27/1/2016: Update on Preparations for General Elections 2016

The Commission would like to update the country on preparations for the upcoming general elections as follows: 

Progress of the Campaigns Meetings/Rallies

Campaign meetings/rallies organized by candidates contesting for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections are going on in various electoral areas across the country. Campaigns have largely been peaceful.

The Commission encourages the electorate to attend the campaign meetings/rallies and listen to the various candidates so that they can make an informed choice on polling day.

The Commission further urge all stakeholders to conduct themselves in a tolerant and peaceful manner, and in accordance with the campaign guidelines that were issued for each respective elective category.

The Commission appreciates the general public, candidates, their agents and supporters, for responding positively to our call to embrace tolerance and reject violence during the campaigns and beyond.

Please keep this spirit of tolerance throughout the electoral period and beyond, for the good of our country.

Recruitment and Training of Polling Day Officials

The Electoral Commission has been conducting interviews of persons who responded to our call for applications for the position of presiding officers and polling assistants.

After the interviews, a shortlist of successful applicants will be displayed at the notice board of each sub county for public scrutiny, and objections, if any, to the suitability of an official with respect to the intending assignment.

A total of 140,050 personnel will be recruited in this exercise to conduct the elections at the 28,010 polling stations for the various elective positions during the 2016 General Elections.

Progress of Printing of the Ballot Papers

The Electoral Commission commenced with the printing ballot papers for the General Elections in December 2015 in the following countries:





  South Africa

  1. Presidential
  2. Parliamentary
  3. District Women Councilors;


United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

  1. District Chairpersons
  2. District Directly-elected Councilors
  3. Sub County Women Councilors  


The United Kingdom

  1. Sub County Chairpersons
  2. Sub County Directly-elected Councilors 



  1. Municipality Mayors
  2. Municipality Councilors
  3. Special Interest Groups Councilors

In accordance with our policy of conducting electoral matters in a transparent manner, the Electoral Commission invited representatives of political parties/candidates to go and observe the exercise of printing of the ballot papers in the four countries mentioned above.

The Commission wishes to assure all stakeholders that the printing of ballot papers is on schedule, and the first consignment of ballot papers for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections is scheduled for arrival at Entebbe International Airport, tomorrow, Thursday 28th January 2016. The Commission will provide more details on these deliveries later today.

The Commission will notify and invite stakeholders, including the media, to witness the receiving of ballot papers at the airport and the other handling stages, namely, packing and dispatch to districts.

Please note that such observation will only be open to duly accredited Candidates’ agents, officials, institutions and organizations.

Packing of Generic Materials

In preparation for the 2016 General Elections, the Electoral Commission has completed the packing of generic materials and commenced on the non-generic materials.

For avoidance of doubt, the generic materials includes pens, strings, stamp pads, polythene sheet, rubber bands, ink pad, elections forms, report forms, oaths, official report book, aprons, tamper-proof evident envelopes, indelible mark pens, etc. The dispatch of transparent ballot boxes, cordoning tapes, basins and solar lamps has already commenced to all the Districts.

At a later stage, the Electoral Commission will include in each box, the National Voters’ Register and ballot papers for each respective polling station, before dispatch for polling day.

Voter Location Slips (VLS)

The Electoral Commission has produced Voter Location Slips (VLS) which will be issued to voters at least two weeks before the first cycle of elections to enable them conveniently locate their respective polling stations on polling day.

The VLS is a response by the Commission to complaints raised in the past elections, where some voters reported difficulty in locating their polling stations.

It bears the particulars of a voter, namely: photograph, identification number, names, date of birth, and location (that is, the district, constituency, Sub County, parish and polling station). It bears a barcode which will be read by the Biometric Voter verification device and will be issued at every parish by the Parish supervisor who is an employee of the Electoral Commission.

Please note that this Voter location slip (VLS) is free of charge and should only be picked by the actual voter in person from the parish supervisor. It is important that after picking this card, it is kept safely so that the barcode is not tampered with.

The Commission therefore, calls upon all registered voters during that period to contact their respective parish supervisors to secure their Voter Location Slips. The Commission further urges Parish Supervisors to draw programmes for distribution of these Slips to the voters within their respective parishes in time.

Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS)

The Electoral Commission is introducing a new technology that will be used in the upcoming General Elections, namely, the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS). The BVVS is one of the new measures aimed at improving the management and conduct of elections in Uganda through authentication of voter identity. The system basically uses fingerprints to match voter details which will help the election officer to confirm that the voter is on the roll of that polling station.

