Masaka Polls Called Off Over Missing Ballots

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In short
Umar Ssebulime, the greater Masaka Region NRM Administrative Secretary says they resolved to call off the LC V chairpersons polls in the municipality due to the missing ballot papers.

Primary elections for the NRM candidate for the Masaka District LC V chairperson's seat have been called off following the disappearance of ballot papers. The ballot papers reportedly vanished from Masaka Central Police Station where they were delivered for safe custody on Friday evening.

 The aspirants expressed shock when they found the boxes containing the ballot papers empty. Those vying for election as NRM flag bearer for the Masaka LC V chairperson's seat include Matia Mulindwa Kagugube, Joseph Kalungi and Saudah Namaggwa.
On discovering the ballot papers missing, Kagugube lost his cool and accused officers at the station for being behind the disappearance of the ballot papers. Kagugube told URN that he is surprised that the voting material could disappear in the full of Officers at the Police station.

Joseph Mugerwa, the Masaka NRM Electoral Officer just shook his head and stormed out of Masaka central police station. Umar Ssebulime, the greater Masaka Region NRM Administrative Secretary says they resolved to call off the LC V chairperson's polls in the municipality due to the missing ballot papers. 

According to Mugerwa, they will conduct the polls on Sunday once the NRM Secretariat delivers new ballot papers.

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By 1pm, several polling stations had not yet received ballot papers for the election of the Masaka Mayoral, Bukoto East, Masaka municipality and Masaka district Woman MP seats.
Our reporter visited Patel polling station and found the presiding officer Juliet Namubiru stranded. Juliet Namubiru told URN that she had only received part of the voting materials needed.
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At Elgin, Masaka SS and Kimanya polling stations, the voters were stranded without ballot papers. John Mwaure, the Masaka District Police Commander declined to comment on how the ballot papers disappeared from the Police station.
This is the second time NRM primaries in Masaka have been messed up. Last month, Masaka district did not conduct elections following reports of electoral malpractices. It came after the ballot papers district were found tampered with.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.