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Interview With Crispy Kaheru, Coordinator Citizens’ Coalition For Electoral Democracy In Uganda On The Recently Launched Votability Campaign




Crispy Kaheru, Coordinator Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) speaking at the “Votability” launch, a voter education and mobilisation campaign to boost participation in the ongoing Electoral Commission Voter Register Update exercise that is taking place from 7th to 30th April 2015, held on Friday last week.

1. Tell us about the Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU)

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) is a civil society coalition founded in 2009 with membership of over 800 civil society organisations and representative of the various interest groups that advocate for comprehensive electoral democracy in Uganda. The overriding agenda of this coalition is to advocate and promote integrity, transparency and active citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process.

2. The Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) recently launched a campaign called “Votability”. Tell us more about it?

The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) which is a Civil Society platform with over 800 members recently launched a voter mobilization campaign dubbed Votability, to boost participation in the ongoing Electoral Commission Voter Register Update exercise that is taking place from 7th to 30th April 2015.
CCEDU is accredited by the Electoral Commission to conduct voter education across the country with a mandate to mobilize all eligible Ugandans aged eighteen (18) years and above to peacefully and actively participate in the general Voter Register Update.

3. What does the term ‘Votability’ really mean?

The Votability slogan is a combination of the words “vote” and “ability”, which basically refers to eligibility, preparedness and ability of one to exercise their right to vote. The Votability campaign is meant to popularize the Voter
Register Update Exercise and ultimately positively change attitudes of the electorate to embrace the entire electoral process.

4. What does the Votability campaign entail?

The Votability campaign entails various activities aimed at reaching out to all eligible voters across Uganda to go and verify their personal details on the Voters Register. And for those Ugandans who have not registered yet, to do so. These activities include: Experiential road shows, Advertising, Radio and Television messaging, social media and online updates and promotional material among others.

5. Why is there need for the Voter Register Update exercise?

The purpose of the general Voter Register Update exercise is to register eligible Ugandan citizens of eighteen (18) years and above who are not yet registered as voters. However, all persons who registered during the mass enrollment for issuance of the National Identity Cards, and were successfully verified as Ugandan citizens, will not be required to register again during this update exercise because the Electoral Commission has already extracted their particulars from the National Identification Register. Further still, the exercise is aimed at enabling eligible voters to scrutinize and confirm that their particulars appear on the Voters’ Register at the voting locations of their choice and also seeks to prevent or at least minimize the exclusion of eligible voters.

6. When and where will the Voter’s Register update exercise be conducted?

The general update of the Voter’s Register is taking place between Tuesday 7th April 2015 through Thursday 30th April 2015. The update exercise starts at 8:00am to 6:00pm, on each of the appointed dates, including weekends (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays). The general update will be conducted at the Parish level by the update teams throughout Uganda.

7. Do I need to be a Ugandan Citizen in order to register to vote?

Only Ugandan nationals are eligible to vote.

8. What is your advice to all eligible voters in Uganda regarding the Voters Register update?

Quality of life depends on the leaders one chooses. I therefore urge all eligible Ugandan voters to go verify their details on the Voters’ Register at their respective Voter Register Display centers located in their parishes or wards and make sure that their details are accurate.

9. During the 2011 elections, only 59% voter turn up was recorded and of the recorded turnout, 4% of the votes were invalid. What do you have to say about these statistics?

Yes, the statistics are true. However, it does not have to be the same in 2016. All eligible voters should seek to be on the register this time, so that when the time for voting comes, they are able to participate in the vote.

10. Any last remarks?

The most fundamental form of participation in governance issues is through participation in regular, free and fair elections. Therefore, I urge all eligible voters in Uganda to participate in the Update exercise between now and30th of April 2015 – the deadline. This way we will have all secured our Votability!

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