EC decries low turn-up for voters registration

Thursday December 5 2019

An electoral official at Red Cross offices

An electoral official at Red Cross offices Ntungamo Municipality dozes off as her colleague uses a phone as they waited for electorates to turn up for the ongoing voters register update exercise. BY ELLY KATAHINGA 

By Elly Katahinga

Ntungamo District officials have decried low turn-up of citizens in the ongoing voters register update exercise.
The Electoral Commission (EC) started the general update of the National Voters’ Register, on Thursday, November 21, and it is expected to end on December 11.

The EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, said the general update of the register is being conducted at parish level throughout the country and all eligible Ugandan citizens of 18 years and above, who are not yet on the list will be registered. He also said registered voters should be able to check and confirm their particulars.

Low turn-up
However, Mr Jude Akatujuna Ruhinja, a voter update official at Red Cross offices in Western Division, Ntungamo Municipality, said since the exercise started, they have managed to receive only 50 voters, especially the elderly.
“It is unfortunate that elderly people are only coming with their documents but when it comes to the youth, they come without any document and when you ask for them, they complain and go away without returning,” Mr Akatujuna said on Monday.

The Ntungamo District returning officer, Mr Robert Beine, acknowledged that they are facing the challenge of low turn-up but warned citizens of misusing the opportunity.
“We have experienced low turn up due to requirements of birth certificates, photocopy of parents IDs and confirmation letters from village chairpersons. So people come without them and we chase them away,” Mr Beine said.