Rain disrupts Hoima by-election polls, analysts warn on malpractices in bad weather

A polling station in Kigorobya County, Hoima District as at Thursday, September 14, 2023. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

The heavy downpour this (Thursday) morning has disrupted Hoima LC5 by-election with failure to beat time realised despite the timely arrival of kits at almost all polling stations.

At Buhamba Polling Station, Mr Fred Kyotalengeriire, the Presiding Officer, says they were ready to start at 7am as set by the Electoral Commission but it was not possible due to weather challenges and desire for transparency at the start.

At most stations voters were seen crowded at verandahs of social infrastructure seeking shelter from the rain.

Mr Geoffrey Beeraheeru, a political analyst popular in ‘Ekyobaire otamanyire’ radio programme in Hoima city, says the rainy weather may facilitate rigging but can also favour a democratic election since movements may also be affected by the champions of rigging.

Audio: Beeraheeru on bad weather for poll (English)

“Those rigging use cars to move quickly which may not be easy on rural roads. But it is possible that if others have not arrived, some people may take advantage of that to vote for them. These are areas citizens have to look at to ensure that we end with a fair election,” he says.

Justice Simon Byabakama, the national Electoral Commission Chairman, says they remain in control and advises the voters to make every possible effort to enjoy universal suffrage and have the leader of their choice.

“We shall do everything possible to have a free and fair election,” he says.

Voting at Buhamba COU Polling Station, was soon starting with some voters present by 8am amid rain.

At Kigorobya COU polling station, voting started a little earlier but by 8am they were forced to halt it as they shifted due to safety and security of the kits during the rain.

In Bombo sub-county, at Bwikya Catholic Church Polling Station, about 20 voters had arrived by 8:30am including Mr Henry Kamanyire who said come shine or rain, he had to report and vote.

Mr Moses Kugongo, the Kihohoro village Chairman in Buraru sub-county told Kazi-njema News that by 9am polling had not started despite kits having arrived at 6am.

In Kabaale sub-county, the situation was not different.

However, in Buhanika sub-county parts of Katereiga, the election was going on well without any disruption of rain.

About 90,000 voters are expected to cast votes in the entire district.

The candidates in the race are the independent and National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaning, Mr Vincent Muhumuza; Mr Moses Aguuda of the National Unity Platform (NUP); Mr Patrick Musinguzi of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC); Mr Uthuman Mubarak Migisha of NRM and Mr Lenox Mugume who is independent.


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