EC lifts ban on phones & cameras, outlaws pens


The Electoral Commission has accepted to let voters use their mobile phones and cameras at polling centers.

EC chairman, Eng Badru Kiggundu, had earlier banned both phones and cameras on polling stations sparking outrage from the public.

Candidates Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye urged supporters to go along with their phones and cameras and record evidence of vote rigging.

FDC chairman, Amb Wasswa Birigwa, also revealed that they joined hands with Go Forward in order to protect votes.

This came after Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, said voters would not be allowed to carry mobile phones and that no supporter of any presidential or parliamentary candidate should stick around polling stations on polling day.

Civil society led by Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda(CCEDU) also joined the outcry saying voters were being denied their rights.

EC lifts ban

EC spokesperson, Jotham Taremwa, told NBS TV Wednesday morning that the restriction on phones had been exaggerated by opposition.

“Voters are allowed to stay around the polling stations as long as they maintain a reasonable distance from the voting area,” he said.

Taremwa said voters can also carry their mobile phones and cameras but these will only be used once they are outside the ring.

“Our communication on use of mobile phones was misconstrued by politicians.”

“Outside cordoned area, voters are free to use phones. The intention is to protect the secrecy of the ballot (Article 68). Voting starts at 7am and ends at 4pm.”

He said by the end of yesterday, electoral materials had been dispatched to 91 districts.

“21 remain. Dispatch continues today.”

Polling materials for Kampala will be dispatched tomorrow morning.

Dispatched materials are kept at district headquarters are under police guard.

“Tomorrow, they head to polling stations.”

“If you have a national ID, voter’s slip, carry them but with or without them, being on the NVR is what matters,” Taremwa explained.

While addressing press this morning, Kiggundu placed a new ban on pens that voters will use to tick ballots.

“Do not come with your own pens,” he said, explaining that EC would provide the pens to use.

“…lest you will be construed to be doing something else,” Kiggundu said.

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