The Electoral Commission (EC) has extended the process of updating of National Voters Register for an extra five days.
According to the EC chairperson, Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, the decision was arrived at due to the high number of applicants at the update centres this week and requests from key stakeholders in the electoral process
The general update exercise commenced on Thursday 21st November 2019 and was scheduled to close tomorrow, Wednesday 11th December 2019.
“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,” reads a statement from Byabakama.
“This exercise will continue to be conducted at update stations in each parish throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, throughout the extended period, including weekends,” he adds.
According to the EC, the purpose of this extension is to provide an opportunity for eligible persons who have not yet registered to do so.
“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,” a statement from EC reads.
Also, voters who wish to relocate to new polling stations are cautioned to use the opportunity 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.”
“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.”
However, Byabakama claims that the EC has received 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,” he says
“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.”