Voters in Nakawa Division (East and West), on Friday stormed over 160 polling stations in different parishes to vote for candidates of their choices, who shall be the NRM flag bearers in the 2021 general elections.
There were two positions, the Constituency Member of Parliament and the Woman Member of Parliament. Unlike in Nakawa East where the Constituency MP, Fredrick Ruhindi was unopposed, in Nakawa West, the position attracted voter’s attention since it had three candidates.
The candidates included the former Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Margret Zziwa Nantongo, Ben Sebuliba Kalumba the former LC 5 Nakawa and a Ugandan of Indian origin, Mukesh Shukla.
The final results that were declared by Sharifah Namwaase, the Nakawa NRM Registrar at 9:00 pm at Naguru Infant Primary School, indicated that Zziwa had won this position with a range of over 700 votes.
According to the final results, Zziwa scored 1,991 votes followed by Mukesh who polled 1,275 votes and Kalumba scored 1,240 votes.
After the declaration of the results, Mukesh congratulated Zziwa upon the win and promised to work together with her to make sure that the party wins the Nakawa seat in the forthcoming general elections.
He called upon his fellow loser, Kalumba, who was the second runner up, to do the same for the betterment of the party and Nakawa West.
Polls marred by violence due to alleged ghost voters
By 9:00 am, the major competition was between Mukesh and Kalumba but the game later changed when Zziwa’s supporters stormed different polling stations and voted massively in her favor.
The voting process attracted violent incidents in some polling stations after bribe and ghost voter’s allegations were brought up by most of the candidate’s agents and supporters especially those who were on the losing side.
At Nakawa Sub County, which was the main polling station for these polls, voting which was supposed to start at 11:00 am, commenced at 1:00 pm and voting for the Kampala woman MP was ended prematurely.
The fracas broke out at around 11:30 am when supporters of Zziwa accused their counterparts, particularly Kalumba’s team, for allegedly ferrying in members of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and ‘street boys’ to vote.
“Yes, the president allowed all people to come and vote as long as they are members of NRM but he did not say that members from Mutungo should vote from Kasenke,” one supporter exclaimed.
Although police, led by a one Katuramu, managed to calm the situation, supporters of Shamimu Nanfuma, one of the Kampala Woman MP aspirants, failed to adhere to orders and as such, Faridah Nambi, her counterpart was declared unopposed at that polling station.
Some voters also boycotted the polls arguing that the election supervisors were not free and fair, an allegation Kefaus Ayesiga, the election supervisor rubbished.
“We organized a free and fair election, everyone has been given a chance to vote and as I talk now, we have all the results of all candidates. I request that whoever is not satisfied should use the right means of complaining and we shall sort them out,” Ayesiga noted.
Bribery at the polling stations
All candidates allegedly gave various forms of bribe to voters, according to the numerous voters who spoke to ChimpReports at this polling station.
George Otieni, a resident of Naguru (I) village in Nakawa Parish alleged that he openly saw candidates giving out bribe, and also confessed to have received some cash from two area councilors (Winnie Nandudu and Simon Barigo).
“I saw Nandudu giving Shs 20,000 to voters from behind that tent (points at it) but no matter what, we want Zziwa. That is why we ate the money but come back and voted for her (Zziwa),” he noted.
“You are very stupid! You give me Shs 2000 and expect me to vote for your candidate yet there is someone who gives Shs 20,000?” one voter shouted at Kalumba’s polling agent.
Asked for a comment on these allegations, Simon Barigo, the LC (III) Councilor Naguru one, who was among the accused said, “this voting has been free and fair and no bribe was given out to anyone. Some people, especially supporters of Nanfuma, just feared defeat and decided to disorganize the process,” he said.
Paul Isabirye, the campaigning agent of Mukesh Shukla, distributed money in form of bribe to voters openly. This went on for sometime before he got arrested by police. He was briefly detained before being released by the police unit that was guarding the polls.
“For me, I was just giving out some milk to my friends but not bribe because Shs 3000 is not bribe,” Isabirye told ChimpReports after his release.
Meanwhile, at Naguru Infant Primary School where the final tallying was carried out, one of Zziwa’s agents who preferred anonymity, admitted that his boss had given out a lot of money to lure voters to her side.
“As you know, people want to eat. Truth is we gave out a lot of money compared to any other candidate and what I know, if you want to contest for NRM primaries, you need a minimum budget of Shs 300m if you are to succeed, according to what I saw,” he noted.
In most of the polling stations in Kyambogo-Nabisunsa and Naguru, voters exhibited interest in the Nakawa West seat polls more than the woman MP seat.
At Kasenke (5) polling station, the voters were seen holding posters of Zziwa and Kalumba, yet they were voting for Kampala Women MPs; Shamimu Nanfuma and Faridah Nambi.
In Nakawa East, the voting was smooth and peaceful, according to Jimmy Opio, the Parish Supervisor. Opio attributed the peaceful polls to the fact that the main candidate, Fredrick Rukindi, had gone unopposed.
Meanwhile, as per the Nakawa Division results for the post of Kampala Woman MP Seat, Faridah Nambi scored 6,284 votes beating her only counterpart Shamim Nanfuma with a range of over 3500 votes. Nanfuma got 2,188, according to results declared by Namwaase.
Covid-19 SOPs Violation
For the record, and as witnessed from various polling stations in Nakawa Division, voters did not follow the presidential directives and guidelines set by the Ministry of Health in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
There was no social distancing neither wearing of face masks and those who had them, wore them improperly.
It remains to be seen how this situation will affect the already skyrocketing Covid-19 cases in the country.