Prof Venantius Baryamureeba
According to the 2014 population census, ailment doctor http://cerlalc.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-list-embeds-endpoint.php Uganda’s population stands at about 35 million people.
As of 12th December 2014 the National ID had enrolled (registered) 15,775,522 as Ugandans who are 16 years and above compared to 15,958,596 derived from the 2014 population Census for the same age bracket. Before the 2014 population census, the government of Uganda had estimated Ugandans who are 16 years and above to be 18 million.
In 2012, according to the global indicator the percentage of the population of Ugandans below the age of 15 was 48%. We know that since 2012 the percentage population of Ugandans below the age of 15 has been on the increase due to the increasing young population and as of today its estimated to be over 60%.
So when one critically analyses the National ID enrollment figures in comparison with the national census figures and other statistics the National ID data cannot be relied upon to produce a credible national voters’ register.
Let me add that when you sample 10 Ugandans you will find that about 4 never turned up for the National ID exercise? Secondly the way the data for the National ID was being corrected left a lot to be desired. We all know how easy it is to acquire a Ugandan passport. We also know that anybody whether Ugandan or not can get a letter from LCs as a proof of identity. These facts raise the key issue of whether all holders of the National ID are Ugandans?
Also most of the information captured like information about qualifications is useless, as the National ID officers never verified any of this; they just entered into the system whatever the persons provided.
In my opinion the Uganda Electoral Commission is better off updating their own register, which they used in 2011 elections and have been updating during bi-elections. But this will require more than 2 months if they are going to do a thorough update. Just relying on the data captured for the National ID will not produce a credible voters’ register.
If the Electoral Commission can provide for over a month for nomination of Parliamentary and Presidential Candidates in its roadmap to 2016 elections, it surely can find at least two months for the important exercise of updating the voters’ register in its roadmap.
Now without a credible voters’ register there can never be free and fair elections. So if the Electoral Commission wants to save face it cannot run away from its constitutional mandate of producing a credible voters’ register.
The writer is the Vice Chancellor Uganda Technology and Management University