Electoral Commission sets up committee to investigate voters’ register hours after Museveni sacking vow

Nelson Bwire Kapo

The Electoral Commission has set up a technical committee to investigate claims related to the integrity of the National Voters’ Register (NVR) which was used during the recent parliamentary by-elections.

This move comes just hours after President Museveni vowed to sack all members of the commission for grossly mismanaging recent elections.

The president said that he is considering getting rid of the team which is “full of rotten people.”

“The Electoral Commission is full of rotten people, I am going to get rid of them, why should we suffer with corrupt electoral officials when NRM has got so much man power, they should get out,” an angry Museveni said.

I am going to sack the Electoral Commission, incompetent public servants- Museveni

The President further blamed the electoral commission for importing ghost voters into the register, specifically in reference to Jinja East by-elections where FDC’s Paul Mwiru beat NRM flag bearer Nathan Igeme Nabeta.

Now the Electoral Commission through its chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama claim they will investigate the register with view of establishing facts and claims related to its integrity.

“The Electoral Commission has noted concerns raised by some stakeholders in the electoral process about the integrity of the National Voters’ Register used in the recent parliamentary by-elections,” the statement dated 28th August 2018 reads in part.

Byabakama says that EC ‘s reaction is based on their appreciation for valued feedback that points at quality electoral services delivery.

“In light of the current concerns about integrity of the voters’ register, the commission is reviewing the reports on the by-elections and has appointed a technical committee to investigate all claims related to the integrity of the register with a view of establishing the facts of the claims, and be able to apply the necessary remedial measures where necessary in future elections,” he added.

Reaction from election observers CCEDU

Following the Electoral Commission’s (EC) statement on the Integrity of the National Voters’ Register (released on August 28th 2018), the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) acknowledges EC’s commitment to investigate claims around the integrity of the national voters’ register.

The EC is however in a difficult place to demonstrably investigate itself.  Criticisms around the integrity of the national voters’ register indicate that the EC is in the dock over laxity in executing its Constitutional mandate.

The integrity, impartiality and objectivity of investigations conducted by the EC itself on this matter would potentially be compromised and would not offer much confidence to the Public.

We therefore call for comprehensive and independent investigations into claims of a compromised national voters’ register among other electoral malpractices.  The findings of which, should be made public to relevant stakeholders and used as basis to improve the conduct of future elections.

Crispin Kaheru, Coordinator, CCEDU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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