Thursday June 12 2014

I want electronic voting- President Museveni

President Museveni

President Museveni 

By Isaac Imaka

President Yoweri Museveni has given a sneak peak of what is contained in the forthcoming electoral reforms package, saying he intends to introduce electronic voting as part of his electoral reforms.

The President was responding to a question by a journalist during a late night press briefing at his country home in Rwakitura on whether his pro electronic voting argument in his article on election rigging means he intends to bring the system in the much expected electoral reforms.

The presser had been organised for the President to announce to the country that he had paid over $600,000 for UBC to run all World cup matches.

“I have been working for electronic voting for a long time; since Ugandans have got a bad habit of cheating it would be a better way to stop that habit because it works with a central memory that can be able to say that that person has already voted. I have a lot of faith in that,” he said.

Explaining his intention further, the President said: “The current system is good if we had vigilance and low propensity of cheating but because we don’t have it, that’s why we must go to a surer way of electoral voting using our thumb print which is not easy to duplicate.”

In an article he penned, early this month, portraying opposition politicians as congenital election cheats the President said the continued unfairness and vote theft has made him insist on computerized voting for almost 20 years.

Leader of Opposition, Wafula Ogutu says he doesn’t have trust computerised voting because it has been a mess in Kenya, Ghana and “latest Malawi.”
“You can say electronic voting will stop mal practices of rigging but individuals control electronic voting and his people will be manning it. I do not have faith in it.

“He is just trying to make the people drop their guts or vigilance because even electronic voting has been used for rigging, in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi recently,” he said.

Electoral Commission couldn’t be got to comment on its capacity to run a computerized voting system but government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo told Daily Monitor online after the late night presser that such voting would be possible if the on-going ID registration target is achieved.

“That’s why the ID registration questionnaire asks you to name your polling station. If we achieve about 90 per cent success, we will roll out the election voting system,” he said. “The opposition has also been opposing the registration of sixteen year-olds but it is obvious that by 2016, those people will be eighteen and therefore eligible to vote,” said Mr Opondo.