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Crime Preventers Delay Voting in Wakiso District over Pay

Earlier today, four trucks loaded with voting materials could not leave Katabi Sub County headquarters in Busiro South, Wakiso district after dozens of crime preventers refused to board before getting their allowances.

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Distribution of polling materials and start of voting in Local Council 5 elections in parts of Wakiso District was delayed by crime preventers who demanded for upfront payment of their allowances before executing their work.

Crime Preventers are a volunteer force of civilians recruited and managed by police to report on and prevent crime in cooperation with the police and communities.

Although, the legitimacy of the force is questionable owing to their affiliation to the ruling National Resistance Movement party, they form part of the group contracted to escort voting materials as well as guard the polling stations.

They are paid 20,000 Shillings in allowances for each polling day.

Earlier today, four trucks loaded with voting materials could not leave Katabi Sub County headquarters in Busiro South, Wakiso district after dozens of crime preventers refused to board before getting their allowances.

Polling officials and Police officers who were already aboard the trucks and other vehicles, waited for over an hour as the crime preventers, in unison, swarmed the Electoral Commission Sub County Supervisor, Ben Mutebi, to pay them.

Mutebi said the norm is that the allowances are paid after the election period.

//Cue in: They get allowances …

Cue out: … are doing now.//

After failing to get what they wanted, some of them wanted just some money to enable them go through the day. One of them was heard pleading for just 500 Shillings before he could get on board.

//Cue in: Afande [confusion]

Cue out: … shillings only.//

It was getting to 8am when the crestfallen crime preventers agreed to leave. They reluctantly boarded the trucks and went to perform the duty of protecting the polls.

As a result, voting in the Sub County started after 9am, two hours after the official opening time of 7am.

The Wakiso District Chairman race is between three candidates –Mathias Lwanga Bwanika of the Democratic Party, Kyeyune Umar of the Forum for Democratic Change and Nsubuga John of the National Resistance Movement party.

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