As early as 6am, residents of School Village in Walukuba East Parish, Walukuba-Masese division in Jinja Municipality were already ready to cast their vote in what has been the most anticipated vote in Ugandan politics. Ugandans across the country have anxiously waited for this day and judging by the social media posts, School Village was no exception to the anticipation.
Incumbent Member of Parliament for Jinja East Constituency Paul Mwiru is a resident of School Village and judging by the heat this campaign has generated, we decided to follow him to the polling station as he cast his vote to get a second shot at the hotly contested seat.
At 1320hrs, Mwiru arrived at the polling station in the company of his wife in a white double cabin pick-up truck. Clad in a blue checkered shirt and blue jeans, Mwiru proceeded to join the long queue of voters eager to cast their vote; some for the very first time. Mwiru was willing to wait for his turn but the voters in line couldn’t stand the scenario and requested that he goes straight ahead to the first desk and proceed to cast his vote.
Being the people’s servant (according to his campaign tagline Mwiru ku Mwiru, Mwiru obliged and stepped out of the queue. At exactly 1330hrs, Mwiru’s credentials were verified and it was also verified that he hadn’t yet voted; he was given the Presidential and Parliamentary ballots and he went on to vote.
“I actually informed the security organs because I had gotten intelligence information that my supporters were going to be attacked. I find it weird that they DIDN’T act on that..”Advertisement
In an interview after casting his vote, Mwiru applauded the process saying it was so far so good at his polling station unlike other stations where the polling assistants weren’t well versed with the bio-metric verification device slowing down the whole process.
“At this station, they are doing it the right way; your name is checked in the register and you proceed to be verified. In other places like Spire, they were considering the National ID yet we got intelligence information that some people were going to be issued these IDs. Here, if your name is not on the register, you can’t vote.” He however decried the laziness of the Electoral Commission and begged that time be extended since the actual voting had been delayed by close to 4 hours, “Here, the voting kits arrived at 0930hrs and voting kicked off an hour later at 1030hrs. I’m begging Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu to make an extension of time since he has the mandate to do so”
On the whole, the usually tough talking Mwiru believes the process is so far so good. Commenting on the heavy deployment, Mwiru said it had a positive and negative effect, “On the positive side, it will deter people from engaging in violence. On the negative, some of our people are already intimidated by the deployment”
A visibly sleep-deprived Mwiru had no kind word about the violence that was meted onto his supporters the previous night. “I actually informed the security organs because I had gotten intelligence information that my supporters were going to be attacked. I find it weird that they didn’t act on that. I had a meeting with the EC Commandant for these polls and he was very cooperative.”
Paul Mwiru is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Jinja Municipality East Constituency; a hotly contested seat that drew shots from NRM’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta, who is also the founder and CEO of NBS Group of Companies, a mother company of 89.4 NBS FM, 89 Smart FM and KoTV. The two have had courts battles that have drawn their camps further apart to a point that they are belligerents.
It is only a matter of time before the polls, in which Uganda decides who it wants to take them through the next five years as President and Parliamentary representative, come to an end. Like us on Facebook and get updates about the polls in Jinja