Uganda’s opposition political parties demanded that the ballot papers for the 2021 General Election be printed from outside the country to ensure guaranteed security to the electoral process.
Opposition political party leaders in Uganda state that they doubt the loyalty of local companies in the participation of the ballot paper printing deal therefore, asked the government to drop local firms.
Uganda’s electoral commission secretary, Mr. Sam Rwakoojo, however, disclosed that they had advertised the ballot papers deal inviting both local and foreign companies to bid for the printing of 186 million ballot papers.
Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) indicated that it did not have any issues with the procurement of the ballot papers as long as the whole process is safe and secure.
According to Bobi Wine’s People Power, Uganda’s leading opposition movement, they would rather have ballot papers printed from outside Uganda to prevent ballot-stuffing which practice has been common in Uganda.
“With this regime, you cannot take chances because they will order for printing of extra ballots in case the ballots are printed from Uganda,” Mr. Ssenyonyi, people power spokesperson said.
Dr. Besigye’s FDC party chairman, Mr. Wasswa Biriggwa, said they would have no problem having the ballots printed in the country in the spirit of Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) policy but that would be very dangerous.
According to the FDC chairman, the regime could easily have ballots printed in excess to favor their rigging. With printing from outside the country, there would be some level of accountability, he added.
Uganda’s 2016 election ballot papers were printed by Paarl Media Printers, a South Africa-based company at a cost of Shs45 billion. However, the EC officials said they could not readily avail of the projected cost of the ballot papers for the 2021 General Election.
Uganda is set to have presidential elections next year, however, the country is still battling with hot debates of either declaring a state of emergency or having scientific elections.
By Nsunjo Erica