Police rescue Rakai registrar as dozens of polling officials protest unpaid allowances

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The police have been called to the rescue Sarah Nabukeera, the Acting Rakai Electoral Commission Registrar, from a rowdy group of polling officials that wanted to beat her up over unpaid training allowances and use of inappropriate language.

  The group of 502 polling officials including presiding officers, polling assistants, Parish and sub-county supervisors attended a 2-day training on how to use the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS).

The BVVS was introduced to improve the integrity of the electoral process through authentication of voter identity, according to the EC. The system basically uses fingerprints to match voter details which will help the election officer to confirm that the voter is on the roll of that polling station.

However, the training at Kasozi secondary school first got a hiccup on Wednesday when the polling officials complained about poor time management of the trainer, lack of breakfast and lunch in addition to the poor training design.

According to Mahad Taremwa, one of the officials from Kacheera sub-county, they were given only one trainer to handle over 500 officials which were unfair.   He explains that they contacted Nabukeera to respond to their needs but she instead switched her phone off.  

He further says that he spent ugx100,000 on transport from Kacheera to Rakai for two days but the district registrar has not refunded anything.

Douglas Muhiirwe, a polling assistant from Kansankala sub-county, says they were told to arrive at the venue by 8 am but the training would start at 4 pm without breakfast or lunch.

  Henry Mbuga, another official says they have been struggling to get food for two days which interfered with the training.

However, Justine Muhindo, the Rakai Deputy RDC summoned Nabukeera to the venue at Kasozi Secondary school to explain what had happened.   She arrived amid the officials’ high expectations to receive their allowances only to tell them the money had not been sent by the EC.   The infuriated group insulted her and accused her of taking their money. They forced the police constable and reserve officers to take her to Rakai police station or they would undress and beat her up.   They demanded for their allowances of 90,000 shillings. 

Another affected official, says that they were forced to invite the Office of the Resident District Commissioner to intervene because the registrar had also failed   Upon reaching the police station, Charles Mubiru, the Rakai RDC, calmed the officials down saying they were in close talks with the EC in attempts to have the money wired.

  Mubiru further told those who live near to wait until their allowances are processed while those who stay in remote areas will receive their payments through their sub-county supervisors. 

Nabukeera declined to speak to the reporters. Until Thursday evening, the polling officials were still waiting for their payment. END