Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kitgum Municipality recorded a high turnup of voter’s participating in the elections of Municipality Mayor and Division councillors today. Polling stations that Uganda Radio Network visited within the Divisions of Pager, Pandwong and Central had registered a good turn up of voters.
Today’s voter turn-up according to presiding officers is remarkably high compared to last week’s local Government council elections that saw very few voting. At Upland polling station in Pandwong Division, at least 100 voters out of the 242 registered voters had already voted by 11:50 a.m. Innocent Okot, the presiding officer at the polling station told URN in an interview that unlike today, last week during the local government council elections, only 101 people voted a the end of the day.
At Ayul A South Tecwa polling station in Pager Division, a total of 120 people had cast their votes by 11 a.m. out of the 559 registered voters at the polling station. Vicky Adyero, the presiding officer at the polling station also reiterated that the numbers are higher than what they registered last week.
According to her, although the polling materials arrived early, voting kicked off late due to lack of the required ten people to witness ballot opening by 8:26 a.m. But within a few minutes after the start, the numbers started flowing.
The situation was also the same at Ayul B Corner [L-Z] in Pager Division were a total of 150 voters had by 10 am finished casting their votes out of the 773 registered voters. At Te Acut Polling station in Central Division, at least 113 people had also voted out of 642 registered voters.
Allan Ken Lokdwong, a polling assistant at the polling station says voting started at 8:06 am adding that the turn up has so far been better than last week’s elections.
At Janani Luwum polling station in Central Division, Joseph Lakony, the presiding officer says the turn-up of voters are impressive and believe more will cast their votes unlike last week’s elections. He says 71 voters out of 381 registered voters at the polling station had already cast their vote by 11:05 a.m.
Although voting started peacefully without any major incidences in polling stations within the municipality, there were some reports of voter bribery by agents of some of the candidates contesting for the Municipality Mayoral seat.
For instance, one of the voters who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisal disclosed that she was approached by two different men riding motorcycles with offers of shillings 5,000 and 1,000as airtime to vote for their preferred candidates.
“…As I was going to Luwum polling station, some bodaboda riders approached me and demanded to know the candidate I was going to vote for, they asked me if they can give me 5,000 shillings. Another one later came and offered me 1,000 shillings as airtime to vote for his candidate but honestly, I don’t know their candidate. When I came out of my home, I already had my candidate to vote for…”
In Kitgum Municipality, six candidates are seeking for the Municipality Mayoral seat.
They are Walter Livings Too-roma, the incumbent Mayor contesting as an independent candidate, Richard Okwera Ojara, independent, Simon Peter Loum FDC, Richard Okot Okello-NRM, Marino Ongee Lol-Independent and Filder Abwono Obote-Independent. Daniel Ongaya Goevins, one of the candidates nominated in the race, however, stepped down.