EC apologises for extra names on voter register

Friday February 12 2016

EC chairman Badru Kiggundu displays a

EC chairman Badru Kiggundu displays a presidential ballot paper during a press conference at the commission's head office in Kampala on Friday. Photo by Racheal Ajwang 

By Nelson Wesonga

The Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Badru Kiggundu has apologised for having an extra 20, 000 names on the National Voters Register.
With the 20, 000 names, the register had a total of 15, 297, 197 voters.

Mr Kiggundu says the EC has now deleted the 20, 000 names from the register.
“We apologise for the error; we are humans,” Mr Kiggundu said on Friday while addressing a press conference at the EC head office in Kampala.
The EC’s apology comes on the heels of an exposé by Evelyn Namara and Javie Ssozi who reported an extra 20, 000 names on the register.
Mr Kiggundu said 15, 297, 197 was the total of voters on the national voters register prior to the cleaning up of the register.

During the update of the register, which took place from July 22 to August 11, the names of individuals identified for removal from the register were compiled.
At least 20, 000 names were to be deleted – because those people had either died or were not known to the people in the polling stations.
Many, whose names are removed, have a window of at least two weeks to appeal the decision of the EC.
Either by commission or omission, the names were, however, not deleted.

“Therefore, the total of 15, 297, 197 voters as reflected on our Website a few days ago, that has since been corrected, was inclusive of the number of registered recorded persons that had been identified for removal…” Mr Kiggundu said.
Relatedly, the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy (CCEDU) argues that elections matters are too sensitive to be wished away by mere statements of a failure in simple mathematics of addition and subtraction.
CCEDU said a miscomputation could lead to a wrong tally.
“The EC must appreciate that the future of Uganda right now lies squarely not only on how this election is conducted but also on the amount of confidence the election management body can martial from the public a few days to the poll,” CCEDU said in a February 12 press statement.

“The EC must be seen as competent and professional enough to deliver a free, fair and credible election. The compilation of the voters register to be used in the forthcoming elections has been shrouded in too much controversy; starting from how and who generated the data that was used to generate the current register, questions around the legal framework that guided the process of extracting the voters register from the national ID registry as well as issues around how the old register was retired,” added the statement issued by CCEDU communications officer Charles Mwanguhya.