced by 1:00 am.

Elections postponed in Gulu
The EC yesterday postponed elections for directly elected councillors for Tegwana parish in Pece division, Gulu municipality.

This followed an incident in which ballot papers for Tegwana North area were packed in the consignment for Tegwana South constituency. Sam Olet, the assistant district registrar for Gulu, said a new poll date would be announced.

Candidates expressed concern over the postponement, saying voters may be discouraged from participating in the exercise.

“The Electoral Commission should always make arrangements to avoid postponements. We have wasted time campaigning and the voters were eager to vote,” Brian Cana, the candidate for Tegwana north, said.

George Odongo, the presiding officer at Pece division headquarters, said some voters were disappointed when they were told their names were not in the register.

There was a low voter turnup at several polling centres.

FDC, NRM clash in Busia
The Police in Busia municipality engaged in running battles with FDC supporters who threatened to harm Robina Nabanja, the former district resident commissioner. They accused Nabanja of rigging elections for the NRM candidate, Michael Mugeni.

Nabanja, who resigned her post to run for the Kibaale district Woman MP seat, reportedly camped in Busia on a mission to ensure that the seat is won by Mugeni.

The Police arrested several people from Sofia and Mawero polling stations for election violence.

Nabanja, said she had come to reconcile feuding NRM supporters.

“I came here to reconcile the conflicting NRM supporters so that they don’t lose the seat to FDC,” she said.

Nabanja said the FDC party had no support in the district but were riding on the wrangles within the NRM party to win. Mugeni, who is the incumbent mayor, is contesting against FDC’s Bwire Hassan Opio. Meanwhile there was a low turn up at most polling stations.

Meanwhile, Aruu county MP-elect Odonga Otto has been declared the winner of the Aruu county seat after Kitgum Magistrates Court dismissed an application seeking a vote recount in Aruu, Pader district.

Compiled by T. Bwambale, G. Bita, J. Wanzusi, E. Alomu, J. Nambogga, P. Watala, C. Ocowun, E. Hajusu, S.Naulele

Bribery claims hit Soroti, Jinja elections

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