Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC) has awarded contacts to companies in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and the UK to print ballot papers for next year’s elections.
The development marks an end to a grid-lock between the EC and the local printers over the lucrative and sensitive bid on who should print the ballots with the latter claiming it is time to undertake the task. From the onset, the EC favored foreign companies over local printers claiming lack of capacity.
The issue was later taken up by some parliamentarians and presidential candidates over claiming it’s high time local companies are allowed to participate in printing of ballots as a means to develop capacity within domestic entrepreneurs.
In a statement released today, Justice Byabakama Mugenyi, the EC boss said “the Electoral Commission has officially communicated to political parties and candidates participating in the 2021 elections, inviting them to nominate official agents for accreditation, to travel to the above countries and observer the printing, packing and delivery of theses critical electoral materials, at their own cost.”
According to the EC, 5 foreign companies have been awarded the tender to print ballots. United Printing and Publishing in Abu Dhabi will print ballot papers for presidential and directly elected members of parliament, AlGhuniar printing and Publishing in Dubai, Unprint (SA) Durban in South Africa, Tall Security Print LTd in UK, and Adare Sec LTd (UK) will print the rest.
Ballot papers for the 2016 elections were printed in South Africa by Ms Paarl Media of South Africa, which won the tender to print the key voting material.
In October, Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) canceled the award of tenders to some foreign ﬁrms to print ballot papers.
PPDA also directed the EC to re-evaluate bids for Picfare Industries Ltd, Graphics Systems Ltd, Inline Print Services and New Vision-Hi-tech JV, which were controversially sidelined in the sh185b tender award that was given to foreign ﬁrms.
It also advised the EC to set aside some of the lots (batches) for participation on national and resident providers in the future procurement to be undertaken by the entity.