Luweero, Uganda | URN | Opposition leaders in Luweero district have expressed concerns over the delivery of election materials by the Electoral Commission [EC] with broken seals.
On Wednesday at 9:30 pm, the Electoral Commission [EC] delivered election materials for 471 polling stations for Luweero district to its offices located in Luweero town council ahead of polls on Thursday 14th, January 2021.
The delivery of materials was witnessed by only agents of the National Resistance Movement [NRM], National Unity Platform [NUP], and the police. The materials included ballot papers, polling registers, declaration forms, the ink pad, indelible ink and pens among others.
However, NUP and NRM agents were left dissatisfied after they detected some boxes containing election materials with missing seals and failed to access others in four parishes.
One of the polling station identified as Gavu-Bukusu located in Katikamu sub county received materials with no single seal.
Other seven polling stations that include Bombo Central Church Primary School, Kitanswa, Keera P/S, Amazing Grace Church P/S Kikyusa ward, Kakakala-Kiberenge Public school, Kasiiso trading center and Nabinaka Eden P/S were found with one or two seals missing.
Brenda Nabukenya, the candidate for Luweero district Woman Member of Parliament seat explained that they listed the polling stations and tasked the commission to explain what action they intended to take in vain.
Nabukenya who is also NUP regional coordinator explains that they are in fear that the polling stations with missing seals could be used to steal ballot papers to rig the elections.
She however noted that she will verify whether the new seals have been added and their agents will mark these during the polls to ensure there is no ballot stuffing.
Nabukenya also accused the EC of delivering the election materials at night leaving many candidates to miss out on witnessing the exercise something that leaves the process questionable.
David Kamugisha, the NRM registrar for Luwereo district says that when they asked the EC officials in the district why the seals were broken, Kamugisha was told that they were not tampered with but could have been broken accidentally during transit.
Fredrick Makaire, an Independent candidate for Katikamu North Parliamentary race said he learnt after the exercise through a news reporter and questioned why Electoral Commission [EC] didn’t invite him or his agent to witness the delivery.
Makaire adds that failure to involve the candidates raises questions of transparency and credibility of the entire process.
Robert Sekajiija, the chairperson of Forum for Democratic Change for Luweero district says that he was also not invited and questions the transparency of the Electoral Commission [EC].
Sekajiija says this clearly shows how the elections will not be free and fair since they don’t know the exact materials that were delivered.
When reached for a comment, Nathan Nabaasa, the Luweero district returning officer declined to comment saying he was busy.
Meanwhile, police has been deployed at the Electoral commission offices in Luweero town to guard the election materials ahead of next week’s polls.