2021 polls: EC announces voters’ verification exercise

Friday October 18 2019

Plan. The Electoral Commission chairperson,

Plan. The Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama (right), addresses journalists during a press conference at the EC offices, Kampala, on October 17, 2019. PHOTO BY KELVIN ATUHAIRE  

By DERRICK WANDERA

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced verification of the national voters’ register and identification of persons with disability ahead of the 2021 General Election.
The verification exercise that commenced on Wednesday with the briefing of sub-county supervisors will end on December 11.
The move seeks to update the voters’ register, weed out ghost voters, and stop cases of multiple-voting. Unlike before, EC will compile a new register for persons with disabilities to guard against masqueraders, who disguise as disabled people.

The exercise that will be conducted from village to national level is expected to be spearheaded by verification officials who will convene meetings through local council chairpersons.
A general roll call of the residents will be conducted to ascertain their presence and eligibility to vote.
According to EC, voters are being mobilised to go back to their voting areas and verify their particulars.

“For those who will be at their workplaces or who have relocated, feel free to delegate someone who can verify your particulars,” Justice Simon Byabakama said yesterday, adding: “Those who passed on will be deleted from the register while blotted polling stations due to movements and rapid creation of new administrative units across the country will be updated.”
“Some people have been querying the eligibility of some voters, who appear on the voters’ register, we need to make this clear since National Identification Registration Authority (Nira), which is mandated to do the job, has for some reasons failed to do so,” he added.

He said Nira officials failed to register deaths and births for the last 10 years as indicated by the EC.
Nira officials, however, declined to comment on the matter. Mr Gilbert Kadilo, the spokesperson at Nira, said he would not comment on the matter because they had been working concurrently.
Last month, Mr Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, said he had received only Shs140b out of the budgeted Shs863b to implement the roadmap.

The Ministry of Finance indicated that the money would be released on a quarterly basis.
The EC yesterday revealed that the process had cost them Shs493m while the just rolled-out process would cost the commission Shs7.14b on various activities as well as facilitation for the officials on ground.
Documents from the commission seen by this newspaper indicate that the verification process would entail convening meetings, extracting of particulars of voters from the national voters register, as well as compilation and submitting of the gathered information to higher authority for onward processing.

The EC deputy spokesperson, Mr Paul Bukenya, said the registers will be pinned to allow a final review by voters.
“The registration for IDs at Nira, which will be used to identify your citizenship in the country before registering as a voter at EC is ongoing and will end on December 11. Beyond that, you will not be able to vote in 2021 General Election,” he said.

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Programme
October 16. Briefing of sub-county supervisors on verification of the National Voters’ Register (NVR) at district headquarters.
October 17. Briefing of parish supervisors and village chairpersons on verification of NVR.
October 21 to October 28. Village council meetings to verify NVR in each village per parish on separate days.
November 21 to December 11. Updating of the NVR and completion of registration for special interest groups.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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