Uganda: I Sacked Corrupt EC Officials - Museveni

8 September 2020

President Museveni yesterday said he sacked the Electoral Commission (EC) officials recently because they were corrupt after they procured biometric machines which couldn't recognise voters during the last general election.

According to Mr Museveni, they are working to see that machines which recognise voters' identities are secured before the 2021 General Election to eliminate multiple registration, voting and ballot stuffing.

He accused the corrupt EC officials, without mentioning their names for failing the system but said he had gotten rid of them.

"Some EC officials have become corrupt. They want money. Party members are not vigilant. For general elections, we must get a method which doesn't allow cheating whether people are vigilant or not. We must have digital recognition of voters using biometric. This was supposed to be done in the previous elections. But some corrupt electoral officials who were in the electoral commission, who were sacked recently, they bought machines which didn't do this. They are now looking for machines which will do this," Mr Museveni said.

He made the remarks during the flagging off of motorcycles for NRM party chairpersons at the party's headquarters in Kyadondo yesterday.

NRM party conducted its primary elections for Woman MP and directly elected MPs flag bearers on Friday by members lining up behind their candidates. He added that this, and digital voting are measures to eliminate multiple registration, voting and ballot stuffing.

Mr Museveni said the exercise helped expose cheats in the party and promised to deal with individuals who caused mayhem to those who turned up to vote.

But the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, yesterday said their records show that the officials who recently left had sought for early retirement, which was granted.

"The record that we have is that they sought early retirement. I have the letters on record. The commission sat and conceded to their request and they left..," Justice Byabakama said.

He said the processes to procure various materials to be used during the elections was ongoing.

Background

In July, eight top EC officials left the Commission amid an ongoing investigation into accusations of corruption.

Mr Sam Rwakoojo, the then accounting officer who doubled as the secretary to the Commission, together with the director of finance and administrator, Mr Joseph Lwanga, Mr Godfrey Wanyoto (head of procurement), Mr Jotham Taremwa (public relations officer), Mr Namugera Pontius (information technology director), Mr Jordan Lubega (administrator networks), Mr Musuza Charles, and Mr Edgar Kasigwa (data specialists) were relieved of their duties at the Commission.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com

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