Masaka leaders task EC to explain missing names


Leaders in Kyanamukaka Sub-county in Masaka District have tasked the Electoral Commission (EC) to explain circumstances under which names of some residents were deleted from the National Voters’ Register.

About 200 affected residents fear that if the situation is not addressed by the EC, they risk being denied their right to vote.

Early this month, the EC rolled out the update of the National Voters’ Register across the country, but reports from some areas of Masaka indicate hitches that may affect the success of the exercise.

According to Mr Paul Migadde, the chairperson Kyanamukaka Sub-county, names of many residents in his area have been deleted from the register and the EC staff has denied them an opportunity to register afresh claiming that they are non-Ugandans.

Mr Migadde said he is now afraid that the affected residents may as well be denied a chance to participate in next year’s general elections yet they have been voting in previous elections and are known residents in the area.
The problem, he said, is reported in the parishes of Mikomago and Zzimwe along the lake shores.

The statistics
The National Voters’ Register used in the 2011 general elections indicates that Kyanamukaka Sub-county has 12,917 voters and 21 polling stations. Of these, 2,326 voters are in Zzimwe parish.

“Majority of the residents affected have Kinyarwanda names, but are known in their respective areas. They are not like people who come for the sole purpose of elections,” said Mr Migadde, adding: “We have presented our concern to the EC and the tribunal is yet to convene to look into the matter to ensure that the people are not affected by their decision,”

Besides, Mr Migadde was equally worried that in some areas, there is low turn out of people checking their names on the register since many spend most part of the day in their gardens.

Failed to prove citizenship
However, Mr Nathan Nabaasa, the Masaka District returning officer, in an interview with this newspaper at the weekend, noted that much as they have subjected the affected residents to a tribunal for review, they failed to prove that they are Ugandans.

He explained that EC was using the integrated data which was gathered during the national ID registration process, which contains particulars of registered and verified Ugandan citizens only.

He aised the aggrieved parties to petition the review committee with evidence that they are trully Ugandans.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor