Security tightened as Kyadondo East goes to polls

Voters in Kabbubu polling stations N-Z in Kyadondo East have expressed mixed feelings after police directed them to vacate the premises after voting.

Kazimbazi Lawrence, one of the voters who has just cast his vote, says the police order means they will not stay at the polling stations in order to guard against possible irregularities.

Muhammad Balikowa, the Officer in Charge Kabbubu Police post says the electorates are being dispersed to avoid commotion by boda boda motorists who have formed groups at the entrance to the polling station. These groups were directing people to vote specific candidates, according to Balikowa.

He advises them to monitor the elections from a distance.

The Kyadondo East parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court nullifying the victory of Apollo Kantinti, a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FCD). Court cited non-compliance with the electoral laws, disfranchising voters and failing to secure custody of election materials.

Kantinti is in the race to reclaim his seat alongside four other candidates including Sitenda Sebalu who is standing on the ruling NRM party ticket.

It is Sebalu who petitioned court after losing to Kantinti by a margin of 326 votes in the February 2016 parliamentary race.

Other candidates in the race are Independents Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu also known as Bobi Wine, a local musician, Nkunyingi Muwada Sowedi Kayongo Male. Though Kyagulanyi and Nkunyingi stood as Independents, they have both identified with FDC before.

After casting his ballot at Magere Polling station, Kyagulanyi called for calm among his supporters.

Flanked by his wife Barbara Itungo, Kyagulanyi arrived at Magere at 8:30am and cast his vote at 8:45am.

“I Pray to God that many people will vote me today so that our dream as Kyadondo East people bears fruits,” Kyagulanyi told some of his excited supporters. As he left the polling station, he appealed to his supporters to look after the voting process. “I ask you (supporters) to stay at the polling station to protect our votes. Represent me at polling station and I will represent you in parliament,” he said.

Kyadondo East has 93 polling stations and 72,818 registered voters.