KAMPALA – James Waira Majegere MP (Bunya East) wants the Electoral Commission to be facilitated to procure public digital display screens at every tally centre ahead of the 2021 upcoming general elections.
Majegere’s plea is contained in his proposal to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee that was tasked by Parliament to scrutunise the five electoral reform laws tabled by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga in July 2019 ahead of final debate on the Committee’s report by Parliament.
Government’s move was in response to the recommendations made by the Supreme Court in the presidential election petition filed by former Premier, Amama Mbabazi, that saw Byaruhanga table five bills including; The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Political Parties and Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill and the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Majegere defended his proposal arguing that with emergency of new technology era, there is need for the Electoral Commission to use digital public display screens at every tallying centre such that every result entered into the computer is displayed.
His proposal was welcomed by Mwine Mpaka (Youth MP Western) although he wondered how it will deal with the rigging vice that takes place at polling stations.
Jotham Teremwa, Spokesperson Electoral Commission also welcomed the proposal saying that it would be critical at improving transparency and uphold good progress to enable openness during results entry in computers.
Jacob Oboth, Chairperson Legal Committee confirmed receiving Majegere’s proposal and also revealed that the Committee would go on retreat on 28th November 2019 and draft a report on the proposed electoral reforms amendment bills.
It should be recalled that in September, Parliament agreed to extend time for consideration of electoral reforms for an additional 25days after the 45days within which the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee was meant to consider the five bills tabled by the government on electoral reforms elapsed.
The Committee Chairperson pleaded for an extension arguing that a number of stakeholders had expressed interest in giving their views on the proposed and the Committee was only held back by time.
Asked by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga if the 25 days sought would include hearing from all stakeholders as well as writing the report, Oboth answered in affirmative, which response prompted Parliament give the Committee 25days before the report is tabled and final decision is taken on the proposed reforms.