Kabale University went to the polls today to choose their next Guild President in an election that was marred with voting irregularities, complaints and petitions. The election was the first of its kind with a section of the students voting physically and the rest voting online due to the threat of COVID-19 transmission.
The online voting platform which was being used by majority of the students crushed shortly after voting was opened on Saturday morning.
A statement from the University Guild Electoral Commission and the ICT department desk to all students released in the morning announced that the system had been refreshed and those who had already voted amidst the challenges were required to do so again.
“This is to inform the entire Kabale University about the issues raised concerning the e-voting exercise that is going on. It has been out on hold up to 9:30am when we shall all the commence e-voting exercise. For those who faced challenges, don’t worry, everything has been refreshed so you shall start afresh. The exercise shall end at 6pm,” the Guild EC announced.
However, the system later suffered challenges once again, prompting complaints from both the Guild candidates and their supporters who decried of unfair irregularities.
In a letter seen by Campus Trend Ug, signed by three of the Guild aspirants, requesting for the mode of voting to be changed from online to physical, the candidates aired their dissatisfaction to the Electoral Commission.
“We hereby request for a change of mode from online to physical voting due to so many irregularities and challenges that have happened ever since the voting started,” the letter read in part.
“Most students as per now don’t know how to use the online voting system and the EC has not put efforts to teach them how.
On this day of voting, there has been a system breakdown from 8:00am up to now. We don’t know what is happening as we write this letter.
Some of the candidates are not easily accessed by voters which has made even some candidates unable to vote for themselves,” the letter added.
The letter was undersigned by Mr. Barigye Micheal, Ms. Nakyejwe Aidah and Mr. Ainobusingye Godwin all who are Guild aspirants. The letter however lacked a signature from one of the top contenders in the guild race, Mr. Derrick Abigaba.
The Guild Electoral Commission later in the afternoon communicated in a open letter another extension in the commencement of online voting hours.
“We bring this notice to you that e-voting starts today Sat 06/11/2021 at 5:00pm and ends at midnight. All technical challenges have been addressed,” the Chairperson Electoral Commission, Akampurira Simon wrote.
E-voting is currently still ongoing.