Low Voter Turn Up Mars Bubulo West MP By-Election

2824 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Eng. Dr. badru Kigundu, the Electoral Commission chairman who is overseeing the election acknowledges the low voter turn up.

Voting in the ongoing Bubulo west MP by election in Manfwa district kicked off on a low tone this morning. Several polling station visited by URN had not yet opened by 10:00 am about three hours late from the official opening time. Eng. Dr. Badru Kigundu, the electoral commission chairperson announced that the polling stations would open by 7:00am.

However, voting had not yet started at Nabwima, Nanyotso, Bubwanya primary school and Bubulo Girls polling stations by 10:00am when URN visited. Other affected polling stations include Bumayeki, Manafwa town council Red Cross Youth and Busikwiya. At most of the stations agents of some of the candidates had not turned up to witness the opening of the election materials.  

In some polling stations, less than five voters had turn up to witness the opening of the election materials. At Red Cross Youth polling station, the electoral commission delivered wrong election materials. The materials that were delivered belong to Busikwiya polling station. A few of the polling stations that had opened had equally registered a very low voter turn up.

At Wakwiya polling station only 35 of the 800 registered voters had cast their votes by 10:00am while in Kibanga polling station only 10 of the 750 registered voters had cast their votes.  At Bwagogo polling station only 52 of the 600 voters had turned up. Eng. Dr. badru Kigundu, the Electoral Commission chairman who is overseeing the election acknowledges the low voter turn up. He however says the commission made adequate administrative, logistical and security arrangements to ensure that voting in all the 145 polling stations start at 7:00am.

Kigundu however says record indicates that in most cases very few voters turn up in by elections. He is however optimistic that by 4:00pm, the turn up will have improved. There are a total of 68, 862 registered voters in Bubulo west constituency. Jacob Opolot, the Elgon Regional Police Commander who is overseeing law and order says so far the voting exercise is peaceful as they have not yet registered any major incident. Five candidates are contesting the by-election to replace Tonny Kipoi who was thrown out of parliament for absconding from duty.

They are Ahamada Wakhweya, the FDC candidate, NRM’s Rose Mutonyi Masaba and DP’s Paul Butita. Others are Joseph Bufambu Masalo and Emma Mwiyikinya, both independents.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.