Mpongwe residents are voting in the race that has been dominated by the ruling PF and the UPND whose candidates Gabriel Namulambe and Rapson Chilufya respectively are both optimistic of winning the elections which are as a result of Namulambe’s defection from MMD to the PF.
And some voters have complained about the road block mounted by traffic police along the Mpongwe Machiya road saying a lot of people on the public vehicles being impounded may be disenfranchised but police say the road block is one of the routine police operations.
The votes have started on a very low note but presiding officers in the polling stations say the turn up may rise as the day picks up.
At St. Theresa in Ibenga ward only 360 people had voted by 11:00hrs.
A survey by the watchdog revealed that the top contenders for the seat were Chilufya and Namulambe.
“The key man is Chilufya going by the numbers he was pulling at the rallies but Namulambe’s popularity has also been growing especially after President sata’s rally over the weekend,” said a source who had not voted by 10:00hrs. At Butikili 70 out 563 voters had cast their votes.
Meanwhile some voters have complained that it was wrong for the police to mount road blocks on routes leading to the polling stations. A Check found that police had mountd a road block at Masaiti and a number of vehicles were stopped and some impounded and charged with traffic offences. Police say the check point is a routine traffic operation and was not tied to the elections.
Voters especially from the opposition say the timing is deliberate and a political ploy by the PF to disenfranchise people. “Some of us are rushing to go and cast the vote but this will delay us or just completely hinder us from voting, they don’t always put road block here but why today?” wondered a man who was on a bus that was found impounded at the Masaiti road block.
Voting still continues until 18:00 hrs when polling stations will be closed and we will continue updating on the progress. So far no cases of violence have been reported.