The Electoral Commission of Uganda has made a sudden U-turn and now admits it’s okay to carry your camera and camera-phone to the polling station. This comes after Electoral Commission Chairman Mr.Badru Kiggundu decreed that no phones or cameras would be allowed at polling stations.
“In almost all elections around the world, within polling stations no cameras or phones are allowed.” Kiggundu said.
In a recent development, ‘Electoral Commission spokesperson Mr.Jotham Taremwa has clarified on the matter explaining that voters can carry their mobile phones and cameras but these will only be used once they are outside the ring (the actual voting area).’
Presidential candidates Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi had hitherto insisted that there was no law banning the use of cameras and phones which would actually be instrumental in recording any suspicious activity at the polling stations. Ironically Uganda Police Spokesman Fred Enanga was resolute that those those devices would not be allowed at the polling stations.
In this volatile period characterised by misinformation on social media and local TV stations, voters are often left wondering who to believe and who not to believe. Despite the Electoral Commission Spokesperson’s clarification, many voters will face restrictions by the various enforcers at polling stations. Usage of mobile phones and cameras might be banned at certain polling stations by over-jealous enforcers and the restrictions eased at others. Voters should know that they are not breaking any law by carrying their devices and thus should not allow their rights be infringed upon. Voting is every citizen’s right. Be it that a voter would want to see fundamental change in the political arena or to retain the status quo as it is. All this will only be possible when one makes the decision to go vote for the candidate of their choice.
Be the change you want to see. Go vote!