Apaa Residents Protest Plans to Close Polling Stations

The polling stations that are planned to be closed include Apaa Health Centre II, Apaa Primary School and Apaa Market. They were created during voting in 1980.
Amuru District Woman MP Lucy Akello recently adressing residents of Apaa

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Residents of Apaa Township in Labala Parish, Amuru district have petitioned the Electoral Commission over plans to close three polling stations.   

The polling stations include Apaa Health Centre II, Apaa Primary School and Apaa Market. They were created in 1980.  

The petition was on Saturday presented to the Amuru District Registrar, Gertrude Ajwang from Lacor Akurukwe Parish in Lamogi Sub County. 

On Friday a team from the Electoral Commission led by, William Obote Ben the Labala Parish electoral supervisor told the voters that their polling stations will be closed and voters will in 2021 vote at nearby polling stations because Apaa is in a wildlife reserve.   

The new created polling stations include Opiro Junction in Labala Sub County, Te-Olam in Layima Parish and Ocoo after Apaa Junction. These are about 10 kilometres away from Apaa Township. 

Moairan Abola, the lead petitioner says that the decision to close the polling stations is a violation of their rights. 

He added that all the new gazetted polling stations are far from their area hence making accessibility difficult.   

Fred Ojera another voter says the idea is unacceptable. He says that instead more polling stations should be created in the area.   

//Cue in: “am very upset…

Cue out: …more polling stations.”//  

Gabriel P` Oyenga said they are likely to abandon voting in 2021 if the idea is not reversed citing long distances to the new polling stations.   

//Cue in: “they have transferred…

Cue out: …of polling stations.”//

Gertrude Ajwang, the Amuru district Registrar says that she will forward the complaints to the Electoral Commission Headquarters.

According to records, there are 26,800 voters in Apaa.  

Apaa Township is at the epicentre of violent conflict between Madi tribes of Adumani and Acholi of Amuru districts were both claims ancestral ownership since 2012.   

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is also claiming that Apaa is a wildlife protected area. They have since 2012 threatened to evict residents from the area.