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Karamoja Youths Want Provision of Transport to Electoral Colleges

Emily Moses Akol, the District Youth Chairman for Kaabong says participation in elections of youth leaders is always very low as delegates fear to meet transport costs. He says the issue has created vulnerability in the choices of youth leaders as the youth vote candidates with money.
Kaabong By- Elections

Audio 6

Youth leaders in Karamoja are asking the Electoral Commission to provide transport for delegates to the electoral colleges at the district and sub-counties.

The youth made the call during the regional stakeholders’ meeting on the update of the National Voters Register and Special Interest Groups in Moroto on Friday.

Emily Moses Akol, the District Youth Chairman for Kaabong says participation in elections of youth leaders is always very low as delegates fear to meet transport costs. He says the issue has created vulnerability in the choices of youth leaders as the youth vote in for candidates with money.

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Arafat Abong, the LCV Chairman Kotido says that while the commission takes care of transport for the youth delegates at the national level for Youth Members of Parliament, the process is meddled at the initial process.

The youth elections start from village level where those elected constitute the Electoral College for parish elections and the process continues to parliamentary representatives at respective regions.

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Gabriel Okello, the representative of People with Disabilities in Abim also says they suffer the same plight in electing their leaders. Okello is also seeking for similar considerations for PWDs elections.

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Simon Kokoi, the Moroto District Youth Chairman says the youth elections are now very costly than the general elections. Drawing from experience in 2015/2016, Kokoi says he had to transport and feed delegates in Moroto town for one week in order to win the race.

“I had to send trucks to all the sub-counties in Moroto to transport delegates and later arrange for their accommodation and meals until the D-day for polls. What I spent is twice more than what the district councillor used in campaigns”, he said.

Charles Mashate, the Head of Voter Education and Training at Electoral Commission says the commission is constrained by resources to facilitate transport for SIGs al lower levels.

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In Jinja, Steven Tashobya, a commissioner at the Electoral Commission urged the electorate to vote competent leaders. Tashobya said that elections should be based on a contestant’s capability other than financial muscle. Tashobya stressed that communities are losing out on capable leaders due to financial enticements extended to them by corrupt candidates, who fail to deliver their political mandate to the voters after the elections.

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He has also challenged leaders from Busoga region to advocate for a clean electoral process arguing that, the sub-region registered the highest number of election petitions after the 2016 elections.

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According to EC roadmap, village council meetings to verify National Voter Register will be held in each village per parish on separate days for eight days starting October 21st to 28th, 2019.

The exercise will be preceded by briefing of Sub County, parish supervisors and village chairpersons on October 16th and 17th.

The commission has also set October 18th- 20th for the mobilization of village residents to turn up to participate in the village level verification of the National Voter Register before an update and compilation of both register and special interest groups commences from November 21st to December 11th, 2019.