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Tumukunde rejects EC plans of printing ballot papers in Uganda

Presidential aspirant Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde has said the Electoral Commission is wrong to print ballots for the 2021 general elections in Uganda.

Speaking on Wednesday at his home in Kololo, Tumukunde said printing ballots has potential for leakage and duplication which will compromise the integrity of the 2021 elections.

Tumukunde added that the prevailing conditions in the country so far don’t allow for free and fair elections as provided for in the constitution.

“Let the Electoral commission find importance in the legitimacy and credibility of an election. Once this ceases to be, then you give legitimacy to many other things,” Tumukunde said.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Electoral Commission offices in Kampala, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the Electoral Commission chairman said they are in the process of identifying companies that will supply the 2021 election materials.

He added that printing ballots in Uganda are not a new phenomenon. “All ballots for by-elections are printed here, the only difference for general elections is the bulk of the printing and the variables; they are so many, we are talking about 1.5 million elective positions for the 2021 general election. So if we have a local company with the capacity to print those and take into account the variables we have no problem with that,” Byabakama said.

He called on Ugandans to start believing in the capacity of their local people. “Look at how we have fought COVID; how much foreign input do we have? I think Ugandans should start developing a culture of self-belief in our abilities and commitment,” Byabakama said.

For all the previous general elections, ballot papers have been printed from outside the country especially in South Africa.

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