2021 Elections: Presidential Candidates Decry Ballot Monitoring Costs for Agents

According to the EC one would require between 40 to 52 million shillings to travel and stay in South Africa, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom for 14 to 30 days to monitor the process.
Printing of Ballot papers for 2021 General elections

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Several presidential candidates have said they cannot afford the cost of sending agents to monitor the ballot paper making process.

The Electoral Commission (EC) is sending out its teams to proof read and look at the designs of ballot papers to the various publishing companies.

According to the EC one would require between 40 to 52 million shillings to travel and stay in South Africa, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom for 14 to 30 days to monitor the process.  

The Commission urges as part of the election process monitoring and observation candidates to sponsor agents at their own cost to go and witness the design, printing, packing and transportation of ballot papers to Uganda. But the presidential candidates say they were not briefed about the process because it is costly and not affordable.  

Nancy Linda Kalembe, an Independent candidate says the system is broken that is why they require for candidates to send agents to witness the printing of the ballot papers. She says this should have been done in Uganda, to reduce the costs and allow for more transparency, if the structures and government systems were efficient and operating more transparently.

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Alliance for National Transformation - ANT presidential candidate Gregg Mugisha Muntu, has always allayed fears about the integrity of the EC to print ballot papers locally and pushed for the printing to be done from out of Uganda.  

Willy Mayambala, an independent presidential candidate says he was not told about the process to prepare during the nomination exercise and in the subsequent meetings with the EC. Besides he cannot afford to send agents to three countries to monitor five publishing companies. He says what the EC is doing is pro the incumbent government and presidential candidate to print ballot papers from out of Uganda in different countries and firms. The parliament should have prevailed over the EC to guide objectively.  

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Paul Bukenya, EC Media and Public Relations manager says the preparations of 2021 election polling materials is transparent and presidential candidates, well-wishers and political parties have been invited to be accredited to witness the design, printing and verification of ballot paper making process.

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has awarded contracts to five companies for the printing of ballot papers for use in the 2021 general elections.The companies awarded to print the ballot papers for the elections include; United Printing and Publishing, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing all located in the United Arab Emirates, Uniprint (SA), Durban South Africa, Tall Security Print Limited and Adare Sec Limited all located in the United Kingdom.

The process will take more than one month, but the ballots are expected to arrive in Uganda one week before elections on January 14, 2021.

The Public Procurement and Disposable of public Assets Authority (PPDA) cancelled the initial ballot printing contract which had been awarded to seven foreign companies. The PPDA said the local printers were unfairly excluded from the contract and ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct fresh evaluation of the bids. 

The 2016 election ballot papers were printed in South Africa by Ms Paarl Media of South Africa, after winning the tender to print the key voting material for presidential, parliamentary and district woman councilors.