BUSHENYI: The Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama has said by-elections are costing Uganda a lot of money arguing that the commission has found it hard conducting the elections time after time which lead to wastage of resources in terms of time and money.
Justice Byabakama urged Ugandans especially contestants to desist from making mistakes that call for by-elections.
He was addressing the electoral stakeholders in the Igara East by-election at the Bushenyi District council hall on Wednesday evening.
“Avoid mistakes that may bring a by-election. It is costly. As Ugandans, we owe it to ourselves to clean up our politics. This repeat poll is as a result of voter bribery. You don’t have to go to school to calculate the loss,” he said.
According to him, the commission has spent about Shs390 million on repeating the exercise in Igara East.
“This is costly to the electoral body and the contestants yet the money would have been used for development,” he added.
He asked police to arrest anyone seen distributing money to the voters before and during the polling exercise.
However, the Bushenyi District Chairperson, Mr Jafari Basajjabalaba accused the electoral commission of incompetence saying it is because of the electoral body’s laxity that election petitions have increased.
“Even you, electoral commission, you commit electoral offenses like interchanging of results because you don’t have adequate time to transmit results from the declaration forms to the tally sheets and falsification of results at the tally center. You also need to save us because in any election petition, you are second respondents,” said Mr Basajjabalaba.
The EC chairperson in response apologized for the incompetency saying they (EC) are aware of the weaknesses and are conducting a clean-up exercise to get rid of future mistakes.