KAMPALA : The Electoral Commission has on Thursday March 17 commenced a 10-day verification exercise aimed at confirming all the administrative units (villages and parishes) across the country at of polls.
The field exercise according to Justice Simon Byabakama, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, will run up to Saturday, March 26, 2022 in all districts and cities across the country.
“The Commission will conduct the verification/confirmation of administrative units in a participatory manner, and particularly in consultation with the respective District/City administrative leadership,” Justice Byabakama stated, noting that the verification exercise is part of preparatory activities for the conduct of women councils and committees’ elections (from the village to the national level) 2022, and administrative units (LC 1 and LC 2) Elections in August 2023.
The current women councils and committees were elected during the period July – August 2018, and the Executive Committee of the National Women’s Council was constituted on 23rd – 24 August 2018.
Citing the National Women’s Council Act, Byabakama stated that the terms of office of the said Councils and Committees is four (4) years, implying their term will expire in August 2022.
The current Village/Cell (LC 1) and Parish/Ward (LC 2) Committees were elected in July 2018.
According to the Local Government Act, the term of office of the said Executive Committees is five (5) years, implying their term will expire in July 2023.
The above elections were conducted in a total number of 60,800 villages/cells and 8,387 parishes, but EC says the number of Administrative Units in Uganda has increased and the current statistics as per the Electoral Commission database 2022.
Districts/Cities are 146,
Sub Counties/Towns/Municipal Divisions are 2,211, Wards in the cities are 431 and Parishes/Wards in the districts are 10,259.
The EC statistics also show that Villages/cells have since reached 70,512.
Justice Byabakama also indicated said that during the conduct of those elections, the Commission observed challenges related to disputes over the legal establishment of some of the villages.
Procedures of verification
Justice Byabakama noted procedure for the verification and confirmation of Administrative Units exercise will be as follows:
Stage 1: Desk Verification Exercise (EC Headquarters and District/City Offices)
a. Request for list of administrative units from the Ministry of Local Government and the respective Districts/City Local Governments for harmonisation with the Electoral Commission database;
b. Comparison of the submitted lists with the Electoral Commission database to confirm the legality of the administrative units, that is, creation by Statutory Instrument;
c. Confirmation of placement of the administrative unit (village/cell) in the respective higher administrative level (parish/ward);
d. Compiling of lists of units of variance for verification and confirmation during the field exercise;
Stage 2: Field Verification Exercise
a. Stakeholder mobilisation and engagement to create awareness on the purpose of the verification exercise;
b. Recruitment and training of verification officials
c. Preparation and production of materials for the verification exercise;
d.Delivery of materials to districts/cities;
e. Conduct of verification meetings at the sub county level;
f. Retrieval of verification returns to the district and finally the Electoral Commission headquarters;
Stage 3: Verification of Returns to produce a harmonized list of Administrative Units
a. Compilation of verified returns
b. Display of the verified and harmonized list at the sub county level;
c. Receiving and hearing any objections against inclusion/omission of administrative unit(s), and determining the complaints arising out of the verification exercise;
d. Publication of final harmonized list of administrative areas;
e. Dissemination of the final harmonized list to stakeholders;
The verification and confirmation of Administrative Units countrywide is, therefore, a very important exercise in preparation for the smooth organisation and conduct of the Women Councils and Committees and the Administrative Units (LC 1 and LC 2) Elections.
The Commission, therefore, urges all stakeholders to take note of the period for the exercise, and to participate in the confirmation of the Units in accordance with the above guidelines.
Summary Programme for the Conduct of Verification of Administrative Units, March – May 2022
Field verification of Administrative Units: 17th – 26th March 2022
Processing of verification returns: 30th March – 8th April
Display of verified Admin Units at District and Sub County Headquarters: 11th – 20th April
Processing of verification returns after display and production of final lists of Administrative Units: 22nd April – 4th May 2022
Transmission of soft copy of the verified administrative units to Political Parties: 13th May 2022.