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EC Boss: Local Firms Will not Print the Ballot Papers

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The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama has insisted that local firms from Uganda do not have the capacity of printing the ballot papers for the 2021 polls despite their claims to handle the project.

Byabakama told journalists at the EC headquarters on Thursday October 29, 2020, that the Commission is in fresh discussions with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) to allow them give tender to foreign countries to print the ballots papers in time and in the “most convenient and unsuspicious manner.”

It should be noted that between November 2 and 3 next week, the Electoral Commission will conduct the final nominations of presidential candidates to add on the list of the Members of Parliament, Mayors, District Chairpersons and Councilors who were cleared this month.

As such, Byabakama said, the printing of the ballot papers must be done fast as the election period draws closer.

Six local printing companies; Picfare industries Ltd, Graphic system Ltd, Inline Printing Services, Multiplex Ltd, Wave Media, New Vision Printing Services and Hi Tech Graphics Ltd dragged the Commission to PPDA after it neglected their bids for ballot printing valued at Shs 41bn.

The EC awarded the contract to foreign companies of; Tall Security printers (UK), Uni print (South Africa), United printing and publishing (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Adare Sec Ltd (UK) and Al Ghurair printing and Publishing Company (Dubai), at a total sum of Shs 81bn.

PPDA on Wednesday this week ruled out that it was bad for the Commission to sideline local companies yet the government is promoting the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy (BUBU).

“It is not a mere sentimental under taking but a question of capacity and in our assessment, our technical team assessed that there is technical incompetence in some of our local printers in the area given the high numbers, value and the time element. Remember we are approaching the timeline which has been restricted by COVID-19 and that is why we said let the printing be handed over to the foreign entities not Because we are not supporting government programs but because we are handling a delicate item,” Byabakama said.

“The Commission cannot afford to have any delay in printing of ballot papers. Remember, any delay pushes the Commission in a situation of non-compliance with Article 61(2), where elections must be held within a specified time frame and that is why the Commission chose to sideline the local firms but PPDA ruled otherwise.  We are in further discussions to make sure that this is sorted, we cannot afford to delay anymore,” he added.

Byabakama noted that although local firms got the favor of PPDA, awarding them contracts to print the ballots is next to impossible.

A section of opposition leaders have since clashed over this issue with some supporting local firms to print while others say it will promote vote rigging.

Maj. Gen Mugisha Gregory Muntu, the presidential candidate of the Alliance for National Transformation party expressed concerns that once ballot papers are printed from here, votes will be rigged right from the printing venues, while Muhammad Nsereko, the incumbent Kampala Central legislator said that whoever does not support local firms to print ballots is an enemy of Uganda’s development.

 

 



Source – chimpreports.com

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Nobert Mao Denounces Violence, Calls for Peaceful Transition of Power

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Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate has denounced violence and pleaded for a peaceful transition of power in Uganda.

Mao said that all voters should stand against the violence that leads to bloodshed and instead embrace a peaceful transition of government from the current leadership of Uganda to a new leadership through the ballots.

He noted that Uganda has not undergone a peaceful handover of power since the overthrow of the governments of Milton Obote and Iddi Amin Dada by coups which led to consequence toppling of power by the National Resistance Army (NRA), now the National Resistance Movement-NRM led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

‘’The reason for this election is to see that Uganda witnesses what it has never witnessed before and that is a change of government without bloodshed,’’ Mao noted.

Mao made the statements during his two separate campaigns in Ongako and Palenga town council all in Omoro district on Wednesday.

His statements come at a time when Uganda is witnessing a wave of deadly violence and protests by people loyal to opposition parties and against the ruling NRM government.

Last week, Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) announced that the opposition would go for ‘’Plan B’’ if the election fails.

Last week police reported that more than 40 people were killed, scores injured and more than 300 arrested following protests against the arrest of presidential hopefuls Robert Kyagulanyi and Patrick Oboi Amuriat of the National Unity Platform and Forum for Democratic Change parties respectively.

Lawrence Okidi, an elder from Palenga town council praised Mao for typically living as a true leader of the Democratic Party who believes in a peaceful transition of power.

Betty Kilama, a voter and contender in Omoro district noted that Mao’s love for peace, intelligence and competence makes him deem to be elected the President of Uganda.

Talking about his manifestos, Mao said that he will improve electricity, roads, education in the northern region and also ensure compensation of those who lost their properties to the government.

Mao is seeking election for presidency alongside ten other candidates.

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URN

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Source – thetowerpost.com

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I Withdrew to Protect My Supporters, Public from Chaos – Muntu Speaks Out on Foiled Kamwenge Rally

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The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Gregory Muntu has finally opened up on why the police foiled his Kamwenge campaign rally and the reason why he chose to “peacefully withdraw.”

Since the commencement of the campaigns on November 9, Muntu and President Museveni have been known to be the most peaceful candidates, abiding by the set guidelines for conducting campaigns, however, it wasn’t business as usual today in Kamwenge where Police foiled his rally.

His policy, as he has been and continues to preach, is using non-violent and radical means of changing the country leadership as opposed to ‘defiance’ that is always applied by his fellow opposition presidential candidates.

In a statement that he released shortly after the blockade, Muntu admitted that it was their foul for trying to change the campaign venue, after the heavy rains destroyed the initial one.

“As we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people in the venue we had earlier in a week before agreed upon with the security agencies. No one anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or people to access,” he noted.

“After identifying an alternative place only 100 meters away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police,” he added.

He noted that since ANT’s policy is to be reasonable even during unreasonable actions on the side of the state, they engaged police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner with an intention of denying police any chance for injuring his supporters or the general public including himself (Muntu).

Muntu’s campaign meeting was foiled over change of venue.

“They not only intended to frustrate us, but also cause us to act in the ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on,” he said.

“While we are confident that we are on the right side of both law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation,” he added.

Muntu vowed that his ANT will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of his campaign.

He truth remains, the regime’s days are numbered,” he said.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Amuriat’s Team Involved in Car Accident, Two Dead

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Two people belonging to the Forum For Democratic Change – FDC Presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat’s campaign team have died on spot after their car was involved in an accident.

The two were part of a team that was travelling on a truck carrying the Presidential Candidate’s Public Address system.

The truck plunged into a valet at Panyamur hill leaving two dead and 15 nursing serious injuries.

 “It is something that has hit us very hard,” Amuriat said.

“We have taken a decision to suspend the campaigns and deal with the causalities while we sympathise and stand with those families that lost their loved ones,” he added.

Amuriat and his FDC team have been combing Northern Uganda for votes as according to the electoral road map issued by the electoral commission.

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Source – thetowerpost.com

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