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Absence of National IDs Affects Voter Register Updates in Teso

Some of the residents claim they lost their National Identity Cards, while others did not register for National Ids during the mass registration in 2014.
Peter Wataka, coordinator of UPMAC in Eastern Uganda with Deo Natukunda, the REO for Teso lauch update of the national voters register in Soroti.

Audio 4



A number of potential voters in Teso are struggling to have their data updated on the National Voters’ Register due to absence of National Identity Cards.

Some of the residents claim they lost their National Identity Cards, while others did not  register for National Ids during the mass registration in 2014.

The most affected are students who registered for National IDs but didn’t receive them. Christine Asekenye, a parent of Teso College Aloet in Soroti claims her son wanted to register in the National Voters’ Register but the officials are asking for the National Identification Number, NIN, which can only be obtained from the place of registration.

Asekenye claims they have sought the NIN, but in vain.  Godfrey Obol, a resident of Katine Sub County in Soroti district says he lost his National ID when a fire gutted his house after angry residents torched the village.

Obol says that he has since failed to register since replacement of the ID requires 50,000 shillings. Obol claims that even other supportive documents like birth or baptism certificates were burnt to ashes. Ateso byte

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Isaac Enomu, the village Vice chairperson of Central Ward in Soroti Municipality says one of his residents has failed to enroll into the National Voters’ Register because of lack of a  National ID. According to Enomu, Jonathan Eibu Luhum had registered for a National ID in February 2019 but his details from the registration form have been rejected by the election officials.

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Samuel Eyobu, the LC3 Chairperson of Western Division in Soroti Municipality says Electoral Commission officials have failed to work in his division due to technical problems. He explains that the batteries given to the officials are worn out.

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But Deo Natukunda, the Regional Elections Officer in charge of Teso sub region says the issues of National IDs will be handled by National Identification and Registration Authority, NIRA and Police since Electoral Commission has no authority on the IDs.

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The concerns were raised during the launch of the regional update of the national voters’ register in Soroti on Monday. Electoral Commission commenced the activity in November 21st and it will end on December 11th, 2019.