NRM Caucus Endorses Registration of Persons Bill

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus has unanimously endorsed the Registration of Persons Bill, 2014, a law which seeks to create a new authority to register citizens.

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The bill, currently before parliament has been blocked several times mainly by members of the Opposition and a cross-section of NRM legislators alleging that it is crafted to facilitate rigging of elections and allowing the ruling party to manipulate the voters registers.

Early last week, Butambala County MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi presented a minority report challenging the constitutionality of provisions in the contentious bill.

Kivumbi argued that through the Registration of Persons Bill, parliament would be donating the mandate of Electoral Commission; to compile, maintain, revise and update the national voters register.

He observed that under Section 40(2) of the proposed law, Government attempts to usurp the roles and independence of the electoral Commission by proposing that the Commission would update the voters register using data collected during the National ID registration exercise.

According to Kivumbi, such a move would undermine the integrity and independence of the Commission.

But the Vice Chairperson of the NRM Caucus David Bahati told URN in a telephone interview this afternoon that the caucus has agreed that enactment of the law will permit the Electoral Commission (EC) to utilize data compiled in the National Identity Card registration process to develop a comprehensive voter’s register.
Once passed into law, persons requiring a service from ministries, government departments or agencies will have to show proof of registration by providing their National Identification Number or National Identification Card before being served.

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