- Heavy rains disrupted the voting process
- FDC party is represented by Paul Mwiru while NRM is by Igeme Nabeta and Independent candidates are Faisal Mayemba, Eng Francis Wakabi, Hatim Mugendi, Christine Monica Abuze, Paul Mugaya, Mr Richard Nyanzi
- Cases of ballot staffing were registered in parts of the constituency
The Jinja By-elections have been marred by chaos as police engaged some of the voters in running battles after allegations of ballot staffing were discovered.
CCEDDU, that is also monitoring the elections, said in their preliminary observations that: “For instance, Main Street Primary School, police conducted various arrests on account of NRM party supporters allegedly campaigning around the polling center.”
The Coordinator Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), Crispin Kaheru, said most urban polling stations had as many as 30 security persons supervising a polling station–a number that surpasses what has been seen before in hotly contested elections such as, the Kyadondo East Constituency by-election conducted in 2017.
“Volatile Jinja town areas attracted much higher deployment. In some cases, security deployment was of an intrusive nature and catalyzed rowdiness among locals,” he said.
In law and in principle, the EC is supposed to manage all aspects of the election including, security. Perceptions around security agencies occasionally interfering with the electoral environment outside the purview of the EC still exist. EC needs to counter both the perceptions and realities of being subordinate to security agencies on matters electoral security.
The Jinja metropolitan area, specifically Main Street was the theater of chaotic scenes resulting from occasional running battles between the security personnel and locals.
Kaheru added that vigilante citizens exposed this anomaly and the 5th polling station was immediately removed. “Voters demonstrated exceptional vigilance in the by-election, to the extent that most of those who turned up to vote at different polling stations remained around, until the time of counting the votes – after 4:00pm,” he said.
Allegations of vote rigging, ballot stuffing and voter bribery remained widely spread. At some point, FDC President, Patrick Oboi Amuriat who was in the Constituency displayed a ballot paper that was pre-ticked in favour of NRM’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta. The EC however dismissed the complaints around leaked and pre-ticked ballot papers noting that the serial numbers on the allegedly pre-ticked ballots were different from those that EC held in their custody.