EC, Prime Minister Split Over Relocation Plans

2240 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
While the Commission plans to build new offices as its headquarters in Kampala, government wants the electoral body to instead source for a rented premise within the metropolitan area.

The Electoral Commission and the Office of the Prime Minister have disagreed over the planned construction of new Commission offices.

While the Commission plans to build new offices as its headquarters in Kampala, government wants the electoral body to instead source for a rented premise within the metropolitan area.
 
The relocation to an alternative area is to pave way for the construction of the eastern route of the Standard Gauge Railway and flyover under the Kampala Integrated Transport Management System. The commission is expected to relocate its offices by October this year.

Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, in a communication to the EC chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu last month, noted that the option of renting premises is the most convenient at the moment, given that the construction of new offices would take long.
 
A source within EC told URN that Dr. Rugunda asked the Commission to consider the request to rent, whose bill shall be catered for by the Ministry of Finance.
 
"Even though this was the least considered option, the Prime Minister wants the EC to consider the time constraints that construction will face," the source states.
 
However, the EC insists that they should have their own headquarters.
 
"In the long run, it is not only cheaper but for our equipment and their sensitivity, it is not something you want to move from place to place when you opt to rent. Our wish is to own a home," EC Secretary Sam Rwakoojo told URN on phone.
 
Rwakoojo says engagements are still ongoing with the Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance to see whether they can accept.
 
A report compiled by an internal committee tasked to evaluate the cost of relocation of the offices said the Commission requires 82 billion Shillings to kick start the construction of its new offices. For rent, it would require 1.5 billion shillings per month.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.