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EC confirms they need sh428 billion to prepare for 2021 elections

 

Justice Byabakama at parliament at a previous committee meeting. PHOTO @parliament_ug

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission is seeking sh428 billion for the preparations of the 2021 general elections.

This was disclosed by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama on Thursday while appearing before the legal and parliament affairs committee to present their proposed budget for 2019/2020.

Byabakama told MPs that the preparations will be done in three phases. He explained that some of the activities include demarcation of electoral areas, reorganising polling stations, procuring specialised materials and ICT equipment, replacement of some district motor vehicles and comprehensive voter education.

Byabakama says that for the first phase the commission needs 139 billion shillings while the second phase it requires 283 billion shillings.

Sam Asiimwe Rwakoojo, the Secretary Electoral Commission told the MPs that the funds for preparations should be released on time so that preparations can start immediately.

However, MPs tasked the commission to present a detailed explanation on the phases and activities and how the funds will be spent.

Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality MP questioned why every election, the electoral commission purchases new equipment.

Government recently projected that it will require up to 700 billion shillings for the 2021 elections, 300bn more than the 2016 elections. This is an increase from the Shillings 419.9 billion budget for the 2016 general elections.

The commission also says they need five billion shillings to conduct elections in the six newly created districts of Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kassanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong, and Kikuube and for another seven that will begin operating in July this year.

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