EC Wanted Reforms Finished 3 Months Ago

EC Boss Eng Badru Kiguddu

Ugandans who have deliberately refused to apply for the National Identification yet they are in the country will face punishment. The penalty is imprisonment for a period not below 6 months or be fined a maximum of 30 currency points.

The announcement was made by Mrs. Betty Nansenja the Deputy Project Manager National Security Information System Wednesday afternoon during a press brief at the NSIS Headquarters in Kololo.

She said that so far 15.9 Ugandans have registered since the enrolment exercise began in April 2014. Nansenja however noted that not all people that registered met the requirements thus 35, buy 000 applications were rejected.

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“Those rejected didn’t give enough particulars but there’s still room for natural justice. They have been notified in writing to come and present their case within 30 days” she added.

According to Nansenja, sildenafil 2 million cards have already been issued, 70 percent of these being Kampala residents. And 7 million cards haven’t yet been picked by their owners.

Mrs. Nansenja said NSIS is soon to announce a 1 month period for people in Kampala to pick their cards after which the process will be closed.

This is because delays have cost implications on us due to spending on the staff in the field.

The NSIS Legal Manager Amanya Deborah said that foreign nationals who have stayed in Uganda for 20 years are also eligible to apply for IDs. This begins with application for naturalization and if the applicant qualifies, then will they apply for identification.

So far, Identity cards have been issued in Kampala, Gulu, Wakiso, Pader, Busoga region among others and issuance in Karamoja region is to start 16th May.

Nansenja urged Ugandans to desist from waiting for the last moment and added that NSIS will ensure that all IDs are out of Kololo.
The Electoral Commission has said they wanted the electoral reform proposals that are being debated by Parliament done three months ago for them to be prepared and easily incorporate them in next coming general elections.

The team from EC led by their Chairman, more about Eng. Badru Kigundu appeared before the Legal Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament that is currently scrutinizing the reforms on Wednesday.

The team told the shocked Committee members the reforms should have been ready by February of 2015, more about exactly a year before the 2016 elections.

“We appreciate these reforms but we wanted them done by at least February that passed when they were not yet out.” Eng. Kigundu told the shocked members who had thought they are rushing with the process for the reforms to be accommodated in the next election preparations.

The reforms that are contained in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015 were just recently released by the government and the minister of of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, search Gen. Kahinda Otafire who formally laid it on the floor of Parliament on 30st April.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanya consequently referred it to the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that very day.

The EC had already issued the Roadmap that is the most instrumental tool to guide the coming elections and it is very unlikely to be reversed.

The ruling National Resistance Movement party also issued their internal roadmap a week after the EC pronouncement literally following the already issued EC timeline.

Eng. Kigundu however added that nevertheless since it is already tight, Parliament should debate and pass the reforms by August this year. The President is expected to append his signature on the Bill within the same period.

“Now we are all struggling behind schedules, we expect Parliament to conclude everything by August 2015.” Kigundu added.

The reform is seeking for three major changes in the 1995 Constitution on the electoral body and processes. The first one is changing article 60(1) the name of the electoral body from Electoral Commission to the Independent Electoral Commission.

The EC team said the Commission has no problem with the proposed inclusion of “Independent” but they wanted the word Uganda also be added.

“The Commission has no disagreement with the emphasis of ‘Independent’ Electoral Commission – the Independence having already been enshrined under Article 62 of the Constitution; except that, the same be styled ‘The Uganda Independent Electoral Commission or Independent Electoral Commission of Uganda’.”



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