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Candidates, Voters in Entebbe Ignore COVID-19 SOPs on Last Day of Campaigns

On Saturday, as candidates conducted the final lap of the campaigns, some of them struggled to control the crowds and eventually addressed more than 200 people. They disregarded the other standard operating procedures such as wearing a face mask, and avoiding handshakes and hugs. He also disregarded the other standard operating procedures such as properly wearing a face mask, and avoiding handshakes and hugs, Mutebi instead wore his face mask around his neck, hugged and shook hands with voters.
Entebbe MP-elect alongside Olive Nassuna on the campaign trail in Bugonga. NUP photo

Audio 7

Candidates vying for the municipality mayoral and councillor seats in Entebbe struggled to control crowds on the last day of campaigns.

In November, the Electoral Commission banned campaign rallies and asked the candidates to only meet gatherings of less than 200 people as a way to combat the spread of coronavirus disease.

On Saturday, as candidates conducted the final lap of the campaigns, some of them struggled to control the crowds and eventually addressed more than 200 people. These include Michael Kabwama Mutebi Nyamayalwo, the NRM candidate and Olive Nassuna of National Unity Platform candidate in the Entebbe Municipality mayoral race.

Other candidates in the same race are independent candidates Mohamed Kawuma, Fabrice Rulinda, Gerald Muwonge, Alliance for National Transformation-ANT's Kenneth Ssimbwa and Vincent De Paul Kayanja, the incumbent and Democratic Party-DP candidate.

Mutebi met over 200 people at Mayor's Garden and thereafter, which is 500 meters away from Entebbe Police Station and then led a procession of over 200 supporters from Mayor's Garden to Katabi Namate Primary School up to Banga-Nakiwogo landing site as he conducted door to door campaigns.

He also disregarded the other standard operating procedures such as wearing a face mask, and avoiding handshakes and hugs, Mutebi instead wore his face mask around his neck, hugged and shook hands with voters.

Mutebi said that it was difficult to control the crowds at a time he and other NRM candidates are struggling to counter the "NUP wave".

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Nassuna, who combed the streets of Bugonga, Manyago and Katabi-Busambaga in Division A, also struggled with controlling the crowds who were excited to meet her for the first time and also to interact with Michael Kakembo, the Entebbe Municipality MP-elect.

Nassuna, however, says that despite joining the campaign trail a month late, the crowds symbolise the overwhelming support she and other NUP candidates will receive on Monday's elections. She is also capitalizing on the "NUP wave" across the country to convince voters.

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Ssimbwa, the Alliance for National Platform-ANT candidate conducted door to door campaigns in Bugonga.

Democratic Party's candidates including the incumbent Vincent De Paul (Entebbe Municipality Mayor) and councillors also held the door to door campaigns in Bugonga, around Lake Side Primary, Bugonga Landing site.

Francis Makumbi, the chairperson DP Entebbe Branch, says it is easier to control crowds when conducting door to door campaigns because the candidate reaches out to voters from their homes or workplaces.

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The heavy downpour in Namasuba Kikajjo and parts of Makindye-Ssababgabo disrupted the last day of campaigns. The rains started from midday until past 4 pm. The rains affected NUP, FDC, and DP, NRM and independent candidates and their agents who were conducting campaigns.