nrm printing ballot papers country
The Secretary-General of the ruling party proposed that the commission should support local companies.

NRM through its Secretary-General has proposed local companies should be assigned the role of printing of ballot papers. 

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has issued a proposal to the Electoral Commission to consider printing ballot papers from within the country.

In an interview with journalists on Thursday, Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Secretary-General of the ruling party proposed that the commission should support local companies that are still recovering from the effects posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

She said that earlier government adopted the policy on local enterprise promotion deemed Buy Uganda Build Uganda as a result she said that it is a must for all government agencies including the EC to follow it.

“Although the law protects the Electoral Commission from being influenced by anybody while it carries out its duties, it must not forget that it’s still part of the government.”

“Earlier on government adopted the policy on local enterprise promotion’ the Buy Uganda Build Uganda initiative, and therefore, it is incumbent upon all government agencies including the Electoral Commission to follow it,” Lumumba said.

In an article published by the Uganda Road Network earlier this week, the Director of the Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Authority- PPDA Benson Turamye rejected contracts in which the EC had procured foreign companies to print the over 187 million ballot papers to be used for the 2021 general elections. 

 Several local companies including Picfare Group of Companies, New Vision, Graphic Design among others also raised worries on why foreign companies had been awarded contracts yet they are charging extremely higher fees than most local companies.

nrm printing ballot papers country
The Secretary-General of the ruling party proposed that the commission should support local companies.

However, the Electoral Commission chairman Justine Simon Byabakama Mugenyi Thursday said that the decision was made to eradicate any form of vote-rigging that might arise.

He cited that many of these local companies might be influenced into picking up bribes from aspirants which deems the elections unfair.

Meanwhile, this comes at a time when the EC has banned mass gatherings ahead of next week’s presidential nominations.

According to Byabakama, this has been done in response to the ongoing pandemic. He said that each aspirant has been permitted to go with only 10 people and three accompanying cars.

Byabakama also said that all candidates together with nine of their supporters will only be allowed to access the nomination centre provided they fist present COVID-19 certificates showing negative results. 

He, however, cited that any aspirants who might test positive will still be nominated even in absentia provided their nominators show up physically to represent them.