Mbeya. The number of people turning out for voting in three wards holding by-elections has continued going down as time passes.
This, according to some voters, is down to majority of the voters in the wards attending Sunday services, most of which will end late.
Speaking to The Citizen, Ms Neema Mwankusye who is the Polling Station Clerk in Iwambi Ward said it was her expectation the number will rise in the afternoon.
Mr Ibrahim Mduda, a resident of Iwambi, said most of the residents in the area were Christians.
"Attending Sunday service is a must for most of them. However, I hope that they will come back and vote later,” he said.
Iwambi ward assistant supervisor, Mr Gwamaka Angetile said the turnout would have gone up after the voters end their prayers.
At Nsalaga ward, voting was delayed due to absence of materials at almost all polling stations.
The Citizen witnessed long queues of voters waiting for arrival of the equipment.
One of the voters at Nsalaga Primary School, Mr Anthony Simon, told this paper that he was surprised why the materials were not at the station because they were promised that voting would have started at 7am.
"We arrived here at 4am, but surprisingly voting hasn’t commenced. We planned to continue with our normal economic activities after voting, but, seemingly, we can’t go back to work,” he complained.
For his part, Nuru Ntature, a resident of Nsalaga, said voting station supervisors were to blame for poor preparations.
Nsalaga Polling Station supervisor, Mr Antony Kasebwa said voting was purposely delayed because political parties involved in the by-election agreed to sort out some issues first.
However, reports from Maanga ward have it that the voting went on according to plan.
(Reported by Yonathan Kossam, Ipyana Samson and Godfrey Kahango)