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Voters Resolute Despite Delayed Voting in Entebbe

In four polling stations at Kitende Community Centre, polling started at 11am, to the irritation of voters who had lined up since 6am. Electoral officials are tight-lipped on what could have caused the five-hour delay in an area that has easy access.

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Voting has started five hours late in several polling stations in Busiro South, Wakiso District. It is not clear what caused such a delay in the area situated a few meters away from the Electoral Commission offices in Entebbe Municipality.

In four polling stations at Kitende Community Centre, polling started at 11am, to the irritation of voters who had lined up since 6am. Electoral officials are tight-lipped on what could have caused the five-hour delay in an area that has easy access.

In Entebbe Municipality, tens of thousands of voters thronged polling stations and endured the scorching sun even as voting delayed in almost all polling stations. By 6am dozens of voters and polling agents had arrived at designated centers.

At the Mayor's Garden, which is just a stone throw away from the Electoral Commission offices for the Greater Entebbe area, polling materials arrived at about 7:30 am, half an hour late.

Several voters are demanding that voting be extended beyond the specified time to compensate for the lost time.  One of the voters Aaron Obiro hopes that areas where such delays were registered will be able to vote beyond 4pm.

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Joseph Wamala, the polling agent for the Democratic Party Parliamentary candidate Michael Kakembo, expressed discontent at the late start.

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Wamala's concerns were also echoed by David Anguyo, the polling agent of independent parliamentary candidate John White Baleke.

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But National Resistance Movement's supervisor for Entebbe A Joseph Mbuga Wambuga said materials were distributed in time for the process in areas he is supervising. He adds that with a good turn up and a friendly weather, the process will be smooth even in areas with delays.

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As the electoral officials prepared the voting materials, voters queued in an organized manner and waited patiently to cast their votes. Didas Ahimbisibwe, a voter at St. Joseph Katabi polling centre, was one of the many voters in the line.

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Prof. Badru Kiggundu, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, admitted that there have been delays and apologized for the anomalies. Addressing the media a while ago, Prof. Kiggundu said the situation in affected areas, particularly in Wakiso and Kampala has normalized.

He appealed to voters to ensure they go to vote before the end time of 4:00 pm.

The stakes in Entebbe are high. Not only is Entebbe the home of State House, and in effect the presidency, it has also had, over time, stiff competition between the ruling National Resistance Movement and the Democratic Party candidates.

13 candidates are contesting for the Parliamentary seat.

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