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Any box found with a broken seal gets a replacement – Justice Simon Byabakama

The chairperson of the Uganda Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama has explained why ballot boxes sent to districts were found broken and promised to have them replaced.

Early last week, seals on some of the ballot boxes sent to Hoima and Koboko districts were found with broken seals while others did not have any seals which raised concern among both voters and candidates.

The EC through the chairperson, Justice Byakama released a statement on Saturday January 10th, 2020 explaining the circumstances under which the boxes turned up with broken or no seals.

He explained that the seals on some of the polling kits were broken during the transportation from the commission’s main warehouse in Kampala to the respective districts.

“The breakage is a result of impact of stacked metal boxes sealed with plastic seals, pressing against each other, during transportation,”

Justice Simon Byabakama, Chairperson of the Uganda Electoral Commission

Byabakama noted that all polling kits have two separate seals to take care of emergency during transportation, ballot papers and declaration of results and other materials.

However, Justice Byabakama assured the public that there is nothing to worry about the broken seals on the ballot boxes as all those that will be found compromised will be replaced.

“As a measure to ensure integrity and transparency of the process, stakeholders in the respective districts are briefed before the offloading begins. Any box that is found with a broken seal gets a replacement, and the serial numbers of both the old and the new seals are recorded. This is done after ascertaining that the contents of the polling kit are all intact,”

Justice Simon Byabakama, Chairperson of the Uganda Electoral Commission

He also added that all stakeholders will be able to witness the presiding officers open the ballot boxes on the morning of the polling day, in the presence of a few registered voters at all polling stations.

“The Commission assures all stakeholders that the polling kit remains sealed up to the time of delivery at the polling station where the presiding officer will open it, on the morning of polling day, and in the presence of ten registered voters at the respective polling station.”

Justice Simon Byabakama, Chairperson of the Uganda Electoral Commission

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Arnold Nkalubo
Arnold Nkalubo is a writer and editor with an exceptional interest in issues that influence passion and lifestyle.