Electoral Commission today held a Breakfast meeting with media owners and senior managers. This is the first meeting between the EC and media executives.
The meeting aims at strengthening relations between the election management body and the media to ensure an informed electorate and achieve credible elections.
“The journey begins; the agenda is set”, the dupty EC said. “Together, we embark on a partnership where we hold shared interests, that is to see a peaceful and prosperous Uganda where citizens are informed of their rights duties and responsbilites and participate in governance, in elections which are a hallmark of representative democracy”, he added.
During the meeting, Byamukama, the Chairman of the Electoral commission revealed that Uganda should consider the option of printing electoral materials in the country to support local manufacturers and avoid the massive foreign exchange outflows, Electoral Commission boss Simon Byabakama has revealed
“All we need are security measures to satisfy all stakeholders that we are not helping someone,” said Byabakama.
He made the remarks on Friday during a media managers breakfast at Kampala Serena Hotel.
The head of the new EC was responding to a question from the audience on why it continues to spend millions of dollars on procuring electoral materials from foreign countries.
EC Secretary Sam Rwakoojo said the commission spent a staggering $10m (Shs 35bn) on printing materials abroad.
“The Commission doesn’t have enough funds,” said Byabakama, adding, “We should save money and support our local industries.”
He said the printing process is not “magical”, insisting, “The problem is perception.”
Previous Commissions have been accused of rigging elections in favour of the incumbent.
Rwakoojo also described as “painful” the idea of “giving away ten million dollars to people abroad” to print what can be done from here.
He said materials for by-elections and national examinations are printed from Uganda, wondering why presidential election papers are printed from foreign countries.
He said the multiplier effect of spending $10m in the country would boost the economy.