By Andrew Irumba
The Electoral Commission has extended the deadline for voters in Uganda to verify their details on the national voters register.
This revelation was made by the EC Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama during a presser held at the Commission’s headquarters along Jinja Road, in Kampala on Tuesday.
Justice Byabakama revealed that the EC had extended the deadline from December 11, 2019 to December 16, 2020 so as to allow Ugandans, including those in the Diaspora, enough time to verify their details on the national voters register.
Byabakama’s revelation is contained in his statement below;
Extension of the Period for the General Update of the National Voters’ Register
As you are aware, the Electoral Commission is undertaking the update of the National Voters’ Register for purposes of the 2020/2021 General Elections. The general update exercise commenced on Thursday 21st November 2019 and was scheduled to close tomorrow, Wednesday 11th December 2019.
However, due to higher numbers of applicants at the update centers since the beginning of this week, and requests from key stakeholders in the electoral process, 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, for five (5) more days, starting from Thursday 12th and ending Monday 16th December 2019, after which, there will be no further extension.
This exercise will continue to be conducted at update stations in each parish throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00am to 6:00pm, throughout the extended period, including weekends.
Please note that the purpose of this extension is to provide an opportunity for eligible persons who have not yet registered to do so.
The general public is, therefore, reminded to carefully observe the following:
a) This is not a fresh registration of voters but an exercise to enable Ugandan citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and above and who have not yet registered to register as voters in order to participate in elections.
b) A registered voter who wishes to transfer to new voting locations shall be able to do so during this period.
Please note that such a voter who wishes to transfer to a new voting location must present confirmation that he/she originates from or is, at the time of application for transfer, a resident of the Parish of that (new) voting location. Such applicants should ensure they have details of their previous voting location.
c) The Electoral Commission has availed the National Voters’ Register for each polling station at the Update center in each parish, so that existing voters check and confirm their registration status, that is, whether their particulars are well-captured.
Emerging Issues from the Update Exercise
The Electoral Commission has noted, with concern, reports of alleged extortion of money by some local leaders and update officials from applicants in order to sign on their applications before processing the applications.
This is illegal, and the Commission strongly condemns it.
The Commission has provided all necessary forms (for application as a voter, or application for transfer) free of charge.
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 right to apply for registration as voters.
The Electoral Commission urges all eligible persons who are not yet registered as voters, and those who wish to apply for transfer of voting location, to use this opportunity, and do so, in order to participate in the General Elections.
The Commission also appeals to eligible public servants and other (eligible) persons in formal employment to take advantage of this extension, particularly the weekend.
For God and My Country,
Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon
*CHAIRPERSON, ELECTORAL COMMISSION *