KAMPALA - Yesterday, Rwandans living in Uganda took part in Rwanda’s Parliamentary elections. By 8 a.m voters had already made a queue at the Rwanda Embassy on Kitante Road, the polling station that opened at 6 a.m.
To participate in the exercise, a voter had to present a copy of a voting card and an identification card or Rwandan passport.
According to the Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda, Ignatius Kamali Karegyesa, Rwandans in the Diaspora had to participate in the voting process to exercise their civil rights as citizens.
“By actively participating in the elections, Rwandans in the Diaspora are not only exercising their rights as citizens but also contributing to the democratic process that is currently taking place in their country. Most of these people are here temporarily as students, businessmen or even on private matters, so there is no reason why they should not participate in the exercise,” he explained.
He added that two weeks to the elections 21 and 22nd August) , the Embassy hosted officials from Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) who conducted a training on the electoral process for the staff and members of the Rwandan community in Uganda.
“We have been working closely with NEC and this has facilitated our work. The turn up was good compared to the circumstances under which the people had to come and vote. For instance while it is a public holiday in Rwanda, in Uganda it is not but still most people made an effort to come even after work,” Karegyesa said.
“I thought I would miss the opportunity to vote for my party because I had to travel to Uganda for business on Sunday. But surprisingly when I inquired, I was informed that I could cast my vote at the embassy. So I came here early in the morning,” a gentleman who preferred not to be identified told The New Times.
Though a heavy downpour disrupted the exercise, more than 1,000 of the 3,000 registered voters turned up for the exercise. Voting was officially closed at 6 p.m.
According to Electoral officials at the Embassy, the counting of the votes would commence immediately after the voting exercise and results submitted to the National Electoral Commission in Rwanda.