KAMPALA: The number of women turning up for registration to take part in the women’s council elections is still low in different parts of Kampala, three days after the Electoral Commission extended the deadline.
On June 10, the Electoral Commission started to compile registers at the village level for women to participate in the women’s council elections. The four-year term of office of the current councils expires in August 2022.
However, by Monday, which was the last day of the exercise, only a small number of women had registered. The Commission was forced to extend the deadline for registration to Friday to allow more women to register for the elections.
In the Tomusage Zone, only 50 women had registered by the close of business on Wednesday, yet the number of women of voting age who are residents in the area, according to the LC1 records, is more than 200.
The EC official at Tomusage polling station, Evelyn Nabulya, told Uganda Radio Network that since the morning, only one person had registered.
In the grey zone in Lubaga, the turn-up was equally low. According to the records, only 60 people had registered by the close of business Wednesday.
In Munno B zone in Kampala Nakibubo, Barbra Apolot, the registration officer, said that only 54 women had turned up for registration, despite the number of women voters in the area being more than 100.
She says that they are working closely with the area chairman to rally the women to participate in the exercise.
The LCI Chairman of Munno zone A, Fauzi Kayongo, says that only 25 women have registered, yet there are over 150 women voters who are residents in the area.
He adds that the extension of the deadline has given more women a chance to register as the LC carries out mobilization.
Ali Mukwaya, the LCI Chairperson of Aggrey Zone, says that there are over 300 women of voting age in the area but only a few turned up for registration. He says that they informed people about the exercise but are yet to get a positive response.
Evelyn Nakiryowa, the Chairperson of Tomusage Zone, also says that she made attempts to reach out to women and made deliberate efforts to follow up on several of them to ensure that they register and participate.
Nakiryowa, however, says that some women have been cut off by the guidelines for registration, which include being a resident in the area and presenting a National ID. She explains that several of the women have used their national IDs as collateral to acquire quick loans.
Shakira Nakityo, who has registered, says that she wants to participate in deciding who her leader shall be. Nakityo says that women’s councils are key in resolving women-related matters and especially dealing with complaints of domestic violence.
Due to the EC’s lack of civic education, some parties, such as the National Resistance Movement-NRM, have intervened in the exercise.
The EC Spokesperson, Paul Bukenya, says that they have conducted sensitization campaigns through the media to popularise the women’s council election.
The EC shall display the register at the village level from June 23rd to June 24th, and conduct the nomination of candidates at the Sub-County Headquarters from June 27 to July 1.
Campaigns for candidates for the election of the Village Women’s Committee will be held from July 4–6.
Voting for the five members of the Village Women’s Committee will be held on July 7, 2022. EC shall then start compiling registers for Parish/Ward women’s Councils on July 8 and 9.