Senior presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama has vehemently dismissed allegations made by the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC) that President Museveni has control over the elections governing body, the Electoral Commission.
Addressing the media at party headquarters on Monday, the FDC spokesperson who doubles as opposition Chief Whip in Parliament, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda alleged that failure by the senior Commissioners at the Electoral Commission to contract a German company called Veridos to print ballot papers for the 2021 general elections was behind their departure.
Although Semujju alleged the Commissioners who included the EC Secretary Sam Rwakojo, spokesperson Jotham Taremwa and the head of procurement Godfrey Wanyoto among others were sacked on Museveni’s orders, the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama last week said that the Commissioners applied for early retirement.
“We told the country that Mr. Museveni had taken over the electoral process. He had personally contracted a German company called Veridos to print ballot papers yet as we told you last time, the Electoral Commission invited suppliers and the suppliers submitted their bids,” Semujju said.
“At the conclusion of that process, the Electoral Commission submitted as is required under the law bids to Solicitor General for clearance before contracts are signed. It is at that stage that Museveni struck and then he took over the process. Since then, it is now Museveni running the electoral affairs at State House. The people at Electoral Commission are just watching,” Semujju alleged.
Semujju further alleged that the same German company, Veridos was contracted to supply voter verification machines.
However, Byabakama last week said that no company has been contracted to do the job.
Chimpreports has on Tuesday contacted senior presidential press secretary Don Wanyama to respond to allegations by the FDC that “Museveni controls Electoral Commission,” from State House.
Wanyama had no kind words for the FDC.
“That is hogwash, it is total nonsense. The President does not control the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission’s roles and functions, jurisdiction and oversight are spelt out in the Constitution. So it is not enough to just come out and make wild accusations,” Wanyama said.
“What the opposition is trying to do is, as usual, to prepare Ugandans for their imminent loss in the coming election and they are looking for all excuses,” Wanyama told Chimpreports on Tuesday evening.
He added, “they (FDC) have failed to go out and tell Ugandans what they want to do. They are now sitting in Kampala and trying to get whatever excuses they can. So, that is total hogwash. The President (Museveni) does not control the Electoral Commission. The Commission does its work independently.”
Wnyama went ahead to argue that the accusers should have concrete evidence if they are to come out with such an allegation.
“Do not let these people get away with wild allegations. Where is the evidence? Can they table it? Do they have any documentation to that effect? Don’t just let them malign another party because they are weak, because they can’t do any mobilization. They have nothing to tell Ugandans,” Wanyama concluded.