By Leonard Kamugisha Akida
Ugandans faced with the challenge of extortion by the update officials in the on going Voters’ registration exercise can now take back a breath after the Electoral commission ardently condemned the practices.
According to the statement by the EC boss, Justice Byabakama Mugyenyi, extorting money from voters is illegal and unconstitutional.
“The commission has noted with great concern the reports on alleged extortion of money by some local leaders and update officials from applicants in order to sign on their applications.
This is illegal and the commission strongly condemns it.” Said Justice Byabakama in a statement.
There have been complaints by the citizens alleging some local leaders and officials of asking for money in order to have their particulars entered in the voters’ register.
“The commission calls on all officials involved in this update exercise to desist from any acts that may frustrate eligible applicants from exercising their constitutional rights to apply for registration as voters,” EC warned.
Further more, credible information from the Electoral Commission of Uganda indicates that the deadline for voters’ registration exercise meant to end tomorrow Wednesday 11thDecembe,2019, has been extended to five more days.
In a statement released by Justice Byabakama Mugyenyi, EC Chairperson, earlier today, eligible applicants shall have up to Monday 16th December, 2019 to complete the exercise.
“…. However, due to the higher numbers of applicants at the update centres since the beginning of this week, and requests from the stake holders in the electoral processes, the Electoral commission has found it necessary and taken a decision to extend the update period which was scheduled to close on Wednesday 11th December, 2019, to five (5) more days, starting from Thursday 12th and ending on Monday 16th December,2019, after which, there will be no further extensions,” reads excerpts of the statement.
According to Article 61 (I) (e) (as a mended) and sections 18 and 19 of the EC Act (caption 40), of the Republic of Uganda, the EC has a mandate to conduct general update of the National Voters’ registration prior to any elections.
In preparations for the 2020/2021 General Elections, the commission is exercising its rights and duties to update the register.
During this exercise , a number of activities is being done which include but not limited to;
- Registration of eligible voters
- Transfer of voting locations
- Checking and correction of voter’s particulars
- Registration of learners registered under the Learners project, 2017 who have today reached the adult suffrage.