Ballot boxes in Hoima, Kiboko found with broken seals

A ballot box with a broken seal.

Seals on some of the voting ballot boxes that arrived at the Hoima and Koboko Electoral Commission (EC) offices were reportedly broken.

EC officials in Hoima District received 112 ballot boxes this (Thursday) morning and distributed the material in shifts but opposition candidates’ agents in the district noticed that some seals were broken on some of ballot boxes, while others did not have seals.

The Hoima District Returning Officer, Mr Douglas Matsiko, said that the seals might have been broken in transit from Kampala, something the opposition candidates refused to accept.

Mr Matia Kajura, who is contesting for the mayoral position in Hoima East Division on the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) ticket said that they are heavily concerned and will do all it takes to safeguard the materials till voting day.

“Our major concern is that most boxes had broken seals yet there are more seven days to vote which makes us doubt the security that is going to protect these materials,” Mr Kajura told this website.

Mr Ismail Kasule of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) said that the opposition will make a joint effort to guard the ballot boxes because they cannot trust the EC and the Uganda Police to do it for them.

“We have gathered our young boys and girls who are going to camp here at the EC offices day and night so as to keep an eye on the votes day and night to avoid any tampering with the materials,” Mr Kasule said.

However, the Hoima District Police Commander, Michael Ongica, said that they will not accept anyone inside the EC premises adding that it is only their officers who will safeguard the votes.

“We are not going to allow them to sleep here because we can’t know who is who and what motive they have. Let them live the work to us. We shall work within our mandate to safeguard the voting materials,” Mr Ongica said.

In Koboko, some of the ballot boxes were also found with broken seals. The EC officials in the district said that the boxes with broken seals will be replaced and that there is no cause for alarm.

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