Kitgum Runs Out Of ID Registration Forms

2082 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The Electoral Commission officials in Kitgum district are facing acute shortfalls of registration forms being used in the ongoing national mass enrollment exercise.

The Electoral Commission officials in Kitgum district are facing acute shortfalls of registration forms being used in the ongoing national mass enrollment exercise.
Joan Aduru, the Commission’s District Registrar, says the forms are finished and the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been forced to print new forms every week, as huge crowds gather in different centers just days to the end of the exercise.
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Aduru says majority of the 20 million forms the Ministry of Internal Affairs printed for the national exercise were wasted during the long waits of registration kits.
She says their problems have been compounded by low turn up, faulty kits and late deliveries of registration kits.
According to Aduru, up to 33 registration kits just arrived at the district on July 1st, a month to the conclusion of the exercise. She says the district is also stuck with hundreds of incomplete forms at various sub county headquarters.
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The latest bunch of computers came with the new challenge of unstable power supply with computers going off as soon as power goes off. Aduru wonders whether they are newly procured equipment since their batteries are too weak to hold power for long hours. 
Despite these challenges, Kitgum district has managed to register 75,100 of the projected 125,000 people, which figure she describes as overly estimated by Uganda national Bureau of Statistics.
Adure says they have employed new strategies aimed at reaching out to those panicking to attend late registration. She cites boosting the number of officials, door-to-door campaigns and the expensive use of generators at sub county headquarters among some of those strategies to meet the overwhelming demands.
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A Uganda Radio Network reporter in Kitgum visited Mucwini Sub County and saw long queues of people in many of the centers.
Thirty-five year old Josephine Acayo, a resident of Okol Village in Ogwapoke Parish said she had returned to have her photograph captured after it was earlier rejected by the kits. She was accompanied by her 41-year-old husband, Godfrey Kilama.
Kilama told URN that they decided to register in the hope that their large family will get better health care services, once in possession of the national identity cards as being promised by government.
Others said they have just understood the exercise from their local leaders moving door to door drumming up support for the project. At the time of the visit, Geoffrey Oguti, the Mucwini sub county councillor was sensitizing his voters at Pacua Village to take advantage of the few remaining days to get registered.
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Internal affairs minister, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, insists there will be no extension after the August 13th deadline, despite acknowledging many of the challenges in the exercise


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.