Close to 100
Electoral Commission-EC officials have undergone training on the use of
electronic vote tallying display equipment ahead of the 2021 general elections.
The training targeted Information Communication
and Technology officers, Returning Officers and their Assistants.
The training follows the purchase of video walls and
screens, cyber security applications and computers for use in the
electronic result transmission. Paul Bukenya, the EC Spokesperson, says the equipment
will be distributed to 147 tally centers across the country. He says the officials
are expected to pass on the skills to staff under jurisdiction.
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Early this year, parliament approved the use of technology
in the management of general elections in the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Act,
2019. This is line with the Supreme Court recommendation from the presidential
election petition of Amama Mbabazi Vs Y. K. Museveni, Electoral Commission and
In its ruling, the Supreme Court Justices observed that in
the absence of clear legislative provisions prohibiting the adoption of
technology management in elections, the court could not prevent the EC from
using technology to improve its efficiency.
In 2016, the EC introduced the technology in election management including the
introduction of the National Voters Register, voter identity verification
technology, Biometric Voter Verification System and electronic transfer of
Emmanuel Matsiko, the Kiira Region Returning Officer, told URN that his team of
close to 90 people would train on how to use the new technology to display
tallied results in real-time.
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Charles Labelo, the Returning Officer Mbale City is one of
those whose team has already benefited from the training. He says the training
will improve their efficiency in managing the election results. Patience Nantege, an independent candidate for Kyadondo East
parliamentary seat, says it is good that the Commission has established technology
that will facilitate the auditing and verifying of election data to avoid
mismanagement by a few individuals.
She asked the Commission to ensure that the
technology used is simple, accurate and transparent to the voters. Dr. Stella Nyanzi, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Kampala
Woman MP Candidate, said the use of technology will ensure political equity
among stakeholder’s, accuracy, consistency and quality results.
“This intervention will contribute to addressing challenges
which may arise in elections due to the human era if not manipulated, thereby
facilitating free and fair elections,” she said. Achilles Lubega, the Makindye West National Resistance Movement-NRM party
candidate, says the electronic display in tally centers will expose election anomalies
that have manifested in the previous general elections.
“This is a government that has purchased such election equipment to make sure
that they can properly display this information. The only problem we have is
that we are fond of manipulating the equipment late in the night to alter or
misinform elections stakeholders,” he said.