By Wilber Muhwezi Kasibante
The Electoral Commission has extended the deadline for the registration of women voters for purposes of participating in the village/cell Women Councils and Committees Elections, 2022.
In a statement released on 13th June 2022, the Commission Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, said that the compilation (registration) exercise that commenced on Friday 10th June 2022 and was scheduled to close Monday, 13th Jun1e 2022, would now go on for an extra four days, until June 17th, 2022.
“The Electoral Commission is compiling a Register of Women Residents in each village/cell across Uganda to enable all willing female residents aged 18 years and, above, to register to participate in Women Councils and Committees Elections, 2022, within their respective villages.
However, due to a higher number of, applicants at some registration centres since the beginning of this exercise, and requests from key stakeholders in the electoral process, the Electoral Commission has found it necessary and taken a decision to extend the compilation (registration) period for four (4) more days, starting from Tuesday 14th June and ending on Friday 17th June 2022, after which, there will be no further extension,” Justice Byabakama said in the statement.
“This exercise will continue to be conducted at registration centres in each village/cell throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, throughout the extended period. The purpose of this extension is to provide an opportunity for all eligible women who have not yet registered to do so,” he reiterated.
In the statement, Justice Byabakama reiterated that only willing Ugandan females of eighteen (18) years and above, who, are residents in their respective cells/villages are eligible to register. Registration shall take place in a customized register book provided by the commission. The registration exercise shall be free of charge.
A person appearing for registration shall be required to provide to the village election official, their names, National Identity Number or Application ID Number, as well as their age, gender, and the village of residence.
The Village Women’s Committee shall consist of the following five (5) positions, namely, Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Publicity Secretary, and Secretary for Finance.
In an earlier statement, Justice Byabakama had emphasized that the conduct of Women Councils/Committees Elections is progressive starting at Village and ending at National Level, meaning that for one to be elected at the national level, she should have been successfully elected right from the village/cell level.
“Please note that no one can join the subsequent electoral processes if she did not participate at the village level,” Justice Byabakama, emphasized.
“The Commission urges all eligible women to turn up in high numbers and exercise their right to elect leaders of their choice at the above elective levels,” he concluded.
Roadmap to the Women Councils and Committees Elections, 2022
The current Women Councils and Committees were elected during the period June – August 2018, and the Executive Committee of the National Women’s Council was constituted on 23rd – 24 August 2018. According to the National Women’s Council Act, the terms of office of the said Councils and Committees is four (4) years, implying their term will elapse in August 2022.
The Commission within its mandate to organise and conduct regular free and fair elections is mandated to conduct an election to choose new office bearers.
The Electoral Commission, between 16th March and 27th March 2022 together with the Ministry of Local Government, conducted a countrywide exercise to compare, verify, harmonise and confirm all administrative units in preparation for the Women Councils and Committees Elections, 2022.
Following the exercise, the Commission announced that for the 2022 elections, it shall consider, 146 districts; 2,191 Sub Counties/Town Councils/Municipal Divisions; 10,692 parishes/wards and 71,255 villages/cells.
Following the exercise, to harmonise administrative units, the Commission on June 1st announced a roadmap that would commence with village/cell women committee elections, starting with a voter registration exercise running from the 10th to 13th June 2022. But this has now been extended to Friday 17th June.
The roadmap announced on June 1st also details the election process and schedules for the compilation and display as well as nominations, campaigning and elections for women committees at Parish/Ward, City Division/Sub-County/Town Council/Municipal Division, and District/City and National Conference levels.
The EC Chairperson, Justice James Byabakama, has emphasized that after the June 17th new deadline, there shall be no further extension of voter registration to participate in the 2022 National Women Councils and Committees Elections.
The Commission has also emphasized that participation in the elections at this stage is mandatory for participating in all other subsequent elections at the Parish/Ward, City Division/Sub-County/Town Council/Municipal Division, District/City and National Conference levels.
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