By Grant Ahumuza
Election observers in Kigezi region have attributed the alarming number of invalid votes to lack of enough civic education.
According to a statement released by Juliet Tushemereirwe the Program Officer at Kick- U, the Organization had deployed 30 election observers who visited 109 polling stations in the Kigezi Sub-Region on the 20th of January 2021.
More 6 observers were deployed at the district tally centers to observe the tallying and final declaration.
The report says over 6000 votes were invalid after the final tallying.
Robert Kakuru the regional coordinator for the Election observers said the problem was lack of enough Civic Education.
He said the masses were not properly educated on the Electoral process and activities.
Low civic education was also cited as another reason for low voter turn up in Kigezi especially during the local government elections that were held in 20th Jan. 2021.
The report indicates that voter turn up reduced with a bigger margin in local government elections compared to the Presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Kick – U Vice Chairperson Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda attributed the reduction in the number of voters participating in local government Elections to monetization of politics.
He said the use of a lot of money in the presidential and parliamentary elections affected the local government Elections
“There was a lot of voter bribery, and less money was used because the local government politicians did not have large sums of money to spend”
Other issues pointed out in the press statement by Kick – U include chaos and obstruction of the Electoral activities, with cases in point in Kisoro and Rukiga District, failure to follow the Covid -19 standard operating procedures, among others.
KICK-U calls for more civic education and investigation into matters that led to electoral violence at different polling stations.
KICK-U revealed that the number of voters turning up for the remaining local government elections may reduce further.
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