The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has demanded that the nomination exercise of MPs be extended for 14 days.
This is after the government said that married women will have to
follow the standard procedure of the use of a deed poll if they are to change
their names ahead of the nominations.
Members of Parliament will be nominated between October 12 and 13, 2020.
A deed poll is a Legal document for changing names or adopting a
name by publishing the intention for change of or adopting a name.
Last month, Angeline Ossege, the Woman MP Soroti district raised a matter of National Importance in Parliament
saying the Electoral Commission was declining to nominate persons whose names
on the National Identification Cards differ from those on their academic transcripts.
For one to change their names through a deed poll, they have to pay 300,000
shillings which is the cost for publishing a deed poll in the Gazette which
takes 7 days. After the publication of the deed poll, the person applies
to the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to effect the
change of names after payment of 50,000 Shillings. This will ordinarily should
take more than three days.
Kadaga says that nominations should be
extended since the requirements require a long process.
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Although Government was meant to present an amendment to the Registration of Persons
Act to exempt women from following the deed poll process, the Deputy Attorney
General Jackson Kafuuzi said all people wishing to change their names must
follow the procedure.
Kafuuzi says that the subsequent desire to add a marital name is, in essence, a
change of name which falls under section 36 of the Registration of Persons Act
2015. He adds that it is therefore justifiable that a married woman who wishes
to add her marital name must comply with section 36.
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He says that for the modification of names, this does not require
a deed poll.
“The framers of the law intended that section 36 would maintain the
sanctity of the National Identification Register in ensuring that whoever
intends to change their names would comply with the procedure which would in
effect minimize fraud, frivolous attempts and misrepresentations. The legal
process involved in section 36 acts as a deterrent mechanism for the above-mentioned
acts.” Kafuuzi said.
Several MPs have however declined this position saying women are being
victimized and limited from participating in politics.
The Attorney General William Byaruhanga said that they will meet with
the Electoral Commission and discuss the proposal by the Speaker.