Bujumbura: People less enthusiastic about registration in Constitutional Referendum

It is around 11 am. On the 5th day of the registration of voters in the referendum vote scheduled in May 2018, the voters in the capital Bujumbura have come in dribs and drabs. Sandrine Hatangimana, supervisor at “ECOFO Gihosha” registration center in Ntahangwa Commune of the capital Bujumbura says the voters came massively on the weekends. “After the fourth day of the registration, 920 people had already registered while we were supposed to be 300 voters a day”, she says. She also says they do not encounter major challenges except some errors related to page numbering.

Registration agents writing the voters’ identity at “Gikungu I” registration center

Registration agents writing the voters’ identity at “Gikungu I” registration center

Salvator Irakoze, another supervisor at “Gikungu I” registration center in the capital Bujumbura says there are some people who come to register without having identification documents. “It is not easy to write someone without an ID, but he must present another document like medical or baptism cards accompanied by three people including the hill chief,” he says. He also says young people aged 16 must be accompanied by their parents, relatives or other officials. “We have already registered about 665 people and we think that they will come in big number on the last days”, he says.

Prosper Ntahorwamiye, the spokesperson for the National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI says the registration of voters is going well throughout the country even abroad. “At the beginning we faced challenges related to the use of the equipment,” he says. Ntahorwamiye also says some registration agents made mistakes. “They are now in justice and must give all clarifications about what really happened”, he says.

Regarding the registration outside the country, he says all materials for the registration are available expect in some countries such as China, India and Egypt where a delay has been notified.
Ntahorwamiye says the voters must register where they wish to. “The 16 year old people must also look for necessary documents to register on time”, he says.

The registration of voters that started on 8 February will end on 17 February. The National Independent Electoral Commission has indicated that the registration of voters in both constitutional referendum and 2020 Elections will be done once.

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