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Uganda Election

Voting Materials Arrive 4 Hours Late In Eastern Uganda

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Voters in Eastern City Jinja have just received voting materials four hours late even though they are just 3hours away from Uganda’s capital Kampala.

In other parts of the country, it has been very difficult to obtain updates as internet has been the main form of information sharing.

By Press time Presidential candidate John Katumba was queueing to vote at Ntinda polling station. Katumba is the youngest candidate in the race and was the first candidate to vote in the election.

Nancy Kalembe, the only female Presidential candidate in this year’s election has cast her ballot in Muyenga, a suburb in Kampala city.

Meanwhile, Alliance For national Transformation candidate General Mugisha Muntu has cast his ballot in Ntugamo, his home district. ANT party has raised concerns about the voters register and serial numbers being used in the 2021 election.

The late arrival of voting materials is also going to be met with failed Biometric Voter Verification machines which function with active Internet but the government has pulled out the cables forcing a total blackout on Internet.

According to details obtained by Taarifa, the Electoral Commission has sent a team of technical experts to the field to aid in areas where Biometric Voter Verification kits have failed, the EC spokesperson confirmed.

For ICT Minister Judith Nabakooba warns Ugandans against the use of VPNS, “We have closed Facebook for a moment and whoever is using social media is against the laws of our country. I would like to inform you that even if you are using VPN, we are going to block all kinds of VPNs.”

Doctors with the Uganda Medical Association have raised concern that the internet shutdown will affect treatment of patients on insurance and affect access to medical records. They also say Covid-19 results will be delayed.

VPN is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network- it extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

In other applications, Internet users may secure their connections with a VPN to circumvent geo-blocking and censorship or to connect to proxy servers to protect personal identity and location to stay anonymous on the Internet.

Some websites, however, block access to known IP addresses used by VPNs to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions, and many VPN providers have been developing strategies to get around these blockades.

In Uganda, a full-scale internet ban affecting all internet service providers has been instituted in the East African country on the eve of the polls, a communication official in government confirmed.Banks, hospitals, media houses  are all affected.

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