The system will enable the Commission to ensure that only registered persons vote during the elections and that such persons (voters) do no vote more than once for the same election. The system will also assist the voter to locate his/her polling station within the district. 

The Commission has acquired 32,334 (thirty two thousand three hundred and thirty four) machines to cater for the 28,010 (twenty eight thousand and ten) polling stations in Uganda during the upcoming General Elections.

The Commission conducted a public demonstration on how the Biometric Voter verification kit will be used to the leaderships of Parties in Uganda, Presidential Candidates in the 2016 General Elections and the media on 19th January 2016 at Hotel Africana.

The Commission has appointed Saturday 30th January 2015 as a day for public demonstration of the Biometric Voter Verification kit in all the Districts of Uganda starting from 7am and ending at 4pm at the Electoral Commission District Offices. Voters from the respective Districts and all the stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the exercise.

Similarly, the training for our field staff on the use of Biometric voter verification equipment has been going on at National and Regional level and will be concluded with the training of the Presiding Officer and the one Polling Assistant (for the BVVK) before polling day.

The Commission further call upon all the stakeholders in the electoral process to follow the guidelines for the use of this technology, so that we get the desired result, which is a fraud-free election.

The Commission wishes to thank the Government of Uganda for supporting this important initiative. This is a sign of commitment towards deepening democracy in our country.

Electronic Results Transmission and Dissemination System (ERTDS)

The Electoral Commission with funding from Government of Uganda, has procured the above system to transmit results of Presidential and Parliamentary elections after tallying from the Districts to the National Tally Centre at Mandela National Stadium-Namboole.

The Commission has however, noted with concern media reports quoting an Official from Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) alleging irregular handling of the procurement of a service provider for an Election Results Transmission and Dissemination System (ERTDS) for the 2016 General Elections as the cause of the withdraw by Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), from the partial funding they had promised to procure the system.   

The Electoral Commission wishes to clarify that with support from DGF, we developed a detailed plan, Terms of reference and budget for the provision of ERTDS.

The tender was advertised according to PPDA regulations and an evaluation committee consisted two (02) consultants from DGF. From the evaluation, Technology Associates Ltd in partnership with SYCTL (based in Spain) was recommended for the award.  Consequently, due diligence was done by visiting their Headquarters in Spain and one of their clients in Norway.

On 20th November 2015, technology Associates and SCYTL were invited for contract negotiations and signing. However, during the negotiations, the bidder presented a different solution from what was specified in the tender documents on which they has been evaluated against.

The Counter offer had variations affecting software and hardware as well as attracting extra costs. Specifically, the proposal to use the call centre to phone in to the National Tally Centre to read results, and also use a centralized Web-based system that required continuous internet connectivity for it to work, was not in the Request For Proposal and therefore, not agreeable to the Commission. The award had to be cancelled.

Due to the time constraint caused by the cancellation of the award, the Electoral Commission used emergency procurement as provided for under the PPDA Statutory Instrument 2014 No. 8 (3) (8), to invite two companies, namely, Avante International Technology Inc., which was the provider of the ERTDS in 2011 General Elections and Smartmatic International Holding, which has an existing contract for supply of Biometric Voter Verification System.

The Request for Quotation sent out to the two bidders had the same specifications for ERTDS as specified originally with the Electoral Commission technical team and the DGF consultant.

Consequently, the solution provided by Avante International Technology Inc. met the requirements and got the award.

The Electoral Commission wishes to assure all the stakeholders in this election that ERTDS has been procured with the funding from the Government of Uganda. The Commission further assures everyone that media reports alleging plots to tamper with the operations of BVVS and ERTDS with a view of sabotaging success of the electoral process are only wishful thinking, because the systems are secured.

Polling Dates for the General Elections

The Electoral Commission appointed the dates below as polling dates for the various elective positions in the 2016 General Elections:


Elective Position

Polling Date








Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for District (LC V);



Lord Mayor, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Kampala Capital City Authority



Councilors for PWDs, Older Persons and Youth to District Councils and Kampala Capital City Authority;



Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipality and Kampala Capital City Divisions;



PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipalities and Kampala Capital City Divisions;



Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils;



PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils;


For God and my Country,

Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu

Chairperson, Electoral Commission

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016