Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, has explained circumstances under which seals on some of the ballot boxes sent to districts were found broken.
Earlier last week, seals on some of the ballot boxes sent to Hoima and Koboko were found broken while others did not have seals causing suspicion among voters and candidates.
In a statement released, Mr Byabakama explained that the seals on some of the polling kits were broken during transportation from the commission’s main warehouses in Kampala to the respective districts.
“The breakage is a result of impact of stacked metal boxes with plastic seals pressing against each other during transportation,” Mr Byabakama said.
He added that: “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.”
The EC chairman said that “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 10 registered voters at the respective polling station.”
Mr Byabakama said that each polling kit includes two spare seals for any emergency during transportation, ballot papers and declaration of results and other materials which are all sealed.
However, Justice Byabakama assured the public that there is nothing to worry about the broken seals on the ballot boxes.
Ugandans will on 14 this month elect a president and Members of Parliament.