On June 13, 2022 the Dean of students wrote a letter to the Director of ICT at Makerere University directing them to update the system to facilitate online voting.
This left mixed reactions in the general public with a one Mpiirwomugisha Isaiah Ntendere, Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Guild aspirant coming out to express his dissatisfaction about the matter.
With the polls closing in, the university administration has made it clear that online voting is the way to go, having been adopted during the previous guild elections held during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We disassociate ourselves with the modus of election being entrenched to be used during the guild elections. We provide the justification below,” Isaiah’s statement partially reads.
The ANT front man at the hill listed the following;
- The online elections do not fit with in the concept of fair as far as accessibility. For instance, in the last guild election, voting online had to be called off till the next day due to system break down.
- There is no fair process of monitoring the election using online links as compared to physical voting.
- Monitoring and overseeing the electoral process online is difficult since there is need for an expert agent to determine whether there has been electoral injustice and unfair treatment during the electoral process.
- The elections done online are not fair since they are susceptible to being rigged.
- Lastly there is absolutely no reason what so ever to justify the use of online elections. This mode can only be justified where the electorate may not access the different polling stations. This may be due to restrictions on mobility such as a Lockdown. All Makerere Students are currently at campus and as such they can all access physical voting points.
“For the above reasons, for the love of a free, fair and democratic society – we condemn the action being taken by the Dean of students as not only being unfair but also a grossly ridiculous move by those who do not care about the principles of a free and fair election. We cannot build for the future when we have decided to throw away the principles of a for a fair society,” he added.
Physical voting/electoral processes at Makerere University are a long tradition thus online voting has found resistance inevitable.
University authorities are yet to react to the continued students’ outcry to restore a full electoral process with votes cast physically and not electronically.
Attached is Isaiah’s full statement;