Nakisekka, the incumbent Masaka district Vice-Chairperson who however unsuccessfully for Masaka City female councilor representing Nyendo-Mukungwe Division, argues that the tendency of assigning staff permanent stations of work throughout the election process abets malpractice.
Janat Nakisekka, one
of the former candidates in the recently concluded local government election is
proposing rotational deployment of Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants
as a way to eliminate election malpractices.
This may not be very practicable, but the proposal is borne out of observable loopholes occasioned by the fixedness of the mentioned election officials, for which a solution needs to be found.
incumbent Masaka district Vice-Chairperson who however unsuccessfully for
Masaka City female councilor representing Nyendo-Mukungwe Division, argues that the tendency of assigning staff permanent stations of work throughout the election process
is abetting malpractice.
Commission through its mandate deploys one Presiding Officer and five polling
Assistants on each polling station to support the overall management of the
polling stations, issuance, accountability, and maintaining safe custody of voting
materials, verification of voters, marking or dipping of the finger after a voter casts a ballot among other responsibilities.
argues that many of these lower-cadre staff at the polling stations are found misusing their mandate to aid election malpractices, hence affecting the integrity of the exercise.
She made the
submission during the election review meeting conducted by a group of Civil
Society Organizations in Masaka sub region, on women participation in
that many female candidates were cheated out of the elections,
because they could not afford to bribe Presiding and Polling Assistants who
she says profiteered from the elections exercise through abetting or
participating in malpractices.
She suggests that rotating
the election staff and polling stations denies them the opportunity of becoming
familiar to perpetrators of election malpractices who she says are usually
candidates or their agents indicate that as a result, the evils will be hard
to initiate as polling stations will usually have new faces within a short
//Cue in: “the issue is about…..
Cue out; …..which is very easy.”//
She also pointed out the practice of ferrying voters to polling stations by
candidates, arguing that the practice facilitates voter bribery which violates the
principle of fairness.
Nakyejjwe, who unsuccessfully contested for Masaka City Woman MP seat on the
National Resistance Movement-NRM ticket, has also decried the high commercialization
of politics, a practice she says is disadvantaging many potential candidates
from participating in the process.
another candidate who contested for Masaka City Woman MP has raised the kid gloves used to handle officials who abet rigging. She appealed to the Electoral
Commission to make it too risky for any Electoral staff who is found guilty of
engaging in irregularities.
“We need to
put in place very heavy repercussions to any Electoral Commission staff who indulges
in any election-related malpractice,” she noted.
But Sam Agaba Rutemba,
the Masaka District Electoral Commission Registrar says their staff are appointed on merit after being interviewed passing integrity tests.
He says the Commission is reviewing the just
concluded process and will eventually take appropriate reforms.