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IGG Probes Ballot Papers

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th January 2002 03:00 AM

THE Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has stepped in to investigate the Electoral Commission over procurement of poor quality and insufficient ballot papers for the bungled Local Council 3 polls.

THE Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has stepped in to investigate the Electoral Commission over procurement of poor quality and insufficient ballot papers for the bungled Local Council 3 polls.

By Felix Osike and Alfred Wasike THE Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has stepped in to investigate the Electoral Commission over procurement of poor quality and insufficient ballot papers for the bungled Local Council 3 polls. The ombudsman, Jotham Tumwesigye (pictured left above), said he was also probing commission officials involved in the procurement of ballot papers supplied by the South African-based company, Lithotec. “The ballot papers were of poor quality. They were not enough and we paid so much money. We are investigating that and other aspects. Things went wrong in every part of the country,” Tumwesigye said. He said he objected to the selective award of the tender to Lithotec, but the commission ignored his advice, saying they were time-barred. Reliable sources said commission chief Aziz Kasujja (pictured right above) and the commissioner for procurement, Ted Wamusi, will be among those to be interviewed. Justice and constitutional affairs minister Janat Mukwaya yesterday briefed the Cabinet on the election fiasco at a meeting chaired by Vice-President Speciosa Kazibwe. “She presented a report on the elections, we did not discuss it. She will make it public tomorrow (today),” said a source who attended the meeting. Mukwaya will address a press conference at the Cabinet library today. Mukwaya told the Cabinet that the elections had to go ahead to avert a constitutional crisis. The constitutional deadline for holding LC3 polls was January 5 but voting spilled over to Tuesday in some areas because of the late deliveries of voting materials. Sources said most Cabinet members want an investigation that covers the activities of the members of the commission and action taken. “The whole thing was embarrassing,” said a minister who sought anonymity. There have been angry calls for the overhaul of the commission administration. Mukwaya last evening summoned Kasujja and his team to her office in connection with the polls. Some ballot papers used in last week’s voting had multiple mistakes including missing or unclear photographs of some of the candidates on the ballot papers. The commission’s shortcomings included production of incorrect ballot papers and inefficient procurement which resulted in late delivery of ballot papers from South Africa. There was also poor and incorrect packaging of materials for the subcounties, late and, in some cases, no dispatch of materials to the districts before or on polling day. Tumweisigye has been investigating the commission for financial mismanagement and conflict of interest. Another commission team has flown to South Africa to proof-read a fresh batch of ballot papers for the LC5 elections. The commission blamed the mess on the consultants, Rank Consult, who were contracted to computerise the register. Rank Consult denied this. Local election monitors want the multi-billion Rank Consult project halted till a census slated this year is held. Ends

IGG Probes Ballot Papers

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