As the country prepares to go to polls next week, authorities at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Wednesday started dispatching polling materials to the 146 district offices across the country. The EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, flagged off the first batch of electoral material, including ballot papers, and voter registers for the election of councillors for Special Interest Groups (SIG), as well as parliamentary and presidential elections.
The kit also includes Declaration Forms, accountability forms, official report books, cordoning strips, polling officials’ attires, solar lamps, among others.
“Today [yesterday], the EC officially flags off the dispatch of polling kits to all districts in the country in preparation for the conduct of the following elections; Councillors for Special Interest Groups (Older Persons, PWDs, and Youth) to sub county/town council or municipal division, to be held on January 11. Elections of councillors for SIGs to the municipality and city division to be held on January 12. And presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for January 14,” Justice Byabakama said.
He said the early dispatch is designed to facilitate timely delivery of polling materials to all districts and eventually enable timely conduct of elections across the country.
He scoffed at allegations of intentional delays in areas known to be strongholds of Opposition parties as raised in the last election.
“I do not know if the EC has a barometer that they use to determine that this is an Opposition stronghold, or this party is doing well here…We have said repeatedly that what happened in 2016 was most unfortunate and we have taken steps to ensure that it does not happen again. Our arrangement is that every district has a truck to deliver materials. We have gone out of our way to secure enough vehicles to ensure timely delivery,” Justice Byabakama said.
Trucks headed to nine districts: Busia, Butambala, Mukono, Iganga, Karenga, Kasese, Agago, Sironko and Terego, set off from the EC warehouse in Banda at the time of flagging off.
The loading of trucks for other districts and other elections is ongoing and they will be dispatched this week.