5,000 Voters in Apaa Relocated to Adjumani District, Locals Appeal to EC for Alternative Polling Centre.

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A total of 5,000 voters whose polling stations were relocated to Adjumani District have appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) to find them alternative polling centres.

In September last year, the EC closed the three polling centres of Apaa Health Centre II, Apaa Market and Apaa Primary School, located on the disputed Apaa land and relocated them to Itirikwa Sub-county in Adjumani District.

EC closed the polling centres on allegations that that they were located in East Madi Game reserve found in Adjumani District.

EC closed the polling centres on allegations that that they were located in East Madi Game reserve found in Adjumani District.

Mr Denis Komakech, an Apaa land activist, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Tuesday that although voters are verifying their credentials on the national voters’ register, Apaa locals are stuck on what next.

“We are stuck here. We raised similar concerns with higher offices through our leaders at the district but they have not responded. We are being denied our right to vote for our leaders. We are calling upon the lead mediator, [Deputy Speaker Jacob] Oulanyah to look into the matter before the 2021 General Election,” he said.

Amuru District chairperson Michael Lakony threatened to drag EC to court for denying citizens their right to vote.

“What EC did was an abuse of the right of people to vote the leaders of their choice. Mr Oulanyah banned any activity in the contested area until the matter is resolved but EC went ahead and closed the polling stations,” he added.

Kilak North MP Anthony Akol, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that voters’ registration exercise never reached Apaa.

“We met the Deputy Speaker on January 30, but up to now, no action has been taken. We are left with one option; our lawyer has been instructed to handle it through the courts of law to make sure that Apaa people participate in all electoral processes taking place in Uganda.

Ms Gertrude Ajwang Obua, the EC registrar in Amuru District, said they cannot take the register to another district [because] Apaa is now in Adjumani District.

“Those voters should go to Adjumani where they belong for verification,” she said.

Mr Francis Okumu, an elder, said he has been voting from Apaa Health Centre II Polling Station since 1996.

“We are eligible voters of this country and no one should stand in our way. EC should instead add more polling stations in the area the growing population,” Mr Okumu said.

In May, Mr Oulanyah was tasked to preside over a committee to resolve the dispute concerning the land which is being claimed by both Adjumani and Amuru district local governments.
We could not get a comment from Mr Oulanyah by press time.

Background

A total of 2,100 people, who were forced to leave their villages in February following clashes between the Madi from Adjumani and Acholi from Amuru, are still camping at Juka Trading Centre in Apaa Parish.

A total of 26,000 people are currently settled on the disputed Apaa land, measuring 89 square kilometers.

In 2015, government began the process of demarcating administrative boundaries between Amuru and Adjumani districts in what it described as a move to restore calm among the communities. #DailyMonitor

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