Massive Voter Education as a Pivotal Preventive Tool to Violence in 2021 Elections in Uganda: A Question of Election Funding
Voter education is an important aspect that promotes the credibility of an election as it empowers citizens with knowledge on how to exercise their right to vote in any election with acceptable voter behaviour and integrity. In the previous General Elections in Uganda, violence was cited at almost every level of election. Election periods are critical moments that need a tactical approach to register free, fair, safe and secure elections. It is the mandate of the Electoral Commission to organize, conduct and supervise free and fair elections. The Covid-19 pandemic situation has dictated the scientific manner in which the 2021 elections have to be organized by embracing and observing all the Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs) emphasized by the Ministry of Health in Uganda so as to permit secure and safe elections. This necessitates the use of law enforcement officers during elections coupled with the massive civic education even on the polling days to minimize election violence. Sensitization should be extended to all stakeholders including the electorates, polling officers, security agencies, election observers, candidates or aspirants, special interest groups such as youth, women, People with Disabilities and other stakeholders. To avoid committing the same mistakes and ferocity over and over, massive voter education is not optional and huge funding must be accorded priority.