UCU Web and e-learning Administrator Edwin Byarugaba explains that the e-voting system was developed on the request of the Director of Students Affairs-DOSA to mainly solve voting challenges at the university. This resulted in their new app named ‘e-Chagua,’ conjoined from a Kiswahili word meaning voting.
Uganda Christian University-UCU
is piloting an online voting application to be used in guild elections across all
The university has previously
been challenged to involve students from all its sister campuses in deciding
their Guild President whose election is conducted at the main campus in Mukono
yet decisions from his office affects all campuses. The other UCU campuses include
Bishop Barham University College-BBUC Kabale, UCU Mbale University College and
the Medical School at Mengo.
The application also aims at
reducing the time and costs spent during the election process. At the main campus
alone about 35 million Shillings is spent on logistics and the entire process
of electing students’ leaders.
UCU Web and e-learning
Administrator Edwin Byarugaba explains that the e-voting system was developed on
the request of the Director of Students Affairs-DOSA to mainly solve voting
challenges at the university. This
resulted in their new app named ‘e-Chagua,’ conjoined from a Kiswahili word
The system is currently limited
to a Local Area Network. It is designed with a voter’s registers section where
student details are recorded and once the student is on a voter’s register, the
system accepts him to generate a password to login and vote once.
Byarugaba says that the app has
been tested through a sample election of theology college representatives,
where it turned out successful. They now intend to use it during the general guild
elections to be held in September before they advance to the world wide web.
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John Bruce, the chairperson of
UCU students’ guild Electoral Commission says that many students had missed electing
the guild president because they are usually not on campus in September when
the main election is conducted. He cites the entrepreneurship and theological
students who only turn up in February to vote for their representatives.
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The office of the administrator
in charge of student’s affairs Ayubu Mutaasa notes the university already
embraced the idea of shifting to the e-voting system since it eliminates
confusion and expenses. Mutasa says that the system saves the university from
spending money in printing ballots, prolonging in long queues, counting votes
and a good back up for records.
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Meanwhile, Hildah Mugaya, a third
year student finds the development necessary but at the same time challenging
since it takes away a feel of voting like it is in other voting places. “People
need to get involved in casting votes and also defend it until it is counted,”
A second-year student David Ddungu
is worried of the administration tempering with the system in case they wish
have their own desired leaders. However,
Byarugaba notes that they have designed the system with only the Electoral
Commission maintaining the right to sign in using their credentials.