The Electoral Commission has on Wednesday evening received the first consignment of ballot papers to be used in the 2021 general elections.
The ballots received at the Entebbe International Airport by EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama arrived from Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The companies contracted by the Electoral Commission to print the ballots are from UAE, South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK).
Asked when the presidential ballots will arrive, Byabakama confirmed that the consignment of presidential ballots will be received in the country today Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1:15pm.
What was strange as EC welcomed the first consignment of the ballots is that amongst all the political parties, it was only Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) that sent a representative to witness the arrival.
Byabakama wondered why parties did not send representatives yet the Electoral Commission informed them to be available to receive the ballots
“I really don’t know. I do not run those political parties, I do not have a representative in those political parties, I do not know why they have not come. But we informed them and evidence that FDC has sent a representative,” he said.
Asked what it means that Political parties have failed to send representatives to welcome the ballots, Byabakama said, “it means nothing. Their failure to turn up is nothing. The ballot papers have arrived, they are witnessed by us, the media is here to inform the country that the Electoral Commission has received some of the ballot papers as we promised the country.”
It should be noted that EC requested political parties to get representatives to travel abroad to witness the printing of the ballots but again, they refused.
The first batch of the ballot papers came along with Declaration of Results Forms and are for the District Woman Representative to Parliament.
The delivery was made by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The delivery comprised of 116 pallets which contain ballot papers for districts falling in seven electoral regions, namely; Kampala, South West, Central, South, Elgon, Karamoja, Northern and West Nile.
The cost of the delivered election materials is 2,536,352,880 (two billion five hundred thirty-six million three hundred fifty-two thousand eighth hundred eighty) out of the consignment cost of 9,701,600,000 (nine billion seven hundred one million six hundred thousand shillings.
The 116 pallets weigh a total of 40 tons and have been delivered by Emirates airlines
Uganda will go to the polls on January 14, 2021 to elect the next president.