According to the Electoral Commission guidelines, voters can only access polling stations if they are wearing a face mask and have washed their hands with soap and water. But there were no handwashing facilities at the stations today, neither did they provide hand sanitisers, to help voters to keep coronavirus disease at bay. In fact, even those with no face masks were not stopped from voting, both in Kampala and Wakiso.
The rains started a few minutes after 4 p.m. as stations closed the exercise, which was rather poorly attended. Polling officials in Nakawa and Makindye rushed to secure the ballot boxes in nearby shelters, from the open space where polling was conducted, all day long.
Reagan Opiro, a voter in Tegwana Parish says he made several failed attempts to vote in the morning because his identity couldn't easily be verified by the machine until he voted manually. He added that some of the voters he was queuing with left after thy became impatient.
Although voting at the place had started well and moved on calmly, it suddenly became chaotic when police were tipped about a group of women moving with candidate's posters and distributing money to voters.
Francis Junior Rwabarasi was manning Ruburara primary school Polling station in Rubaya Sub county. The district returning officer Betty Komugyereko says the presiding officer was replaced with the polling assistant and voting proceeded.
At the three polling stations at Kampala Hill Academy in Kyebando, four in Kazo Angola, Six at Homisdallen and to the four at St. Paul's Primary School in Kyebando Central, there were no more than five people in the line at any time. At some point, there was no one at all, save for the polling officials and agents.
"We saw the polling assistant entering the hall with ballot papers that he had plucked out of the ballot book. We followed him up only to find him meeting with the agents of NRM candidates. We couldn't wait for their next action and that's how the chaos began," noted one of Nyanjura agents.
One of the stray bullets caught 14-year-old Tulero Mourine, who was pumping water at a borehole at Alega primary school. She was rushed to Apac general hospital for medical. Odongo says the gunmen shot his tyres four times but one bullet caught the teenager.
In some places, one could hardly notice a polling station. At Mukwano Centre, a security guard told our reporter that a polling station, which was hosted there last week, had been shifted to another side to allow businessmen to display their stock and to attract buyers.
The Lamwo District Returning Officer Samuel Olet says that the elections of Potika Sub County female Councilor in Lamwo County were cancelled after the ballot papers were not found in the ballot boxes.
The Candidate; Raymond Ochieng was disqualified after a resident identified as Aggrey Oundo petitioned the Electoral Commission on account that the candidate had submitted fewer signatures than those stipulated under the Local Government Elections Act, for his nomination.
However, at several polling stations visited by URN reporters, there were either few or no polling agents. Even candidates sponsored by parties which have grassroots structures in Wakiso like National Resistance Movement; Forum for Democratic Change and Democratic Party had no representation.
At many polling stations in Lira, the voting activity has not yet started because there are no voters. The polling assistants and agents are seated hoping that any time, voters will walk in and exercise their right.