By Peter Lochom
The Electoral Commission tells Ugandans that they are re organising polling stations throughout the country by way of splitting, merging and shifting; where polling stations have more than 900 voters, where there are less than 900 voters and where polling stations formerly were situated in somebody’s compound or construction has taken place or the site is just inconvenient respectively.
They have also assured Ugandans that they have nothing sinister in this exercise, much as the Opposition is very uncomfortable about the entire process, especially given the fact that there have been no electoral reforms in as far as the laws are concerned. They claim that it is a transparent exercise.
My humble concern is that the Kigundu commission is wasting the hard earned and hard paid tax payers’ cash in this uncalled for expenditure. Every right thinking citizen of this country knows that between 2011, when the last elections were conducted and 1016 when we may be having the next elections, there is going to be a significant population of formerly young people who will be eligible to register and participate in the voting. What, therefore, is Kigundu’s logic in splitting or merging polling stations at a time like this before registration of new voters, if it is not going to be double expending of our taxes just so that the privileged EC employees can plunder our resources in from of allowances, what else can it be? Since after fresh registration takes place, there will be a completely different picture from what Kigundu is envisaging today. It means that the same exercise will have to be repeated. What does this team take Ugandans for?
In the New Vision of Monday, August 26, there was an inserted notice wherein the commission purportedly was informing the Ateso readers of the exercise on from August 19 - 26. If this was intended to alert the population that may not have had access to other forms of media, then it was a grand waste since it was too late. I do not know about other languages, did they too get the leaflets, and when did they get them? Besides, being a keen Ateso reader and a loyalist of the preservation of the Ateso language and culture, I was very incensed by the wanting translation of the leaflet which harboured glaring mistakes which defeats the purpose of communication. But that having been observed, why notify us at the end of the event?
In whose interest is Eng. Badru Kigundu therefore rushing to ‘’re organise’’ the said polling stations before any electoral reforms are effected as Ugandans would rightly desire to see happen? Were the interests of the opposition represented in this exercise throughout the country since they are stakeholders? And, who sanctioned this untimely and suspicious undertaking?
The legislature should call Eng. Kigundu to substantiate on the concluded exercise, which, in my view, was uncalled for at the moment.
The writer is a Social and political activist