PWDs Blast Electoral Commission for Lack of Voter Education

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PWDs Blast Electoral Commission for Lack of Voter Educations

People with Disabilities [PWDs] in Hoima are accusing Electoral Commission for lack of civic education ahead of the just concluded disability elections. They accuse the commission failing to provide sign language specialists to help deaf people to understand their voting rights.

It all started last evening, after more than 20 votes were invalidated during the district elections for PWD representatives at Boma grounds. Idris Birungi, female councilor for PWDs at Kiziranfumbi Sub County says that disabled people with visual problems didn’t receive any civic education.

She blames the commission of failing to recognize the rights of the disabled people in participating in election. According to her, voter education was only done by some candidates during the election because they wanted people to vote for them.
John Karubanga, Buhaguzi county PWD representative says that many disabled people didn’t vote yesterday because they did not know about the elections while others didn’t have transport to the polling center. According to Karubanga electoral commission stopped providing PWDs transport in the 2011 elections.

Rashid Irumba who lost the district disability councilor’s seat to Edward Ayesiga says that they will boycott all elections in future if government continues neglecting them. But Erazimous Kimbowa, Hoima District Returning officer insists there was voter education despite the fact they didn’t recruit any sign language specialists.

He attributes the problem to limited funding which he says could not allow them cater for all the demands of PWDs. On transport refund, Kimbowa has advised PWDs to lobby their representatives to at different levels to advocate for the reinstatement of transport refunds because it was scrapped off in 2001.

Edward Kusiima, the NRM candidate was declared elected with 71 votes beating JEEMA’s Rashid Irumba who got eight votes. Ayesiga Flossy retained her female disability district representative unopposed.


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