Busia district has a total of over 168,000 voters that were registered by the Electoral Commission, of which 78,000 were registered as members of the NRM party.
BUSIA - NRM aspirants for parliamentary, district and mayoral positions in Busia have vowed not to use the party register in its current form, describing it as deficient.
They, however, failed to agree on whether they should allow fresh registration of the members that were left out or use the register as it is.
They also accused the district registrar, Rose Wejuli and others at the grassroots for being campaign managers for some aspirants.
Voters left out
Busia district has a total of over 168,000 voters that were registered by the Electoral Commission, of which 78,000 were registered as members of the NRM party. Both the party leadership and aspirants say this number undermines the party's strength in the district.
Stephen Mugeni Wasike, who is vying for the LC5 party flag, cited various areas where voters were left out of the register, including Busitema, where 10,000 voters were left out, Sikuda (6,000) and Busia Municipality 17,000. He added that Namaubi village in Dabani sub-county has 481 voters, but only 11 were captured in the yellow book.
Register new members
Some aspirants suggested that the deficient registers be displayed to allow party members whose names are missing, to be registered as long as they have national identity cards and were registered by the Electoral Commission.
John Mulimba, the former MP Samia Bugwe North and Simon Mayende, former state minister for higher education, noted that a deficient register should be used as a guide, but the Electoral Commission register should be referred to to include party members that were left out.
Mayende said updating the register not only helps the aspirants but also the party, whose supporters are likely to join other groups or even sue it for denying them the right to vote.
However, Phiona Naku, an aspirant for district woman member of Parliament, Dennis Nyangweso and Godfrey Odero, who are eyeing Samia Bugwe South, agreed with the display of the register, but rejected the idea of registering new members.
Nyangweso said the registration exercise was closed, noting there should be a cut-off in order to have fair elections.
The meeting was adjourned as the candidates needed to seek guidance of the secretary general.
They also maintained that in order for the election to be credible, the party's voters' register should be cleaned.