Nebbi voters boycot NRM primaries

By Benedict Okethwengu

A number of voters preferred to continue with their usual gardening work instead of participating in the voting.

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PIC: Voters at one of the polling stations in Nebbi. (Credit: Benedict Okethwengu)

POLITICS

NEBBI- Voter’s apathy is severely affecting the NRM primary elections to choose party flagbearers for Nebbi Municipality elections which are slated for July.

A number of voters preferred to continue with their usual gardening work instead of participating in the voting.

Some voters’ names were missing from the register.

"I can't imagine after waiting for a month for this election, I cannot see my name. It is disappointing and ridiculous," said Okello Jimmy, one of the voters.

A mini-survey by New Vision in most of the polling stations in Nebbi Municipal Council painted a gloomy picture about the elections

Most of the polling officials were seen yawning and those who have smartphones would be seen swiping them, while others were busy conversing.

Gilbert Onegiu, the presiding officer a Mayor's Garden polling station, said the voters’ turn up was low.

He also confirmed that there were cases of missing names of some voters.

He doubted whether he would be able to register about one third of voters out the 530 voters at that polling stations.

The NRM electoral commission had announced it would on Monday, June 4, carry out  primary elections  to choose  party flagbearers  for Nebbi Municipality elections, which were slated for July.

The NRM party postponed its primary elections last month due to what party officials said was as a result of  administrative issues.

The  programme for the NRM primary elections  coincides with nomination of other candidates by the National  Electoral Commission which is also slated to start on Monday, June 4.

Melki Kakura, the Nebbi district NRM registrar, told New Vision  that the process was going on well.

Nebbi is among the six newly-created municipalities in the country that became operational in July 2016 without technical and political positions.

It has three divisions of Abindu, Thatha and Central division with a population of 35,029 and 35 polling stations.

The Electoral Commission, recently asked political parties to prepare their candidates to fill the more than 3,000 political positions created by these administrative units.

A number of aspirants have shown interest for the different political positions in Nebbi municipality

Two candidates were nominated last month to contest in the NRM primaries  for  the MP seat while candidates for other posts  remain unopposed.

They are Patrick Ringa, former minister for public service and Hashim Suleiman, a new entrant in the political arena.

Suleiman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies from Islamic University in Uganda, while Ringa holds a PhD.

Raymond Kisaarale, the Nebbi district returning officer, said they will proceed with nomination of other candidates.

According to Kisaarale, the nomination will take three days from Monday to Wednesday.