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UNAA Wants Ugandan Diaspora to Vote in 2021 :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UNAA Wants Ugandan Diaspora to Vote in 2021

The current Ugandan laws do not provide for the participation of people in Diaspora in the election of both local and national leaders. To achieve this, therefore proponents might need to advocate for an amendment that would result in the creation of the Diaspora Voters’ Register and provisions for proxy voting and e-voting.
Henrietta Wamala, the new chairperson UNAA

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Uganda North America Association (UNAA) has is demanding that Ugandans in the Diaspora are allowed to vote, during the forthcoming general election. 

UNAA, an association bringing together Ugandans living in North America and Canada says that their rights as Ugandans are not being observed if the law does not guarantee their right to vote. Many of them do not hold National Identity Cards, which have since become a prerequisite for anyone seeking services in the country.

Wamala told journalists in Kampala that as a community that contributes highly to the economy of Uganda, they are an important block that needs to be heard and participate in processes that determine the future of the country. This is Wamala’s maiden visit to Uganda since her election as UNAA President six months ago.  

She says that many Ugandans in the diaspora are interested in issues going on in the country and that several others always wish to return home and vote, which however would be expensive for them. They are now seeking an arrangement that would allow them to vote from the Ugandan embassies abroad.  

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The current Ugandan laws do not provide for the participation of people in Diaspora in the election of both local and national leaders. To achieve this, therefore proponents might need to advocate for an amendment that would result in the creation of the Diaspora Voters’ Register and provisions for proxy voting and e-voting. 

At the moment, only a handful of African countries allow their nationals to vote from abroad. They include Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Mali and Togo, among others.

Wamala says that although the government has rolled out the issuance of national IDs, it remains a hustle for Ugandans in the Diaspora to get them because they have to return to Uganda to register. It is also hustling for them to renew their passports because they have to travel from across the 50 states of America to the embassy in Washington DC. 

She also called on the government to ensure a safe and risk-free environment in Uganda, and prevail over the murder and other crimes which freak out investors and Ugandans in the diaspora from returning home.

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