Citizens Abandon Queues As EC Extends Voter Register Update Exercise

The National Voter Register Update exercise has further been extended to 11th May 2015. The extension has been confirmed by the Electoral Commission Deputy spokesperson Mr. Paul Bukenya in a telephone interview with KFM.

The exercise that started on April 7th had an earlier deadline of 30th but was extended to April 4th due to the overwhelming number of people who turned up. Earlier today, long queues were seen at various update centers with many people rushing to beat today’s deadline.

However, according to KFM’s Herbert Zziwa who has been making rounds at the various centers in Kampala, some of the people who were already in the queue walked away after receiving news of the extension.

The extension is perceived to be in response to a call made earlier by some members of parliament.

Meanwhile, the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has welcomed the extension of the National Voter Register Update exercise.

In a statement issued a short while ago, the national coordinator of CCEDU Mr. Crispy Kaheru says the extension demonstrates good intention by the Electoral Commission to give every eligible voter an opportunity to participate in their country’s electoral process.

CCEDU further implores the Electoral Commission to handle any reported administrative, technical and logistical challenges affecting the Update process in a timely manner so as to ensure that all interested citizens participate fully in the exercise.

In response, the commission spokesperson Mr. Jotham Taremwa has promised to have reports of bribery by update officials investigated and disciplinary action taken against those found guilty. “The behavior of these officials does not necessarily reflect the position of the Electoral Commission”, Mr. Taremwa told KFM.

The Police have so far arrested four officers in Masaka and five in Jinja on allegations of extorting money from members of the public.