Attorney General asked to explain shs.17B 2021 election ballot paper deal dispute

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FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju has raised a matter of national importance about the bidding process of printing ballot papers for the 2020/21 elections.
FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju has raised a matter of national importance about the bidding process of printing ballot papers for the 2020/21 elections.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed that the Attorney General together with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs explain controversies surrounding the procurement of ballot papers and the reported dismissal of staff at the Electoral Commission.

The directive followed concerns by Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda over the failure by the Attorney General William Byaruhanga or the Justice Minister Ephraim Kamuntu to respond to earlier queries about the procurement process for the printing of ballot paper ahead of the 2021 general election.

According to Ssemujju, the Electoral Commission completed the bidding process and submitted papers to the Attorney General for advice. However, the process was stopped after EC officials kicked out a German company Veridos Identity Solutions.

The MP’s complaint comes after reports indicating that eight EC senior officials had been fired amid an on-going investigation in regard to the procurement process of 2021 elecetion ballot paper amounting to Shs. 17 Billion.

The reports indicated that the persons who were fired include the EC secretary Sam Rwakoojo, the Director Finance and Administration Joseph Lwanga, Head of Procurement Godfrey Wanyoto, EC spokesperson Jotham Taremwa, the Director of Information Technology Pontius Namugera, Networks Administrator Jordan Lubega, Data Specialists Charles Musuza and Edgar Kasigwa.

It is alleged that the Electoral Commission officials rejected a ballot paper printing bid from the German Company, Veridos Identity Solutions which earlier in 2016 signed a joint venture with Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) to print money and other security printing deals. The electoral body officials reportedly declined to award the company the ballot paper printing deal for the 2021 polls since it is the same company entrusted with the transmission of poll results.

Now, Speaker Kadaga has directed that the matter should be placed on the order paper so that the Attorney General William Byaruhanga or the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ephraim Kamuntu provides an explanation to Parliament.

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