EC wants cameras, phones, banned during voting
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama, has proposed banning of phones and cameras inside polling stations during voting.
The Commissioner, who was appearing before the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday, 10 September 2019, said that the proposed amendment should be included in the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019, being considered by the committee.
“During voting, no person shall use a camera of any kind or any recording device inside the polling station. We are looking at protecting the privacy of the voters who wish to vote in secrecy,” he said.
Byabakama added that the amendment should also provide penalties for going against the provision.
“Any person who contravenes this provision has committed an offence and is liable to pay Shs800,000, two year imprisonment or both,” he said.
Hon. Abdu Katuntu (FDC, Bugweri County) opposed the proposal saying it will affect transparency and deny people pictorial evidence.
“We are more interested in what happens inside a polling station; this rigging takes place inside the polling station. Banning of the camera affects the work of the journalists hence disturbing their work,” he said.
On verification of academic documents, hon. Anna Adeke (Youth, Female, National) said that the certification of the papers was a waste of time since Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) issues original copies.
“There is a lot of bureaucracy and the entire process is so tiring. It is also an expensive venture, we have to pay Shs700,000 to certify just one paper,” she said.
The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has just returned from a countrywide consultation on five electoral reform bills which include the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill 2019; the Political Parties and Organisations (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2019.