Ballot papers intended for the LC5 elections in Entebbe Municipality ended up at a polling station in Mbale this morning, throwing elections there into confusion.
Umar Kiyimba, the Mbale Returning Officer, says 500 misplaced ballot papers were found at Amber Stores polling station. He says they were for directly elected LC5 councilors for Entebbe.
Kiyimba says it was the result of a simple mix up in packing. He doesn't anticipate this to affect elections at the polling station and says they will use excess ballot papers from Mbale Municipality to meet the shortage.
Elsewhere in Mbale Municipality voting started on a low note.
Johnson Ginuli, the presiding officer at North Road A polling station says only 10 people had voted by 9:00 a.m. At North Road B, the presiding officer Fred Mukasa is puzzled as to why the turn up was so low. He had only six people at his station an hour after voting started.
At Elgon Nursery polling station voting was delayed because of the late delivery of materials and the unavailability of furniture. The presiding officer says the nursery school's watchman refused to grant them access to the furniture, accusing them abandoning the tables and chairs in the rain during the presidential and parliamentary elections.
In addition to this, there are a number of external factors affecting the polls.
Suleiman Wambede, a trader on Mabua Road, says the high taxi fares from Mbale town to the countryside have discouraged many people from voting. He cannot afford to go home to Bungokho to vote in the LC5 elections.
Mbale taxi fares were hiked because of a fuel shortage in the district. A liter of petrol is today selling for between 3,500 and 3,800 shillings.