Uganda wants VJ over ballots?

 

GOVERNMENT says it will not hesitate to provide information to the Ugandan Government should veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga be required to substantiate his claims that the ballots for the February general presidential elections in that country were printed in Dubai.

Sources have told the Daily Nation that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written to Dr Mwaanga and that the Zambian Government would be ready to provide any information to the Kampala authorities should Dr Mwaanga be required to explain his claims that some of the key voting materials for the Ugandan general elections were pre-marked.

The source said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Dr Mwaanga to be ready to cooperate fully with the Ugandan Government in the event that the East African country would ask the former Foreign Affairs Minister to avail further information on his allegations.

Early this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba said Government was disappointed with Dr Mwaanga for insinuating that the outcome of the February Ugandan general elections could have been manipulated in favour of President Yoweri Museveni by Ms Al Ghurairi Printing and Publishing House, a Dubai-based printing company.

Mr Kalaba has said Dr Mwaanga’s unverified allegations that the Ugandan elections could have been manipulated had the potential to sour the diplomatic relationship Zambia was enjoying with Uganda.

Mr Kalaba said Uganda was a sovereign State and Dr Mwaanga, a career diplomat was diplomatically imprudent to drag the East African country into the Zambian politics.

It has been revealed that the ballot papers for presidential and parliamentary elections for the Ugandan general elections were printed by Ms Paarl Media a South African-based company contrary to claims by Dr Mwaanga that the key voting materials were printed by a Dubai-based Ms Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing House.

Investigations by the Daily Nation revealed that the Electoral Commission of Uganda had, in fact, contracted four companies including TALL Security Print Ltd of the United Kingdom, Ms Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing House of the United Arab Emirates and Picfare Industries of Uganda to printing their voting materials.

It has also been revealed that the other two companies, TALL Security Print Ltd of the UK and Picfare Industries of Uganda printed ballots for district chairpersons, district directly-elected councillors and sub-county women councillors and municipality mayors, municipality councillors and special interest group councillors respectively The source said Dr Mwaanga had been told Government was displeased that he (Dr Mwaanga) named Uganda, a sovereign State in a Zambian matter relating to the electoral process of the country.

The source stated that Dr Mwaanga’s allegations were wild as they had not been verified and that the Ugandan election results were still before the courts of law in that country. Therefore, it was unwarranted for the former Foreign Affairs Minister to have made such unverified claims.

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