By An Executive Editor
71,255 villages across the country go to polls on July 7, 2022 for election of the five (5) members of Village Women Committee.
This means that the Commission will have to recruit polling officials and also finance the entire process.
EC Spokesperson Paul Bukenya in a recent interview told us that the Commission expects to use about Shs 35 billion in this election and also recruit at least three polling officials per polling station. Each village is a polling station. Times three polling officials. This means that the EC will recruit 213, 765 polling officials.
Q & A
Kampala Gazette: What is the implication of the Women Councils and Committees elections in terms of finances and human resource?
Paul Bukenya: Whenever we have elections, we budget (whether they are LCI elections, Special Interest Groups or general elections), we draw a budget and the budget is based on the cost drivers which include the number of electoral areas or administrative units. So, our budget will consider the changes in the number of administrative units.
We have a detailed programme of course. There are people we recruit as temporary village election officials (like this exercise we are going to). Each village is a polling station and is registered separately. For purposes of women councils and LCI, so we will recruit village election officials for registration purposes and on polling day, each village is a polling station so we recruit polling officials.
We have 70, 512 villages (at the time of the interview) at the moment. So, times the number of officials (there is a polling officer, elderly officer, ..You look at that and about 3 officials per polling station. Registration, we will need one person who does registration. Then some villages are very big. Then maybe we will have to consider having another person to assist. So, it depends. Those are the cost drivers. The number of units will determine our budget. And the number of human resource required for this particular exercise.
Kampala Gazette: When is the recruitment expected?
Paul Bukenya: We are doing registration in the month of June. We recruit early and we train.
Kampala Gazette: Talk about the finances…
Paul Bukenya: This is a scheduled election. A structure in our local government. A group that is represented in respect to women councils and committees is a structure. The governance structure. It’s an administrative structure. So, we presented a budget for purposes of those elections. The same way with LCI.
Kampala Gazette: How much are we talking about?
Paul Bukenya: Women councils and committees elections is going to cost us about Shs 35 billion.
Kampala Gazette: The EC had the Civil Society aid voter education. Some of these CSOs are no longer in operation. What are the other options available?
Paul Bukenya: Of course media is the main channel for communicating our programmes. Civil society helps to compliment what we are doing. We take leadership in communicating. We are responsible for voter education. The other partners come along to support the process. There are some who are already doing that. We have already sensitized political parties and local government structures and they have a duty to go back down and organize their constituents as we also do our mobilization because parties have to present candidates and then the candidates have to be voted (by the people) who must be registered. So, all of us have a role. We are doing the leadership. We have already sent out the programme and the guidelines and they are just going to build on that and mobilize for the activities that are coming.