The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama has dismissed reports that four officials from the electoral body were fired over graft and corruption.
He says the officials who include Sam Rwakoojo (Secretary EC), Pontius Namugera (Director,technical support services), Jotham Taremwa (Head, Public Relations Department) and Godfrey Wanyoto (Principal Procurement Officer) rather took early retirement.
“The modalities for handling over respective offices is ongoing, ” Justice Byabakama said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Electoral Commission wishes to thank the said staff for their contribution to the institution during their stay. The commission further wishes them well in their future endeavours.”
The news about the sacking of the officials started making rounds on Wednesday and it was alleged that they were axed amid an on-going investigation into accusations of corruption.
Trouble started after EC officials rejected a ballot printing bid from a German firm, Veridos Identity Solutions GMBH. In 2016, the German firm signed a joint venture with Uganda Printing & Publishing Corporation (UPPC) to print money and handle other security printing deals.
Sources close to State House said Mr Rwakoojo and team were asked to give the ballot printing deal to UPPC and in the process of verification, they discovered Veridos has a big stake in the company.
EC officials said that it was going to look awkward for the same company to be entrusted with transmitting the poll results.
The EC officials then wrote back to Veridos asking for details of ownership and expenditures of the company. In the process, President Museveni also reportedly wrote to EC that the company has a bigger reputation beyond printing ballot papers, and is tasked with printing the national currency, passports and handling data verification for the country’s national ID.
The procurement team then evaluated the bid and rejected it. The matter later went to the State House Anti-corruption Unit and IGG, with the EC officials accused of corruption.
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