A section of Polling Assistants (PAs)in Budaka Sub County, Budaka District have accused officials of the Electoral Commission of deliberately eliminating them from list that will oversee today’s Local Council Sub County polls.
The PAs who spoke to Chimpreports on condition of anonymity, accused the district top EC officials who include; Norah Lunyoro, the District Returning Officer, Andrew Jakolya, the Budaka Sub County EC Supervisor and Gedeon Kamba the Presiding Officer, of having ill intentions in today’s polls.
“They know that we shall be keen and extra careful as it has been to stop them from rigging and that is why they have eliminated us,” said one of the disgruntled PA.
PAs claim that the EC officials want to rig today’s polls in favor of Isa Gule who is on Independent ticket against the National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s Wilson Wayira who are competing in the Budaka S/C Chairperson polls.
“They have for example removed us from Nansekese polling station which has 912 voters, probably the polling station with the highest number of voters and when one wins here, he has taken the race,” they said
EC Officials Respond
In a telephone interview with the Chimpreports, Andrew Jakolya, the Budaka Sub County EC Supervisor admitted cutting off these polling assistants but attributed it to funding gaps.
“During the Presidential, Mayoral and LC 5 elections, we had six tables on every polling station, which is not the case with today’s. We received funding for five people per polling station this time round, if it was you, what would you do?” he asked.
Jakolya noted that he convened a meeting on Friday and explained everything to this team before cutting some of them off.
“I asked them if some were willing to work on a no pay or share the available amount, which they equally refused,” he said.
Asked on the criteria he followed while reducing the numbers, Jakolya said, “We based on their discipline because there are some whose actions nearly led to the discontinuation of the polls so it was an automatic cut off for such.”
The Sub County has eight polling station and 8 PAs were cut off according to Jakolya, “We remained with five per polling station,” he said
Asked on voter turn up, Jakolya, who was supervising the polling stations said that the polling had kicked off smoothly and voters had started coming in large numbers.