Former EALA speaker Dan Kidega
Former EALA speaker Dan Kidega accuse Elite Ugandans of abandoning voting. File Photo

Former EALA speaker Dan Kidega accuse Elite Ugandans of abandoning voting to the old and illiterates

The former Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Dan Kidega said the reason why the turn up is low, is because the elite group in the country think they are too special to stand in lines to vote their leaders.

And according to Kidega, it’s a wrong perception, all Ugandans must participate in the event of electing leaders if the country is to develop and change for the better.

“The elite must stop calling politics a dirty game. They must all participate in the elections if they want a better country,” Kidega said.

The Electoral Commission will on December 11, 2019, close the national voter register update exercise and according to reports, a low turn-up has been registered.

To those who will not have verified their names, they will not be allowed to vote, come 2021 general elections.

Former EALA speaker Dan Kidega
Former EALA speaker Dan Kidega accuse Elite Ugandans of abandoning voting. File Photo

Bugiri Municipality legislator, Asuman Basalirwa says the low turn up especially to the elite group means they will not participate in a voting exercise in the 2021 general elections and voting will only be done by the elderly and the illiterate group of people in the country who have turned up for verification and registration.

“Voter apathy is caused by these educated Ugandans who have abandoned the exercise. How can they (educated people) leave the future of this country to the old people?” Basalirwa wondered.

Basalirwa made the remarks during a youth dialogue organised by the Human Rights Centre – Uganda ahead of the International Human Rights Day yet to happen on December 10, 2019.

In his remarks, Basalirwa accused youth of participating in violent activities under the influence of some leaders, something he described as cheap politics.

“The youths who have attained minimum education are being used to cause violence. The old do not beat people and I have witnessed this several times,” Basalirwa said.

Jude Akatujuna Ruhinja, a voter update official at Red Cross Offices in Western Uganda, Ntungamo Municipality says ever since the exercise began, they only managed to register 50 voters and mostly the elderly.

“Unfortunately, elderly people are only coming with their documents, but when it comes to the youth, they come without any document and when you ask for them, they complain and go away without returning,” Akatujuna stated.

Robert Baine, the Ntungamo District returning officer admitted low turn up of voters saying many came without any identification document whom they chased away.

“We have experienced low turn up due to requirements of birth certificates, photocopy of parents’ IDs and confirmation letters from village chairpersons. So, people come without them and we chase them away.”

Electoral Commission (EC) began the national voter register update on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

In this exercise qualified Ugandans right from 18 years of age who are not yet registered on the voters’ register will be included. Also in the exercise, those already registered will be able to check and verify their voter details.